To provide more comprehensive and coordinated care for COVID-19 patients who continue to endure lingering effects of the disease, the University of Utah Health https://healthcare.utah.edu program opened a post COVID-19 Care Clinic on June 1, 2021.
The Clinic offers medical services to self-described COVID-19 Long Haulers in the Mountain West who have one or more symptoms that have persisted for weeks or months after the initial infection.
In the 453 days (as of June 1), since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the state, more than 405,000 incidences of the disease have been confirmed in the state. In most of the cases, the viral infection ran its course without lingering symptoms. Unfortunately, the effects of the disease have persisted for some of the post COVID-19 patients. Overall, studies show that up to 30% of COVID-19 patients experience post-infection symptoms.
Clinic patients are evaluated by an advance practice clinician or a nurse who in consultation with Jeanette Brown, MD, PhD, Medical Director of the Clinic and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, will coordinate care with physicians and practitioners in 10 specialties.
In addition to patient care, the Clinic will also conduct research on the long term effects of COVID-19 in hopes that the research will lead to better treatments. The Clinic will also have educational learning collaborative sessions to help providers learn more about post COVID-19 symptoms.
To further address the effects of COVID-19, the Utah State Legislature approved $90 million to be combined with $65 million in funds from the Utah philanthropic community to develop and build the Utah Mental Health Translational Research Building at the university to be called the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) https://healthcare.utah.edu/hmhi.
The goal for HMHI is to create a collaborative environment to solve mental health challenges. HMMI will also address child and young adult mental health, rural mental health, workforce shortages, unknown neurological, psychiatric, and social factors created by COVID-19, In addition, educators and researchers will use the facility and partner with HMHI on treatments and training initiatives.
The Utah Translational Research Building will house the world’s only 7 Tesla MRI dedicated to brain research and innovative clinical interventions. It will also be the first institution to co-locate mental health researchers with experts in science, AI, public policy, business, and law.