Lancaster Physician Summer 2021 - 11

SUMMER 2021
Now that the pandemic appears to be
waning, many of us are ready to return to
our regular, active work and social lives.
But not all of us.
Some people who have had COVID-19
are still struggling with a bewildering array
of symptoms that can include problems concentrating,
persistent headaches, a continued
loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath,
coughing, fatigue, and heart palpitations.
Sometimes referred to as " COVID long
haulers " or sufferers of " long COVID, " these
patients can receive care for lingering issues
via WellSpan COVID Care, a new, virtual,
multidisciplinary program.
The program brings together a team
of WellSpan providers from specialties
including pulmonary medicine, neurology,
physiatry, cardiology, and behavioral health,
as well as a variety of rehabilitation services.
" The team will work together to develop
the best standards of care, " said Dr. Luminita
Tudor, a WellSpan pulmonary and sleep
medicine provider who is the physician
champion of the team. " We want to provide
a coordinated approach that will help us
understand and provide effective treatment
for these patients who are experiencing
persistent effects of COVID-19. "
The science is still evolving on long-hauler
COVID patients, Tudor said. Overall, long
COVID can affect patients of all ages,
including young people who were previously
healthy. Also, patients who were never hospitalized
or initially only had mild COVID-19
symptoms can sometimes experience new or
worsening symptoms weeks or months after
they first became ill. More studies are needed
about what causes the lingering symptoms,
but some theories suggest a persistent inflammatory
or autoimmune response.
SOMETIMES
REFERRED TO AS
" COVID LONG
HAULERS " OR
SUFFERERS OF
" LONG COVID, "
THESE PATIENTS
CAN RECEIVE CARE
FOR LINGERING
ISSUES VIA
WELLSPAN
COVID CARE, A
NEW, VIRTUAL,
MULTIDISCIPLINARY
PROGRAM.
WellSpan developed the program to
bring together providers from the range of
specialties related to the various body systems
impacted by long COVID, including
neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular,
and pulmonary.
" This team will become the COVID experts
at WellSpan so we can be more knowledgeable
and have standard screening and surveillance,
and better help these patients, " said Brenna
Simcoe, program director.
Patients can be referred to the program by
their primary care physician or seek out care
on their own if they are still experiencing
COVID symptoms six to eight weeks after
their diagnosis.
Self-referring patients may request an
appointment by calling 717-851-1543 or
going to wellspan.org/programs/covid-care.
Patients will be asked to fill out an online
questionnaire, answering a few questions
about COVID-related symptoms and problems.
After receiving a referral or the patient
questionnaire, a COVID nurse navigator
will reach out to the patient directly for a
more thorough review of symptoms and
appointment scheduling. The patient's initial
visit will include a comprehensive screening
and evaluation, which may lead to specialist
referrals or follow-up visits.
Most of the care will be delivered virtually,
utilizing video visits, but patients also may
receive in-person care at the program's office,
2350 Freedom Way, York.
" WellSpan hopes to learn how to best
care for these patients. We will examine our
screening tools and outcomes to determine
and define what issues these patients have
and what treatments seem to work and
don't work. Our care model and treatment
plans will evolve to meet the needs of our
patients, " Simcoe said.
The WellSpan COVID Care includes
Tudor; Carrie Dierdorff, nurse practitioner;
Dr. Momina Mastoor, cardiologist; Dr.
Anthony May, neurologist; Dr. Zhenhui
Li, neurologist; and Dr. Daniel Contract,
physiatrist. Behavioral health providers from
a variety of WellSpan Philhaven programs
also will provide care to patients.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WELLSPAN.ORG/PROGRAMS/COVID-CARE.
LANCASTER 11 PHYSICIAN
http://www.wellspan.org/programs/covid-care http://www.WELLSPAN.ORG/PROGRAMS/COVID-CARE

Lancaster Physician Summer 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Lancaster Physician Summer 2021

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