Today, St. Luke’s Miners Campus will introduce a powerful weapon for treating people with the COVID-19 virus: a Monoclonal Antibody (MAB) Treatment Clinic. This is the only facility in rural Schuylkill County offering this unique, proven therapy.
Monoclonal antibody therapy at St. Luke’s has helped hospitals in the greater Lehigh Valley region avoid being overwhelmed during the current surge, allowing certain high-risk patients to recover quickly in the comfort of their own homes.
Granted emergency authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, monoclonal antibodies block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells. Infusion has been found to be particularly effective in preventing the need for hospitalization in select, higher-risk patients including those who are 65 years of age or older and whose infection, identified early, does not yet require supplemental oxygen.
Infusions will be provided two days a week from 8am-4pm.
“This novel therapeutic option is further proof of St. Luke’s commitment to providing innovative care to the rural populations we serve,” says Wendy Lazo, St. Luke’s Miners President.
Since last fall, St. Luke’s University Health Network has been operating two other clinics where monoclonal antibodies are infused: St. Luke’s Easton and St. Luke’s Warren. With the addition of the Miners facility, the network expects to infuse its 1,000th patient by the end of February.
Infectious disease specialist Peter Ender, MD, who helps run the COVID-19 treatment programs at SLUHN, says, "Monoclonal antibodies are an important outpatient therapy that we know has benefit in keeping people out of the hospital."
St. Luke’s is the leader in monoclonal antibody treatment in Pennsylvania. Unlike St. Luke’s, most hospitals in Pennsylvania and across the country have not taken full advantage of their allocations of monoclonal antibodies. St. Luke’s is proud to have made this important weapon in the fight against COVID-19 accessible to residents of the Lehigh Valley and now those in Schuylkill and Carbon counties and the surrounding regions.
A paramedic in Pennsylvania and New Jersey offers one example of how MAB treatment works. The 52-year-old Lehigh Valley man came down with COVID symptoms on Christmas Day. The fever, cough, headache and body aches alerted the veteran first responder that he was COVID-sick, and a test confirmed what he dreaded to hear.
But within less than a week, the patient had received an infusion of the MAB monoclonal antibodies at the St. Luke’s Easton Campus. And the next morning, he felt better already: headache gone, increased energy but still with a slight cough (he has asthma).
Patients will need a referral for the infusion from their primary care physician. Patients arriving at the Miners hospital for MAB treatment should call the infusion nurse at 570-645-1801 to be escorted into the clinic. Parking is available in front of the ambulance entrance of the Emergency Department.
MAB recipients should plan to spend approximately four hours at the clinic and no visitors are permitted to accompany a patient into the clinic.
Patients are advised to bring something to occupy their time for four hours. ie: book, iPad, phone, headphones. They are reminded to bring a mask, which must be worn for the entire duration of the treatment. The clinic will have light refreshments and snacks available.
St. Luke’s Miners is located at 360 West Ruddle Street, Coaldale. For more information, please call 1-866-STLUKES, option 4.
Sam Kennedy, Corporate Communications Director, 484-526-4134, email@example.com
About St. Luke’s
Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 16,000 employees providing services at 12 hospitals sites and 300+ outpatient sites. With annual net revenue in excess of $2.5 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s established the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus. It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 38 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 347 residents and fellows. St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system to earn Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital. U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Luke’s #1 in the Lehigh Valley and #6 in the state. Three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals are St. Luke’s hospitals. St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health eight times total and six years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program. Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.