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BD Awards $1 Million in Grants to Help Community Health Centers Drive Effective Medication Use Among Vulnerable Patients

Five community health centers will expand programs that help vulnerable patients manage their medications.



Pharmacist Sarah Boswell checks a patient's blood pressure at Cherokee Health in Knoxville, Tennessee. The center was honored last year for its work around medication therapy management. Five other health centers were honored for their work this week, and were awarded $200,000 each to fund similar projects to help vulnerable patients manage their health. (Photo by Donnie Hedden for Direct Relief)

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Direct Relief, and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) recently awarded five community health centers with a total of $1 million in grant funding, which will be used to expand programs that help vulnerable patients more effectively manage their medications.

This funding is part of the BD Helping Build Healthy Communities program. The initiative, funded by BD and implemented together by Direct Relief and NACHC, provides awards to eligible community health centers to support innovative approaches to health care for underserved and vulnerable populations.

This year, BD invested a total of $1 million in the program, by issuing $200,000 grants to each of this year’s five community health center winners. Each of this year’s grant winners will use the funding to expand team-based, pharmacist-led models of care to reach vulnerable patients in their communities.

“Community health centers play an integral role in providing quality care to underinsured and uninsured patients who may not otherwise have access to health care,” said Vincent A. Forlenza, chairman and CEO of BD. “Community health centers understand the unique needs of the patients they serve and are already developing innovative care models to meet those needs. The goal of this funding is to help health centers expand their innovative care models to reach an even broader population of patients.”

The following winners were chosen from a field of 50 community health centers who applied for this competitive grant program:

  • Baldwin Family Health Centers, Baldwin, Mich. – Honored for its Hypertension Compliance through Medication Intervention program, which combines a comprehensive medication review and medication synchronization through a pharmacy appointment-based model. At the time of medication pick-up, the pharmacist reviews medications and works with the prescribing physician to adjust dosages and medications as necessary. More than 300 patients with uncontrolled hypertension are targeted through this program, which aims to reduce each patient’s blood pressure within six months of enrollment.
  • Consejo de Salud de Puerto Rico, Ponce, Puerto Rico – Recognized for Viviendo a Plenitud, (“Living Life Fully”), the only medication therapy management program of its kind in Puerto Rico. Led by a doctor of pharmacy, and in partnership with case managers, registered nurses, endocrinologists, cardiologists and other providers, more than 500 patients with uncontrolled diabetes will learn how to better manage their medications. The program aims to help people with diabetes lower A1C levels and prevent serious complications and adverse events caused by medication misuse.
  • The Dimock Center, Roxbury, Mass. – Recognized for its Difference in Diabetes program, which uses population health data to identify the community’s most at-risk patients with diabetes. Following a comprehensive medication review and point-of-care testing with a pharmacist and endocrinologist, patients receive tailored medication plans and follow-up on a weekly basis, with the goal of reducing A1C levels.
  • Queens Care Health Centers, Los Angeles, Calif. – Honored for its Bringing Medication Management Therapy to the Patient program, which expands an already successful medication therapy management program to reach 1,000 patients with uncontrolled diabetes. A bilingual care team, led by a pharmacist, offers strategies to improve medication adherence, insulin adherence and diabetes self-monitoring.
  • Santa Rosa Community Health, Santa Rosa, Calif. – Awarded for its Chronic Pain and Opioid Tapering Clinic, which incorporates a pharmacist into opioid screenings and treatment plans for patients dealing with addiction. The program aims to reduce opioid prescriptions and incorporate Narcan distribution while providing deeper oversight to identify potentially harmful interactions between multiple medications.

“As we celebrate the mission and accomplishments of health centers, we are also grateful for our partnership with Direct Relief and BD,” said Malvise A. Scott, senior vice president for Partnership and Resource Development at NACHC. “Collaborations like these help amplify and expand the groundbreaking work of health centers in reducing chronic disease and promoting wellness in some of America’s most challenged communities.”

Since the launch of the BD Helping Build Healthy Communities program in 2013, $4.6 million in grants have been presented to 36 health centers in 19 states, each recognizing innovative health programs that have collectively reached more than 50,000 patients. In addition, BD has donated more than 22.6 million insulin syringes and 3,200 pen needles – valued at $6.4 million – to more than 1,200 community health centers, free clinics and community clinics in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

“Each year, more than 28 million Americans receive care at health centers, where the country’s most vulnerable patients access care that otherwise wouldn’t be available,” said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief. “Direct Relief applauds BD and NACHC’s pledge to bolster innovative solutions to patient care.”

2018 award winners were honored in Orlando, Florida, on
2018 award winners were honored in Orlando, Florida on August 26. (Courtesy photo)

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