Sep 162014

Charlotte, NC – Sept. 26, 2013 – Through the generosity of the Triangle North Healthcare Foundation (TNHF), NC MedAssist will be able to expand services in Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties. TNHF has awarded NC MedAssist $21,600 to provide free prescription medication and educational services to the poor and uninsured in these areas.

TNHF is a new grant-making organization established as a result of the sale of Maria Parham Medical Center to the Duke-Lifepoint organization. “This was their first grant-making cycle and we feel very honored to receive such strong support”, says Lori Giang, NC MedAssist Executive Director. This award comes at a time when the Affordable Care Act will affect health insurance coverage for many North Carolinians. But because the NC Legislature did not expand Medicaid, those with very low income will still be left uninsured and in need of access to medication. “The poorest of the poor are going to be left without coverage under the ACA come January 1,” Giang says. “They can continue to come to MedAssist for their prescription medication and this funding gives us the opportunity to serve more of those in need in these counties.”

NC MedAssist partners with safety-net providers in the area, providing no-cost medications to patients of Franklin Volunteers in Medicine and Rural Health Network in Henderson. Clients referred to MedAssist by these clinics are not able to afford their prescribed medication and are left with the dire choice of buying their medicine or groceries for the month. NC MedAssist is able to eliminate this choice and improve the health status of these patients. “We are pleased to be able to partner with NC MedAssist to expand its services to those in need in our region. This new partnership couldn’t be more timely with the expanding uninsured population in our region and the growing healthcare needs in our communities” says Val Short, the Executive Director of TNHF.

The need for access to medication in North Carolina is great. There are 33,000 uninsured people in the TNHF service area and more than 1.5 million across the state. Nearly 10,000 people in need received services from NC MedAssist last year, with more than 167,000 prescriptions dispensed at a value of almost $21 million (Average Wholesale Price). The annual savings to the community by providing this service is $25 million in avoided healthcare costs.

“Bottom line – this funding will save lives and make our community a healthier place,” Giang says. “We are so grateful to the Triangle North Healthcare Foundation for seeing the value in our mission and giving us the opportunity to improve the health for those in their area.”

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