At Benefis Health System in Great Falls, a multi-disciplinary group of medical professionals is working to treat people still dealing with COVID symptoms long after getting sick.
"Pulmonology and cardiology and all the other specialties, ENT, primary care, neurology,” said Benefis Medical Group Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bridget Brennan explaining the people who are involved with the hospital’s post-COVID recovery program.
Blowing into what’s called a plethysmograph is one step in the program. Among other things, it measures a person's ability to force air out of their lungs.
"We also look at their upper airway function,” said a registered respiratory therapist explaining how the machine works.
The program recently received the Innovation in Health Care award from the Montana Hospital Association.
"This group has done amazing things,” Brennan said.
Brennan said the award makes her feel incredibly proud.
"I think the community, actually the region, should be very proud of the fact that their hospital, that Benefis, has adapted and kind of recognized there is a need and has provided the service,” said Brennan.
"I've had a lot of calls actually, not just from the region and from the state but, truly, across the country and in some cases some international phone calls looking for help and ways to treat their patients in their communities,” Brenna said.
For Brennan, the program is somewhat personal. Her son went through it.
"I think it's really amazing to watch, kind of at least from my perspective, where he was to where he is now. He had to drop out of his last semester of college, just was struggling with the brain fog and the cognitive pieces of this, and is doing great. (He has) graduated now,” said Brennan.
Going forward, she sees the program continuing to adapt to however the COVID virus may change.
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