Jul 20, 2021 Saint Barnabas Medical Center COVID Recovery Program Has Been Named An Innovation Award Recipient From NJBIZ

The Adult and Pediatric Post COVID-19 CARE (Comprehensive, Assessment, Recovery and Evaluation) Program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) will receive an innovation award during the NJBIZ 2021 Healthcare Heroes awards ceremony in August. This awards program recognizes excellence, promotes innovation and honors the efforts of individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of health care in New Jersey.

Early estimates show that 10-30% of individuals with COVID-19 will go on to develop PASC – Post Acute Sequelae of COVID-19. SBMC, a flagship hospital of RWJBarnabas Health which treats over three million patients annually, was hard hit during the peak of the Pandemic.

“When the Pandemic descended upon us here in New Jersey, we recognized that many of our patients both adult and pediatric recovering from COVID-19 would require follow-up care from a variety of different specialty services,” says Stephen P. Zieniewicz, FACHE, President and CEO, Saint Barnabas Medical Center. “In response, we created the Post-COVID CARE Program, an innovative program for our patients and their families that allows them the ability to recover and return to their prior life and activities.”

The program includes a core team, comprised of a physician, nurse navigator, clinical pharmacist, and over 17 medical subspecialists with systems and processes that encompass evaluation and research. The program serves patients across the care continuum offering comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis and treatment along with a Patient and Family Advisory Council. Patients are evaluated at multiple intervals to measure their recovery. Since the program launch in October 2020, over 200 patients have been evaluated and this program has expanded across RWJBarnabas Health.

“COVID-19 and its sequelae can affect any and all organ systems, therefore a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach is necessary,” says Vanessa Trespalacios, MD, RWJBarnabas Medical Group provider and Program Director, Adult Post-COVID CARE. “In addition to seeing patients, we are collecting data and doing research, so that we can have better information to better serve our patients and find some answers.”

“There’s still so much we’re still learning about COVID-19,” says Uzma N. Hasan, MD, Division Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, SBMC and Program Director, Pediatric Post-COVID CARE. “When we saw children being hospitalized with COVID and MIS-C, we assembled a multidisciplinary team of physicians to care for these children both in the hospital and within the community.”

The inter-professional team at SBMC has been addressing the wide-ranging symptoms experienced by these patients resulting in varying levels of improvement and expedited return to baseline. The team is also active with Post-COVID research as further research is needed to explore long-term outcomes of these patients.

Learn more about the Post-COVID CARE Programs at Saint Barnabas Medical Center or call 1-888-COVID94 to make an appointment.