Community, COVID-19

Spectrum Health Expands Access to Monoclonal Antibody Therapy and Treatment of COVID-19 Patients

Efforts include expanded infusion sites and mobile unit

October 20, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 20, 2021 – Spectrum Health is expanding access to monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy in Grand Rapids and throughout the region.

Spectrum Health opened its Blodgett Hospital COVID-19 Infusion Clinic for mAb treatment in December 2020. The Blodgett clinic has expanded its treatment area to serve more patients and a mobile clinic is now also available for treatment appointments.

Patients can call the Spectrum Health COVID-19 Infusion Clinic at 616.391.0351 to schedule. The team will help navigate eligibility and supply, and when possible, schedule treatment at Blodgett Hospital or at the mobile unit.

The mobile clinic has been outfitted to provide monoclonal antibody infusion. It will travel to COVID-19 hot spots throughout West Michigan, as well as serve those in the community who may not be able to seek treatment at Blodgett Hospital. It is expected to change locations on a regular basis to better reach underserved and disadvantaged communities.

While Spectrum Health now has the capacity to treat up to 400 patients weekly, the number of patients treated is dependent on monoclonal antibody supply. Monoclonal antibodies are available under an emergency use authorization granted by the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spectrum Health relies on federal and state supply distribution and is experiencing constraints from a national shortage. The ability to offer treatment can change from week-to-week.

The expansion is driven by a partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). On March 17, 2021, HHS announced it was investing $150 million to increase access to mAb therapy for high-risk patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. Spectrum Health was among the first health care partners to join this national effort to equitably expand access to monoclonal antibody therapy and has been a national leader in policy, education, and dissemination of this treatment.

“Spectrum Health is pleased to be part of this incredible collaboration to expand our monoclonal antibody program in West Michigan, particularly to our most vulnerable populations,” said Chad Tuttle, senior vice president, Spectrum Health West Michigan operations. “We are pleased to offer a mobile clinic that can bring this important treatment to more communities. This treatment may be life changing for our patients, and we are hopeful that the supply of antibodies will allow us to treat as many people as possible.”

Spectrum Health also is increasing efforts to inform underserved and disadvantaged communities about this treatment option through grassroots community outreach. This builds on Spectrum Health’s established efforts throughout the pandemic to reach the underserved with information about COVID-19 prevention, treatment and vaccine availability. Physicians also will be armed with information to share with patients when they receive positive test results.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. The therapy has been shown to help high-risk COVID-19 patients avoid hospitalization and recover at home.

Spectrum Health opened its mAb clinic in December 2020 and between the Blodgett Hospital clinic in Grand Rapids and Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph has treated more than 2,400 patients to date. If administered within 10 days of onset of COVID-19 symptoms, the one-time therapy may decrease disease progression and reduce the risk of requiring hospitalization. The treatment is administered through intravenous infusion, delivering medication directly into a patient’s bloodstream.

Spectrum Health is supported by KPMG and sponsored by HHS as part of the federal effort to help end COVID-19 and improve health equity in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. The Initiative now includes over 25 prototype models, supported by KPMG and sponsored by HHS, to increase access to mAb therapy at over 80 infusion locations in 16 states.

 

How to Access mAb Treatment at Spectrum Health

All patients who test positive for COVID-19 and are interested in learning more about mAb treatment at Spectrum Health, can call 616.391.0351 for expedited referral to the most appropriate Spectrum Health treatment location.

About Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over1 million members across the state of Michigan.

 People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.

About Crush COVID

A treatment for COVID-19 is here and is available in every state at hundreds of locations across the country. With the help of KPMG, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state and local health departments, and local hospitals and health clinics, eligible patients will have increased access to mAb treatment in a growing number of underserved and disadvantaged communities through this initiative. Authorized by the FDA, monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) is available to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are considered at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. To learn more about eligibility and find a treatment location near you, visit https://crushcovid.com

 

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Contact:
Tim Hawkins
Media Relations
Office: 616.486.6091
Mobile: 616.443.0361
Email: timothy.hawkins@spectrumhealth.org