Huntington, W.Va. <March 31, 2022> Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has launched a nationwide initiative “Test to Treat,” providing individuals rapid access to lifesaving COVID-19 treatment options. Valley Health Systems is participating in this public health initiative designed to reduce infectious disease transmission.
Mathew Weimer, MD, Vice President of Health Services and Chief Medical Officer for Valley Health Systems shared the news with the team, “Valley Health is proud to participate in the nationwide ‘Test to Treat’ initiative, which offers one-stop rapid testing and dispensing of oral antiviral treatment for eligible patients at a number of Valley Health locations. This will streamline the overall process for patients and will allow for more timely treatment, which will be beneficial for many patients and will lead to lifesaving management of COVID-19 for some patients.”
This program is designed to ensure easy access to testing so that patients who have COVID-19 find out early, can isolate appropriately, and are quickly linked to treatment options. “The ability to be tested and obtain treatment in a timely manner has previously been difficult. Turnaround time for tests have been inconsistent and finding a pharmacy with the antivirals in stock has also been challenging,” said Ashley Houvouras, Chief Pharmacy Officer. “With this initiative, patients will be able to receive test results within 15 minutes and, if they qualify, receive treatment before leaving their appointment.”
Valley Health has also received three rapid COVID-19 Antigen analyzers, which also test for Flu A/B simultaneously, along with additional testing supplies from Health Resources and Services Administration. These analyzers are currently placed at the Huntington, Wayne, and Milton locations, but all clinical offices at Valley Health offer testing collected at sites and sent to a dedicated Valley Health lab for both PCR and Antigen testing.
The analyzers come at an opportune time, allowing providers to coordinate with patients and pharmacies to dispense the oral COVID-19 antivirals Paxlovid and molnupiravir, which are available at the East Huntington, Huntington, Milton, and Wayne locations’ in-office pharmacies. If a patient receives a positive test and is eligible based on medical indications, they can receive one of these medications before even leaving the office to provide one-stop care whenever possible.
Valley Health will continue to provide COVID-19 testing at all locations, urge individuals to get vaccinated, and seek care at the start of COVID-19 symptoms. To learn more, visit the Valley Health website at www.valleyhealth.org, their Facebook and Instagram pages, or call your local health center for more information today.