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Recognition for a Montana hospital’s post-COVID recovery program



Great Falls, Montana – At Benefis Health System in Great Falls, a multidisciplinary team of medical experts is striving to treat patients who have COVID-19 symptoms years after being ill.

“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.

One step in the procedure is to blow into a device known as a plethysmograph. It assesses a person’s capacity to expel air from their lungs, among other things.

“We also look at their upper airway function,” said a registered respiratory therapist explaining how the machine works.

The Montana Hospital Association recently presented the initiative with the Innovation in Health Care award.

“This group has done amazing things,” Brennan said.

According to Brennan, 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.

The program has some personal significance for Brennan. Her son experienced 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.

She anticipates that the program will keep evolving to accommodate any potential changes to the COVID-19 virus.

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