Kristin Young

Greenville Holds Medicine Give Away

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Jun 012015
 

Daily Reflector – Reporter: Michael Abramowitz

Hundreds of people in financial need in Pitt and surrounding counties stocked up Friday on free over-the-counter medications, first-aid products and other home health care supplies thanks to local funding for a statewide program.

Greenville’s first “Over-the-Counter Medicine Giveaway Day” was organized by NC MedAssist and Access East at the Oakmont Medical Clinic on Red Banks Road. The products giveaway was made possible by Vidant Health Foundation and was open to any individual or family with a financial need.

Founded in 1997, NC MedAssist is a statewide nonprofit pharmacy that offers programs to address the needs of North Carolina’s children and adults. Services include free prescription medicines to low-income residents, over-the-counter medicines and senior care programs.

Each participant registered and completed a checklist of their needs based on what products were available. Each received more than $80 worth of OTC products, including allergy relief, pain relief, topical ointments, indigestion relief, first-aid, vitamins and more. While there, people were encouraged to fill out necessary paperwork to qualify for prescription medication assistance.

Since its inception, NC MedAssist has distributed more than $1.6 million dollars of donated OTC medication to North Carolina individuals and clinic partners. All OTC medication is donated to NC MedAssist by Second Harvest Food Bank of the Metrolina. The organization also dispenses more than $20 million worth of free prescription medication to 10,000 low-income North Carolinians each year. Since July 2014, NC MedAssist has dispensed over $132,000 in prescription medications to more than 530 people in Pitt County, Young said.

“There still are individuals in Pitt County that qualify for NC MedAssist’s free pharmacy program and this event will help educate people about available resources,” she said.

NC MedAssist’s overall goal is to help alleviate the strain on the health-care system by providing medications to those who normally use the emergency room for reasons such as fever, minor pain relief and treating cold and flu symptoms.

“Each dollar spent on OTC medication for people who cannot afford them provides a cost savings of $6,” Young said.

The Vidant Health Foundation recognizes the effect that programs like MedAssist and the OTC giveaway day have on community health and cost savings for providers and taxpayers, Kahla Hall, Vidant Health Foundation’s Community Benefit Grants Program director, said.

“By collaborating with NC MedAssist and Access East, we will be able to identify those who are uninsured and not currently using our programs and put them in contact with the right health-care resources,” Hall said.

Alma and Joseph Roberson of Williamston found out about the event from their family physician.

“Thank God I can get some free medications and supplies,” Alma Roberson, 81, said. “A lot of times when I go to pick up a prescription, I can’t afford to get it. This program makes a real difference for me.”

Choosing between buying food or medication is a real issue, Med Assist’s OTC program chairwoman Aiysha Hayes said.

“Our OTC Program is here to ease the burden of such a tough decision,” Hayes said. “We are delighted to be able to give back.”

Linda Jackson Dixon, 66, of Greenville was at the clinic with her goddaughter, who learned of the event from her employer, Greene County Health Care.

“Budgeting for medical needs is so hard for people like me who are on a fixed income,” Dixon said. “I could never have purchased some of these OTC medications on my own. A lot of people will say they care, but these people are doers. I thank God for them.”

For more information on the OTC Program and how to get involved locally with NC MedAssist, visit www.medassist.org. For more information on Vidant Health Foundation, visit www.vidanthealth.com.

Contact Michael Abramowitz at mabramowitz@reflector.com or 252-329-9571.

Greenville OTC Give Away Day

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May 222015
 

NC MedAssist Hosts FREE Over the Counter Medicine Give Away Day in Greenville

Event Made Possible By Vidant Health Foundation and in Collaboration with Access East

Greenville, NC (May 22, 2015) – – NC MedAssist, together with Access East, will hold a free Over the Counter (OTC) Medicine Give Away Day in Greenville on Friday, May 29.   The event, which is made possible by Vidant Health Foundation, is open to any individual or family willing to attest to having a financial need.   The Give Away will be held from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Branches at 1400, Oakmont Medical Clinic (1400 Red Banks Road, Greenville, NC 27858).

This is the first OTC Give Away Day in Greenville and event organizers are planning to serve over 400 individuals. Each participant will receive over $80 worth of OTC product which includes items such as allergy relief, pain relief, indigestion relief, first-aid and vitamins.

“We are honored to be a part of the Over the Counter Medicine Give Away Day,” stated Vidant Health Foundation Community Benefit Grants Program Director Kahla Hall. “By collaborating with NC MedAssist and Access East, we will be able to identify those who are uninsured and not currently using our programs and put them in contact with the right healthcare resources they so desperately need. “

Since July 2014, NC MedAssist has dispensed over $132,000 worth of prescription medications to over 530 people in Pitt County.   However, there are still individuals in Pitt County that qualify for NC MedAssist’s Free Pharmacy Program.   The OTC event will help educate these individuals on what resources are available.

NC MedAssist’s overall goal is to help alleviate the strain on the healthcare system by providing medications to those who normally use the emergency room for reasons such as fever, minor pain relief and treating cold and flu symptoms.

“Choosing between buying food or medication is a real issue,” stated OTC Program Chair Aiysha Hayes. “Our OTC Program is here to ease the burden of such a tough decision. We are delighted to be able to give back to Pitt County residents.”

Since its inception, NC MedAssist has distributed over $1.6 million dollars of donated OTC medication to North Carolina individuals and clinic partners. All OTC medication is donated to NC MedAssist by Second Harvest Food Bank of the Metrolina.

For more information on the OTC Program and NC MedAssist, please visit www.medassist.org. For more information on Vidant Health Foundation, please visit www.vidanthealth.com.

About NC MedAssist: Founded in 1997, NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy that provides free prescription medicines to low-income, uninsured North Carolinians. MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy program, the Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine program, and the Senior Care program. MedAssist dispenses more than $20 million worth of free prescription medication to 10,000 low-income North Carolinians each year. To learn more about NC MedAssist and find out how to get involved, visit www.medassist.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

 

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NC MedAssist Executive Luncheon: Empowering Our Neighbors in Need

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May 062015
 

Novant Health Sponsors NC MedAssist Luncheon to Foster Healthcare Insurance Gap Conversation

Free Pharmacy Gears Up for May Luncheon to Empower North Carolina Neighbors in Need

 Charlotte, NC (May 4, 2015) – – NC MedAssist will hold its 2015 NC MedAssist Executive Luncheon: Empowering Our Neighbors in Need, sponsored by Novant Health. The luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 7 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The free luncheon is open to those with the shared goal of providing access to healthcare and promoting a healthier North Carolina.

The luncheon will raise awareness of the healthcare insurance gap that still exists across Mecklenburg County and the state of North Carolina. Even with the addition of the Affordable Health Care Act, more than 360,000 North Carolinians fall into the insurance coverage gap, which is nine percent of the 4,000,000 individuals that are represented in this gap nationally.

“NC MedAssist and Novant Health’s collaborative goal is to identify those individuals who fall into the healthcare insurance gap and make sure their healthcare needs are met with our existing community resources,” stated Novant Chief Medical Officer Tom Zweng, M.D. “I am honored to serve as the keynote speaker and to lead the important discussion on educating our community on how they can help promote and support safety-net organizations like NC MedAssist.”

MedAssist is a statewide organization that is currently serving patients in 98 out of 100 counties through its Free Pharmacy Program.  Patients enroll in the program either in person at NC MedAssist or through partner enrollment sites throughout the state.  In the last fiscal year, MedAssist served 10,132 patients and dispensed 74,499 90-day prescriptions.

“We believe that no one should choose between putting food on their table and filling their doctor prescribed medications,” stated NC MedAssist Executive Director Lori Giang.  “NC MedAssist serves as a safety-net for our uninsured neighbors.  Our mission is to ensure that no eligible North Carolinian has to choose between purchasing food or medication.”

Other programming includes the Over the Counter Medicine Program.  Participants attend scheduled give away days to receive over the counter product that includes aspirin, first aid supplies, and vitamins.  On average, participants receive $80 worth of free product which is all made possible by Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina collaboration.

“Giving the community access to critical medications, both prescription and over the counter, will help improve a patient’s overall health, which in turn will lower health care cost for all stakeholders,” stated Giang.

Funds raised at the luncheon will go towards the purchase of generic prescription medications and other programming costs.  For every dollar donated, NC MedAssist will be able to dispense $10 in prescription medications back to the North Carolina community.  To donate or for more information on the Empowering our Neighbors in Need Luncheon, visit www.medassist.org.

 About NC MedAssist: Founded in 1997, NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy that provides free prescription medicines to low-income, uninsured North Carolinians. MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy program, the Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine program and the Senior Care program. MedAssist improves the health of chronically ill people by providing access to lifesaving medications. To learn more about NC Medassist, visit www.medassist.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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