Madonna TherapyPlus

Post-COVID Rehabilitation Clinic

Post-COVID Patient Stories

Ali O’Connor came down with COVID-19 in November 2021, but she continued to experience lingering and disruptive symptoms for months. Learn how she later found relief and inspiration at Madonna’s outpatient post-COVID clinic. Read her story here

Virginia Chaidez, Ph.D., RD, is using her two decades of experience as a community-based researcher and registered dietitian to help other long COVID patients. As the new translational research director of nutrition sciences at Madonna’s Institute of Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, she’s one of the newest members of the multidisciplinary team involved in Madonna’s post-COVID rehabilitation program, where she aims to understand how nutrition can play a role in the recovery of long COVID survivors. Read more here

Nearly three years after first contracting COVID-19, Sherri Magnett was still dealing with effects of post-COVID. She says she felt like people didn’t believe her when she described some of her symptoms. But, at Madonna’s post-COVID clinic, she says she felt validation. “It’s great to not think you’re crazy,” Sherri said. “It’s wonderful to not have people look at you like there’s something wrong with you and for the clinicians to go, ‘Yeah, we hear that. Yes, that’s common.’” Read her story here

Just a few months before COVID-19 vaccines were available, 30-year-old Grace Troupe caught the virus in 2020. She had a relatively mild case, with a few days of fatigue and cold-like symptoms. Still, Grace has never fully recovered. Read her story here

Madonna's Post-COVID Care Expertise

Patients are seen daily by a hospitalist, which is a board certified internal medicine practitioner.

A physiatrist, also known as a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, specializes in the rehabilitative treatment and management of disease and injury affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. The primary focus is to restore function and promote overall health.

The neuropsychologist measures a patient’s thinking skills, like memory and problem solving, to help maximize a patient’s recovery. A neuropsychologist may need to help a patient understand their injury and determine ways to overcome limitations.

The rehabilitation registered nurse is specifically trained to provide higher level nursing care to patients with physical disabilities recovering from an accident or injury.

A physical therapist (PT) works with patients to regain mobility skills like walking, balancing, sitting and standing.

An occupational therapist (OT) helps patients develop skills necessary to transition back home. These skills include dressing, bathing, toileting and eating, as well as homemaking and community skills. The OT works with arm and shoulder strengthening, vision changes and higher level thinking skills such as problems solving tasks, and job-related skills.

Speech-language pathologists (SLP) work with patients on speaking, understanding, and learning. They also assess the patient’s ability to eat and swallow.

A recreation therapist uses play strategically with patients to regain physical or mental skills. The recreation therapist can also help a patient return to life more fully by returning to a sport or hobby or finding a new one.

The case manager coordinates all of the options and services a patient may need during recovery. The case manager is an advocate, communicator, and resource manager promoting high quality and cost-effective interventions.

The social worker ensures that patient rights are upheld and that patients are involved in their treatment plans. They meet with the patient and family regularly to help ensure a smooth transition home.

Mission Services provides spiritual and religious support by offering daily Catholic Mass and regular non-denominational services for patients and patient families. A spiritual care specialist visits regularly with every patient to offer pastoral counseling.

The respiratory therapist provides specialized care for patients with difficulty breathing following illness or injury, and works with the team to wean the individual from a ventilator and/or tracheotomy. 

When a patient arrives at Madonna, a nutritional therapist assesses his or her diet history and food preferences. Throughout a patient’s recovery the nutritional therapist monitors his or her diet to help maintain a healthy weight and energy level.

The education specialist is the liaison between a pediatric patient’s rehabilitation team and their school. To assure a smooth transition back to school, the education specialist meets with the child’s teachers, special educators, and families to build educational strategies and plan for any classroom adaptations. 

A pharmacist provides ongoing medication review and tracks all the medications prescribed for patients during their stay.

Families are encouraged to identify at least one person to receive structured training on how to interact with and care for their loved one. Research shows that patients whose families are actively involved in their recovery have better outcomes.