DURANT, Okla. (September 1, 2021) – The Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina, Okla. has begun treating patients infected with COVID-19 with the REGEN-COV™ infusion therapy. The treatment is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) similar to the three available COVID-19 vaccinations.
The REGEN-COV™ treatment will currently be available for tribal citizens with a Certified Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card and Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority (CNHSA) associates. "We are purposefully starting with a limited patient base to ensure we are optimizing the process to provide the best possible care to our patients. We hope to open the therapy to further segments of the population quickly," explains Todd Hallmark, Executive Officer of Health.
"Being able to give this infusion to our patients is a big step in being able to treat them for COVID-19 before they reach a level in the disease process which would require hospitalization. Working with our CNHSA physicians, patients will be screened to make sure they fit the criteria for the REGEN-COV™ drug therapy and be quickly scheduled for their infusion," says Jason Hill, D.O., Chief Medical Officer.
For many, this therapy could change their future. "It was a game-changer for my family members," says Casey Smittle, a CNHSA associate. "My cousin and her husband were sick with COVID-19 to the point they needed medical attention. Their physician recommended they get the infusion therapy, and within a day, they felt healthy again."
Patients experiencing serious COVID-19 symptoms but are not on oxygen should speak to their healthcare provider about the infusion to determine if the therapy is an appropriate course of action. Physicians and their designees can refer patients with a CDIB card to the Talihina facility by calling 918-567-7000.
To review the EUA for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals REGEN-COV™, visit https://www.fda.gov/media/145612/download.
About The Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 200,000 tribal members and 10,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, "Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture," is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage and traditions, please go to www.choctawnation.com.