Grant from The California Wellness Foundation to Expand Safety Net Healthcare Program in LA County

Santa Barbara, CA (November 17, 2010) — Direct Relief International has received a grant totaling $175,000 from The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) to fund the expansion of Direct Relief USA’s programs in Los Angeles County. Direct Relief USA is the largest and only nonprofit program of its kind to distribute donated medicines and medical supplies free of charge to community clinics and health centers serving low-income and uninsured people in all 50 U.S. states.

The three-year TCWF grant, totaling $175,000, will support core operating costs of Direct Relief USA’s Replenishment Program, a unique initiative to improve patient care and efficiency at community clinics and health centers in Los Angeles County serving low-income and uninsured patients. Once a clinic is enrolled, medications dispensed to qualified patients are replenished based on the past month’s drug utilization.

“We are grateful to The California Wellness Foundation, whose help will enable us to provide more resources for people without health insurance who are living in our State,” said Damon Taugher, Director of Direct Relief USA. “This grant is an important investment in Direct Relief’s Replenishment Program, which is already helping our clinic partners improve their ability to care for patients and reduce their financial and administrative burdens.”

Direct Relief has developed partnerships with multiple healthcare manufacturers that currently donate medications and supplies, and leverages these economies of scale to offer products to clinics on a consistent basis, through a single source, and at no cost.

Direct Relief USA has piloted the Replenishment Program with four clinics comprising 31 sites in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties in California. Together, these clinics provide care to over 100,000 patients annually in nearly 475,000 encounters.  As part of this project, Direct Relief will expand the scope of the Replenishment Program to additional clinics within Los Angeles County.

Through this grant from The California Wellness Foundation, Direct Relief will be able to increase benefits for both the clinics it works with and the patients they serve.  For the patients, Direct Relief will ensure that they have increased access to needed medicine. For the clinics, Direct Relief’s program will provide increased efficiency in the process of ordering and receiving medications as well as an ongoing, reliable source of medication..

To date, Direct Relief USA has provided more than $200 million (wholesale) worth of medicines and supplies to more than 1,100 partner community clinics and health centers in the U.S., including more than 10 million needed prescriptions.

About The California Wellness Foundation
Created in 1992 as a private, independent foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. For more information, please visit www.calwellness.org.

About Direct Relief International
Founded in 1948, Direct Relief is a Santa Barbara, California-based nonprofit organization focused on improving quality of life by bringing critically needed medicines and supplies to local healthcare providers worldwide. Direct Relief has provided more than $1 billion in privately funded humanitarian aid since 2000, including more than $200 million in assistance in the United States. It has earned a fundraising efficiency score of 99 percent or better from Forbes for the past eight years, and is ranked by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as California’s largest international nonprofit organization based on private support. For more information, please visit www.DirectRelief.org.

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