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Capital Health Launches COVID-19 Antibody Testing Initiative

Trenton, NJ - Before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, it was clear that health care workers on the front lines were at an extremely high risk for infection. As health care organizations in New Jersey and around the country confronted the crisis and began providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), education, and guidance to their teams, Capital Health worked to advance mitigation efforts further by developing a COVID-19 blood antibody screening program. The research began by assessing the presence of COVID-19 immunity in Capital Health’s workforce.

A person infected with COVID- 19 produces specific IgG antibodies that can be detected in blood samples, whether they’re exhibiting mild symptoms, a serious illness, or no symptoms at all. The presence of this specific antibody indicates that a person has produced an immune response to COVID-19.

“Testing for the presence of the IgG antibody among our employees was a natural starting point for this study. Like health care workers all over the world, they’re looking at this health crisis in the eye every day,” said Dr. Eugene McMahon, chief medical officer at Capital Health. “As the medical community’s understanding of COVID-19 evolves, we believe that our antibody testing research will assist health care providers and patients alike.”

Led by Patrick De Deyne, PhD, director of Clinical Research at Capital Health, the IgG antibody research initiative began in mid-April with more than 1,200 employee volunteers contributing blood samples for the study. Capital Health then partnered with FlowMetric, Inc., a biotechnical laboratory located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to create a screening program that follows the industry’s exacting protocols and high ethical standards. Through this collaboration, Capital Health demonstrates how regional medical centers have important roles in the development of new diagnostics and treatments in medicine. After making each volunteer aware of their immune status, the goal of this study is to inform the medical community about the existence of immunity to COVID-19 in health care settings and eventually the population at large.

“In order to continue to deliver the level of care that the people of central New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania expect, Capital Health needs to support its employees,” said Dr. Robert Remstein, director of Accountable Care at Capital Health. ”So far, the study has yielded significant information from employees at Capital Health, much of which can be applied to epidemiologic studies of the community and beyond.”

Drs. McMahon, Remstein and De Deyne are available for interviews. For more information about the Capital Health IgG antibody research initiative, contact the Public Relations Department at 609-394-6091 or [email protected].

About Capital Health

Capital Health is the Central New Jersey/Lower Bucks County region’s leader in providing progressive, quality patient care. Comprised of two hospitals (Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton and Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell), a Hamilton outpatient facility, and various primary and specialty care practices across the region, Capital Health is a dynamic healthcare resource accredited by DNV GL – Healthcare, and a four-time Magnet-designated health system for nursing excellence.

Bios

Eugene J. McMahon, MD, MBA, FCAP
Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer

As chief medical officer (CMO), Dr. Eugene McMahon is responsible for ensuring the provision of high quality and efficient medical care at Capital Health. He serves as the primary liaison between hospital administration and medical staff. As a member of Capital Health’s senior management team, he provides medical practice delivery development, implementation and evaluation in accordance with the goals of Capital Health’s medical programs.

Dr. McMahon’s expertise includes implementing successful clinical and physician practice models; recruiting strong physician and clinical team members; building alignment among medical staff members and other healthcare professionals behind shared goals; improving efficiency and quality; and managing resources in an effective manner to drive long-term growth for organizations.

Dr. McMahon is a board certified pathologist and began his practice in 1994 in Milwaukee. His experience includes serving as the leader of an 18-person Pathology and Laboratory Medicine practice and serving on five medical staffs in the Milwaukee area. Dr. McMahon is also a licensed physician in several states. Prior to becoming president & CEO at Saint Joseph Hospital (Chicago, IL), Dr. McMahon served in a series of progressive leadership positions, including chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at other healthcare institutions.

Dr. McMahon graduated cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, with a bachelor’s degree in economics and pre-medicine, before earning his MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C. Following an internal medicine internship at Columbia University, New York, he completed a residency in pathology and laboratory medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. Dr. McMahon also holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

Robert Remstein, DO, MBA
Vice President, Accountable Care
Designated Institutional Official for Graduate Medical Education

As the Vice President for Accountable Care, Dr. Remstein is responsible for Capital Health’s moves toward becoming a leader in population health. He works with other members of the hospital leadership team to develop the outpatient network, and programs that address clinical integration across the care continuum; helping Capital Health to remain competitive in the changing health care environment.

As the Designated Institutional Official, Dr. Remstein oversees the education and training of all medical students and resident physicians at Capital Health. He is guiding the growth of graduate medical education at Capital to become an academic medical center.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Remstein served as vice president of Medical Affairs at Capital Health. He has been a member of the Capital Health medical staff for more than 27 years serving in many voluntary leadership positions. Dr. Remstein is a founding member and current president of the Trenton Health Team, an organization supported by Capital Health to further the development of an urban accountable care organization. His background as a physician practicing in the community, coupled with his successful experience in working with his colleagues on the Capital Health medical staff on matters ranging from the clinical to administrative, uniquely qualifies him for this important position.

Dr. Remstein received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at Albert Einstein Medical Center, PA. He previously served as Medical Director of Henry J. Austin Health Care Center in Trenton, and was a founding member of Mercer Internal Medicine Associates. He is also a practicing internist and is the Medical Director of Capital Health Primary Care – Newtown, Pennsylvania.

Patrick G. De Deyne, MPT, MS, PhD
Director of Clinical Research at Capital Health

Patrick De Deyne, MPT, PhD is the Director of Clinical Research at Capital Health System, Inc. where he leads the research strategy, clinical research operations, and regulatory affairs. He manages a portfolio that encompasses physician-initiated research as well as sponsored trials from industry and the federal government.

Dr. De Deyne has a professional background in academic research and teaching as well as industry experience in the development of innovative therapies. Dr. De Deyne received graduate training in Physical Therapy, Biomechanics (MSc), Anatomy & Cell Biology (PhD), and Clinical Research Methods from several Universities in the USA and in EU. His doctoral training led him to the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he had faculty appointments in the Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Physiology and subsequently his academic endeavors led him to research and development initiatives with progressive levels of responsibilities in Regenerative Medicine at Johnson & Johnson and then functioned as the Director of R&D at LifeCell (now Allergan). He returned to academics when he joined Temple University School of Medicine where he led Clinical Research Development for the Temple Clinical Research Institute. Dr. De Deyne has published more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts, holds several invention disclosures, and has been an invited speaker at multiple international conferences.