WKYT Investigates: UK HealthCare’s ICU Recovery Unit
A small clinic on UK HealthCare’s campus gained big popularity during the pandemic.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A small clinic on UK HealthCare’s campus gained big popularity during the pandemic.
The ICU Recovery Clinic became many COVID-19 patients’ lifeline after leaving the hospital. It went from accepting a couple of new patients a month to about 20 new patients a month.
For the first time ever, our cameras are taking you inside those patients’ first stop - UK’s Medical ICU.
Dr. Ashley Montgomery-Yates walks the halls of the 9th and 10th floors at UK Chandler Hospital almost daily. She’s in charge of the medical intensive care units, the MICUs, and she looks after the most vulnerable COVID patients.
“During the height of COVID our entire clinic was all COVID patients,” notes nurse practitioner Melissa Soper.
She says the patients in the MICU, the ones they refer to their ICU recovery clinic, have had long hospitalizations, sometimes weeks spent under the care of a specific team of professionals. When they leave the MICU, they’re no longer under the watch of that team on a daily basis. They’re in a new world of patient care.
“They left rehab and went home and went, ‘oh my gosh. I have 18 medicines, 17 doctors have seen me and they’ve all told me something different. I can’t walk. I really don’t remember anything,’” says Dr. Montgomery-Yates.
She saw a need pre-COVID and started the clinic in 2013. In 2020, she realized her patients were getting younger.
“COVID hit a whole different spectrum of the population. It was a lot of young, healthy people who hadn’t ever been sick,” she says.
The work is not fast or easy, but Dr. Yates says patients’ stories of success keep her going.
“We try to get cards and pictures and things so that everybody feels like the work we’re doing really does have an impact on people’s lives,” she says.
Dr. Montgomery-Yates is working to make clinics like UK’s more widely available. When it launched in 2013, it was only the third of its kind in the nation.
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