The more things change the more things seem to stay the same. COVID is here for the near future. Until this is widespread effective vaccination our CF community remains at high risk from this virus. The MSU CF center is doing everything we can to monitor current best practices and follow the CF Foundations recommendations. Telehealth visits are going well. We encourage you to schedule an appointment if you have not already. We are doing drive by CF cultures when possible. Home spirometers are available in limited quantities from the CF foundation if needed. We are trying to adapt.
We do not anticipate in person visits anytime before July for our CF population. Until there is more widespread testing and contact tracing the risk to our patients is still unacceptably high for routine follow-up care. In the event someone is having trouble, we are able to order COVID testing, to a telehealth visit, and potentially perform a sick visit if testing is negative. These are all going to be done on a patient by patient basis depending on symptoms and severity.
We have had some staffing changes to report as well. Our long time dietitian Michele has moved on to a different position within the university in a teaching role. We will miss her tremendously both her experience and he kindness and willingness to go out of her way for the patients of our center. She has been replaced by Kent Clark an experience CF dietitian who is doing a wonderful job. Our social worker and mental health coordinator Erin has also moved on to a new position closer to home. This was certainly unexpected and she will be missed. She had an incredible rapport with patients and a comprehensive knowledge of the resources available for them. A position in in the process of being posted for a replacement but this it has been delayed by the COVID hiring freeze.
On a much happier note, the CF fighters have been very active in a positive way. They provided paint to help us redo our clinic's paint. Out team members worked long and hard to finish the painting. The rooms are colorful, themed and turned out beautifully. Eric posted a video on Facebook for those who are interested in seeing it. Additionally, the CF fighters sent out gift card to all of our patients in this difficult time. I can not begin to express my gratitude for this. We had patient and families in tears they were so thankful.
We appreciate your patience in this trying time. We will make it though this as a team.
Ryan Thomas, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Director, MSU Cystic Fibrosis Center
Department of Pediatrics and Human Development
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine