Essentia Health offers post COVID-19 rehabilitation program

We're not just guessing at what the patient needs help with, we're letting real data drive how we're deciding to help them."

NORTH DAKOTA & MINNESOTA (KVRR) — Essentia Health launches a COVID-19 patient rehabilitation program for those suffering with long term effects from the virus.

“I tell people he’s our blueprint. We know how to get somebody better with COVID from about as bad as you can have it and be as worn down from it as you can be,” Essentia Health Outpatient Rehab Services Manager Troy Schmitz said.

Eighty-seven-year-old Ray Schmitz was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October. He’s been in the hospital ever since.

“He was ventilated for 55 days, came off the vent and then he got pneumonia. He was hospitalized for 100 days and he’s been with us for 106,” Troy said.

Fortunately for Ray his strong mindset got him through the toughest of hurdles as he undergoes post COVID rehab therapy.

“I wanted to get into this therapy so bad because I knew that they could help me just to get better, get back on my feet to get independent, to get back with my wife. I guess that was my own mindset when I got here,” COVID-19 rehab patient Ray Schmitz said.

As one of the first few in the new program, Ray’s story is a successful one.

“So, we’ve learned a ton from him and it’s going to be different for everyone. The program we’ve created to figure out how to help him is we’ve gathered all these different tests that are standardized and have objective data that back them up. Whether that’s endurance, their balance, their strength. So, we’re not just guessing at what the patient needs help with, we’re letting real data drive how we’re deciding to help them,” Troy said.

After overcoming so much, Ray says he’s feeling a lot better and is looking forward to going back home.

“I recommend this to anybody and of course I’m waiting to go home so I can have some of my venison,” Ray said.

Ray is expected to be discharged Thursday morning.

The rehabilitation program is available for all ages and people are encouraged to check with their insurance providers for coverage.

In Fargo, people can call Essentia Health at 701-364-3000. In Detroit Lakes, people can call the Essentia Health St. Mary’s Therapy Center in Detroit Lakes at 218-847-0883. In other Essentia Health service areas, please call your local clinic.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Minnesota News, North Dakota News