Thanks to generous support from the Henderson County Commissioners, Pardee UNC Health Care is expanding its Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibody infusion clinic to care for an increase in COVID-19 patients in the community. At their August 18 meeting, the Commissioners voted to allocate $250,000 from American Rescue Plan funds to support the expansion of Pardee’s infusion clinic. Pardee was the first organization in western North Carolina to provide these treatments (also known as REGEN-COV or Regeneron) to eligible COVID-19 patients and has administered more than 400 infusions since February 2021.
To support this expansion, Pardee is seeking clinically trained community members, licensed in NC, who can administer infusions, to help in the clinic. Originally administered on an outpatient basis within Pardee’s Emergency Department, the demand for this service quickly outpaced the space and capacity within that one department.
“With growing community spread, and successful outcomes in keeping patients from being hospitalized, the demand for Regeneron treatment has grown exponentially in recent weeks,” said James M. Kirby, II, president and CEO, Pardee UNC Health Care. “We are grateful to the Commissioners for their financial support and belief in our ability to deliver this service to our community. We can now avoid further straining our existing resources and focus on caring for these patients.” To accommodate the expansion in services, Pardee moved away from its previous setting within the Emergency Department to a dedicated outpatient Regeneron clinic on Aug. 11, 2021.
“This treatment has been proven to reduce hospitalizations,” said Carol Stefaniak, VP of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Pardee UNC Health Care. “Offering Regeneron treatment in this type of dedicated setting is a critical resource for our patients and our community. It also eases the strain on our clinical care teams and hospital resources.”
Pardee would like to double the number of appointments available each week, which requires additional temporary clinical staff. To administer these infusions, specific clinicians are needed, including registered nurses, paramedics, and advanced EMTs. Rate of pay for these temporary contract positions has been set at $50 per hour. People with an active N.C. license in any of these areas who are willing to help, can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Regneron treatment is a 20-minute infusion of monoclonal antibodies with a 60-minute observation period after infusion. In order to be scheduled for the outpatient Regeneron infusion, patients must have 1) a positive COVID test and 2) a referral from a Pardee Urgent Care.
The eligibility criteria for the infusion are very specific and must be verified by a Pardee Urgent Care provider prior to the referral. If a patient has received a positive test from another testing site, a copy must be brought to the appointment. Once the patient’s COVID test results have been verified and the patient has seen an approved referring provider from Pardee Urgent Care, the patient will be referred to the Regeneron outpatient clinic. A scheduler will call the patient within 24 – 48 hours to set up the appointment. Patients will receive specific instructions for arrival and testing. For questions about the Regeneron process or treatment, or to find out more about eligibility, the community can call 828-694-8222.