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Community Health Centers Awarded $1.2 Million to Help Vulnerable Patients More Effectively Manage Medications


Community Health

“Without the support of BD and Direct Relief I wouldn’t be able to spend so much time with the patients and provide this type of (collaborative) practice model.” Lisa Tackett PharmD, a clinical pharmacist at Neighborhood Health in Nashville Tennessee, conducts a consultation with a patient. A award from BD and Direct Relief has made it possible for Lisa to transition from a traditional retail pharmacists role into a patient interfacing role as clinical pharmacist. PHOTO: DONNIE HEDDEN

BD, along with Direct Relief and the National Association of Community Health Centers recently honored six community health centers in the U.S. with the “Innovations in Care” award. The award recognizes health centers in low-resource areas for their success in identifying and assisting vulnerable people manage complex chronic diseases.

The award-winning programs each also received a $200,000 grant award to build upon their successful work, which include a common element of holistic, team-based care, and the close involvement of pharmacists in educating and counseling patients.

The total of $1.2 million in grant awards was provided through the BD Helping Build Healthy Communities™ initiative, which is funded by BD and implemented jointly by Direct Relief and NACHC. The initiative seeks to identify, highlight, and provide financial awards to build upon successful approaches developed in community health centers in their mission to provide quality, accessible health care to underserved populations throughout the U.S.

This year’s awardees were announced during NACHC’s annual Community Health Institute in Chicago, which brings together more than 2,200 community health leaders who collectively provide care to more than 28 million people throughout the country.

“Every day, community health centers are on the front lines providing compassionate, quality health care to the most vulnerable patients in neighborhoods across the U.S.,” said Vince Forlenza, chairman and CEO of BD. “Each of this year’s Innovations in Care award winners has already implemented proven strategies for helping patients better manage chronic disease. This funding will help expand these successful programs, allowing care givers to reach more patients in their communities.”

The following Innovations in Care Award winners were selected with guidance from a national expert panel of clinical pharmacists in the field of Medication Therapy Management:

  • Cornell Scott – Hill Health Corporation, New Haven, Connecticut: If diabetic patients skip doses of prescribed medications, don’t take their medication as instructed, or take incompatible medications, they experience poor outcomes. The Medication Therapy Management Expansion program at Cornell Scott-Hill Health Corporation focuses on medication compliance and improved health outcomes for diabetic patients. The BD Helping Build Healthy Communities awards will enable expansion of the program to 420 additional patients.
  • Henry J. Austin Health Center, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey: Low health literacy and medication adherence are among the many challenges facing patients at Henry J. Austin Health Center. The center will use the BD award funding for a pharmacist-led program to better engage, educate, and treat more residents in the Trenton area.
  • Maple City Health Center, Inc., Goshen, Indiana: Patients often arrive at Maple City Health Center with years of unattended health needs including high rates of uncontrolled diabetes. The center intends to use the award grant to expand its pharmacy staff, with an emphasis on reducing the rate of uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Mountain Park Health Center, Phoenix, Arizona: The health center will use its award grant to extend its medication management program to more patients. The program is led by patient-centric care teams offering an array of clinical services, including face-to-face pharmacy visits, medication reviews, patient education, support services, and immunization administration.
  • North County Health Services, San Marcos, California: The health center intends to use its award grant to integrate telepharmacy and mobile technology into its services, as well as centralize its communication systems. In doing so, the health center aims to improve patient engagement and better troubleshoot medication non-compliance issues.
  • Urban Health Plan, Inc., Bronx, New York: The health center aims to use its award funding to improve the health and quality of life of elderly patients and their caregivers through an integrated care team conducting proactive screenings to identify and address patients’ unique needs.

“It’s privilege for Direct Relief to work with NACHC and be part of this extraordinary example of leadership by BD to find, recognize, and award these terrific efforts developed by community health centers that improve the health and lives of people with challenging health conditions,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief president and CEO.

“Health centers are expected to serve a record 29 million patients in the next year. Partnerships with Direct Relief and BD are critical to our mission of solving public health problems with innovation and technology,” said Malvise A. Scott, Senior Vice President for Partnership and Resource Development at NACHC. “Collaborations like these are an additional source of support for the groundbreaking work health centers perform when it comes to 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, BD has invested $5.8 million in grants, which have been presented to 39 health centers in 20 states. In addition, BD has donated more than 33 million insulin syringes and 713,00 pen needles to more than 1,272 community health centers, free clinics and community clinics in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Island with a wholesale value of $9.5 million. This program’s cash and product donations are estimated to have impacted 450,000 patients across the United States.

For more information about the 2019 Helping build Healthy Communities’ awardees, visit www.directrelief.org/bdhbhc.

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