In an early afternoon press conference, Governor Greg Gianforte announced the opening of Montana’s first state-sponsored monoclonal antibody (mAb) clinic at St. James Healthcare in Butte.
“Monoclonal antibody treatments are a life-saving tool to treat COVID-19 in vulnerable Montanans, reduce the strain on our hospitals, and open up ICU beds for the most critical patients,” Gov. Gianforte said. “This state-facilitated clinic is a model of what can be done in other communities around Montana, and we stand ready to help other facilities and communities get them up and running.”
The new clinic will be run using staff and resources from a third-party with whom the state contracted to free up hospital resources. It will be open to eligible, at-risk Montanans with a referral from their medical provider.
While promoting the use of monoclonal antibodies as early, life-saving treatment, the governor also underscored the importance of more Montanans choosing to get vaccinated.
“While we know monoclonal antibodies are a proven method of life-saving treatment, vaccines offer a proven method of life-saving prevention,” Gov. Gianforte continued. “While we will not mandate vaccines in Montana, the best long-term solution to this crisis is for Montanans to talk with their trusted health care provider and get vaccinated.”
Joining the governor at the press conference was director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPPHS) Adam Meier, acting state medical officer Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek, and St. James chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Davenport.