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Gov. Ducey grants $60 million to hospital staffing, monoclonal treatments

Tucson Medical Center became the second treatment center nationwide in January to focus solely...
Tucson Medical Center became the second treatment center nationwide in January to focus solely on monoclonal treatments.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 4:00 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Gov. Doug Ducey is sending $60 million to Arizona healthcare facilities that combat COVID-19 hospitalizations, his office announced Wednesday, Sept. 1.

“Arizona’s health care professionals and all frontline workers are heroes, without a doubt,” Ducey said in a news release. “We are working to make sure they have the resources they need. This funding opportunity will decrease stress on existing hospital staff, increase hiring opportunities and decrease the risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona. I’m grateful to all the nurses, doctors, first responders, frontline workers and everyone supporting and protecting our fellow Arizonans during this health emergency.”

The money will be distributed by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Hospitals are seeing an usually high number of patients, even though the COVID vaccine has caused a lower proportion of hospitalized coronavirus patients than in previous waves.

Hospitals are also experiencing staffing shortages, and healthcare providers are in high demand across the country. The $60 million is intended to help Arizona hospitals find temporary staff and alleviate stress on existing staff.

“They are exhausted yet continue to step-up in the most heroic ways. The high volume of patients compounded by the shortage of doctors and nurses across the country is creating intense competition for a limited pool of nurses nationwide,” Dignity Health Southwest Division President and CEO Linda Hunt was quoted as saying. I am grateful for Governor Ducey’s actions today to bring more health care workers to Arizona as we navigate through this latest surge. This effort will help provide the relief desperately needed for our most valued resource — our staff.”

The facilities that can receive funding use “proven techniques” against the virus, including giving monoclonal (antibodies) treatments and offering vaccines at discharge, according to a news release.

Monoclonal treatments are designed to block the virus from attaching and getting inside human cells, and can be used on mild to moderate COVID-19 cases.

Tucson Medical Center became the second treatment center nationwide in January to focus solely on monoclonal treatments.

“Since it opened earlier this month, the TMC center has infused 600 patients. None has had allergic reactions to the medication and anecdotally, about 1% have been admitted to the hospital, though actual outcome data is not yet available,” Mimi Coomler, the hospital’s chief operating officer, was quoted as saying.”

Previously, Ducey granted $85 million to hospital staff in November and December.

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