As part of the SPEED Pilot to Administer Monoclonal Antibodies (mAb) across NY state

Upstate HomeCare and Nascentia Health, local community providers of home healthcare services, are pleased to announce their participation in the Special Projects for Equitable and Efficient Distribution (SPEED) pilot. The purpose of the SPEED pilot is to assist in allocating monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to non-hospital facilities that service priority populations, such as Syracuse’s local Loretto facilities. The goal is to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent the progression of the disease early on. With the number of COVID-19 cases rising, concern over hospital overpopulation has become a significant concern in the Syracuse area. If local hospitals are close to filling 90% of total beds, state officials will impose stiff red zone restrictions that would shut down most commercial activity in the Syracuse area. Upstate HomeCare and Nascentia Health are joining forces to assist area hospitals and Loretto facilities to reduce the number of COVID-positive patients and prevent those at risk of being hospitalized. Administration of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to Loretto COVID-positive patients who are at high-risk for severe symptoms and hospitalization will begin in the next few days.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. Bamlanivimab is a monoclonal antibody directed explicitly against the spike protein of COVID-19, designed to block the virus’s attachment and entry into human cells. Bamlanivimab was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment.  These therapies have received widespread national attention after being used to treat the President and other high profile government officials.

The SPEED pilot is an innovative new federal allocation program in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA).

About Upstate HomeCare: Upstate HomeCare, is a regional provider of home healthcare services including pharmacy, infusion therapies, and specialty medications.  Upstate Homecare has five offices located across New York, Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo and is headquartered in Clinton, NY.  The company was founded in 1985 and is celebrating its 36th year in business.  Upstate HomeCare employs over 150 individuals, including pharmacists, nurses, respiratory therapists and many other support personnel.

Gregory LoPresti, Upstate HomeCare’s CEO, is also a board member of NHIA. Upstate was invited to participate in this pilot. “Upstate is proud to stand on the front lines to take part in helping those in our community most in need by participating in this new pilot, decreasing avoidable hospital admissions is priority one” said LoPresti. Upstate HomeCare will start by administering mAbs to patients in select long-term care facilities across New York state as part of this initiative, eventually moving to treat patients at home.

About Nascentia Health: Nascentia Health, formally VNA Homecare, has served as a foundational provider of home and community-based care since 1890 and has been an innovator in the concept of home healthcare, focusing on the patient as a whole and leveraging leading-edge technologies to improve outcomes and quality of life. Specialties include:  in-home care; home health aides and elder care; community health and wellness programs; equipment and innovative care technologies; chronic disease management; and offer both Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) and Medicare Advantage special needs insurance plans.   The system’s catchment area spans 48 counties across Central and Upstate New York with offices located in Albany, Buffalo, Rome, and Syracuse.

Nascentia Health is proud to partner with Upstate HomeCare during these uncertain times in continued support of the health and well-being of our community.

For more information, contact Greg LoPresti, CEO of Upstate HomeCare, at 315-580-4078; or Tammy Lindsay, EVP, Strategic Operations, Nascentia Health at 315-477-9587.