Beckley, WV (June 29, 2021) — Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WV DHHR) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced today that it has expanded access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) and is administering the treatment at Beckley ARH Hospital, at no cost to patients. The clinic helps eligible patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 receive immediate treatment. The promising mAb therapy has been shown to keep high-risk COVID-19 patients out of the hospital.
Treatment is available at the hospital between the hours of 8:00am and 2:00pm Monday through Friday. To confirm eligibility for the treatment, patients should contact a health care provider.
If administered within 10 days of onset of COVID-19 symptoms, the one-time therapy may be highly effective in neutralizing the virus and preventing symptoms from worsening. The one-time treatment is administered through intravenous infusion, delivering medication directly into a patient’s bloodstream.
“As an organization dedicated to improving health and promoting wellbeing for all in Southern West Virginia, Beckley ARH’s COVID-19 response focused on vulnerable communities from the start,” said Rocco Massey, Community CEO. “It is both a responsibility and an honor for us as we continue to provide treatment opportunities to our patients and be in partnership with such a trustworthy source.”
“The addition of this clinic offering monoclonal antibody therapy for West Virginia patients is another tool available to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. “We continue to strive to find additional ways to better serve the people of West Virginia. With the help of Beckley ARH, HHS, and KPMG, we are able to move this initiative forward and save lives.”
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. With support from KPMG LLP, HHS is developing new prototype models for expanding access to mAb treatment and leveraging an existing network of health care partners that have the experience and equipment necessary to provide the therapy. Appalachian Regional Healthcare is among the first groups of healthcare partners to join this national effort to equitably expand access to monoclonal antibodies and has been a national leader in policy, education, and dissemination of this life-saving therapy.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare joins five other provider organizations with 16 infusion sites sponsored by HHS, with the support of KPMG, as part of this initiative to help end COVID-19 and improve health equity in underserved communities across the country. Infusion sites under this initiative have now been established in Beckley, WV; Landover, MD; San Diego, CA; Detroit, MI; Barnstable County, MA; and Houston, TX.
The therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. In April, a Phase 3 clinical trial showed that the antibody therapy reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by up to 87% in patients who received the drug intravenously compared to those who received a placebo.
“Our state has felt and continues to feel the impacts of COVID,” said Jeri Knowlton, ARH Communications. “The good news is we have access to a safe and effective treatment, at no cost to the patient. We need to get the word out to save lives.”
ARH is able to treat 25 patients per week. To be eligible for treatment, patients must meet the EUA definition of “high risk” and should discuss with their health care providers whether or not monoclonal antibody treatment is right for them. The infusion treatment takes less than one hour plus an additional hour for patient monitoring. There is no cost to the patient and treatment is offered regardless of immigration status or health insurance. To learn more about mAbs or to book an appointment for treatment at Beckley ARH Hospital, call 1-833-TREAT-COVID (1-833-873-2826).
About Appalachian Regional Healthcare: ARH is a not-for-profit health system operating 13 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, Martin, McDowell, Middlesboro, Prestonsburg, West Liberty, Whitesburg and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs more than 6,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.
About Crush COVID: A treatment for COVID-19 is here. With the help of KPMG, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state and local health departments, and hospital and health clinics across the country, treatment is safe, easy, and free. Authorized by the FDA, monoclonal antibody therapy (mAbs) 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