Lasting effects of Long COVID-19 is no joke

A new committee charged with treating the effects of Long COVID-19 in the Monteregie region hasn’t yet treated any Kahnawake community members, but they are ready, willing and able to do so.

The Co-Vie program – which follows patients with Long COVID-19 symptoms and creates a personalized rehabilitation plan for them – has been put in place at Anna-Laberge Hospital in Chateauguay and in other CISSS Monteregie-Ouest facilities, in an effort to help those patients recover more easily.

“Every patient that comes in (with Long COVID-19 symptoms) gets evaluated by a professional immediately,” said Co-Vie team manager Stephanie Lariviere. “Then, they are diagnosed and given a personalized path for treatment and are followed assiduously. Our team is able to work in English as well as French so we are able to respond to the needs of the Kahnawake community.”

Recently, Anna-Laberge Hospital inaugurated a cultural safe space for its Indigenous clientele in an effort to help Kahnawake community members feel more comfortable visiting the facility for treatment.

“We want our Indigenous clientele to know that they will be treated as individuals and with great care if they are experiencing those symptoms,” Lariviere said. “Each client that comes in will be treated individually with a customized treatment plan,” with follow-ups being done by individual case workers.

The program has already supported more than 675 patients, the CISSS said.

Long COVID-19 is a condition where people have new, returning or ongoing symptoms that persist for more than four weeks after COVID-19 infection. Some common symptoms of Long COVID-19 are shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, elevated heart rate, chest pain, brain fog, headache, cough, fatigue and other similar symptoms. If Long COVID-19 limits one or more of daily activities such as eating, working, walking, then it may be considered a disability.

The Co-Vie team was recently honoured by the provincial government for its innovation, receiving a provincial award late last month from Health Minister Christian Dube.

CISSS-Monteregie-Ouest board of directors’ chair Philippe Gribeauval said the agency is proud of its employees and management team

“We are particularly proud of the volume of clients we have already helped with this program,” he said. “It’s been able to see the light of day because of the collective implication of all our teams, our interdisciplinary work and the involvement of our clientele. We are humbled and proud to be honoured in this way, knowing we have already helped hundreds of people improve their quality of life, and I congratulate all those who were involved no matter how large or small their involvement.”

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase