Deborah Launches Post-COVID Recovery Program

Dr. Andrew Martin (standing) joins Steven Magnotta of Plumsted Township, one of the first patients in Deborah’s new Post-COVID-19 Recovery Program. (Photo courtesy Deborah Heart and Lung Center)

  PEMBERTON – When a Plumsted man was sick for several weeks, Deborah Heart and Lung Center was able to provide him with the help he needed through the launch of a new program.

  Deborah recently announced the opening of its new Post-COVID-19 Recovery Program. The Center is the only specialty heart, lung, and vascular hospital in the state.

  Steven Magnotta who resides in the New Egypt section of Plumsted, contracted the coronavirus in late December. “I had pneumonia for four weeks, constant chills, loss of smell and insomnia.” Although he said he is now feeling better he knew he needed some post-COVID-19 recovery care.

   “I want to feel better, and I want to get checked out to make sure I have no long-term damage. By taking the step to come to Deborah’s Post-COVID-19 Recovery Program I am giving myself a boost to fully heal,” Magnotta said.

  The facility is an alliance member of the Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. This new pulmonary medicine program – under the medical direction of Dr. Andrew Martin, Deborah’s Chair, Pulmonary Medicine – is specially designed to address the present, and emerging, health problems of patients who have had COVID-19, and who have tested  negative for the virus. 

  Patients in the program receive a thorough evaluation, followed by a diagnosis and individualized treatment plan which addresses either the continuing health problems of those who never fully recovered from their initial bout of the virus; or for the brand-new, previously undiagnosed, medical problems which have emerged post-COVID-19.

  The program will integrate other specialties in the treatment plan of the patient as deemed necessary, including cardiology, hematology, radiology, pulmonary rehab, and physical therapy.

  Deborah’s Vice-President of Pulmonary Services John Hill, said the program was designed to fill a critical community need.

  He said, “we have already seen many patients presenting with lingering effects of the virus. These patients are no longer contagious, but they still don’t feel right.

  “Their breathing may be labored, they may still be weak, and they may have a myriad of other conditions. We want to work with these patients to help them recover as much of their strength and functionality as possible,” Hill added. “After a year of studying the coronavirus, we now know that COVID-19 is exceptionally hard on the body, and recovery is not as simple as getting over the flu, especially if during your illness, you needed to be on a ventilator.

   “This is just the beginning. I suspect we are going to be dealing with the effects from COVID for many years in the future. Deborah is well positioned to play a key regional role in post-COVID recovery,” Hill said.

   Patient eligibility includes:

  • Previously tested positive for COVID-19 and were not hospitalized, but who continue to experience respiratory symptoms more than six weeks following infection or
  • Hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 or
  • A pre-existing underlying lung disease and who had COVID, and
  • Currently testing COVID- negative for an active infection

  For additional information concerning Deborah’s Post-COVID Recovery Clinic, visit or call 609-621-2080 to make an appointment.