Community Partners bring NC MedAssist’s free mobile pharmacy and health care resources to individuals in need
Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2018
WINSTON-SALEM — NC MedAssist held a mobile free pharmacy event in Winston-Salem on Friday, June 22. The event, which was in collaboration with Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Winston-Salem State University, was open to any low-income individual or family needing free health screenings, education and/or over-the-counter medications. The event was held at Winston-Salem State University in the Donald Julian Reaves Student Activities Center.
“We’re excited to partner with NC MedAssist to bring the Mobile Free Pharmacy to Winston-Salem,” said Laura Holby, manager of social responsibility for Novant Health. “Far too often, the conversations around pharmacy access centers on high-cost, specialty medications when in reality, families in our community are struggling to treat everyday concerns such as allergies, common colds, and fevers. The Mobile Free Pharmacy is an important part of Novant Health’s commitment to improve access to care to those who need it the most.”
“Access to medicines is extremely important to our patients,” said Beth Williams, assistant director, pharmacy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “That’s why Wake Forest Baptist is glad to bring the Mobile Free Pharmacy to our community.” “This event helped us identify those who need our assistance and are falling through the gaps. This event not only fills a mother’s medicine cabinet, it allows her to treat her child’s fever in the middle of the night instead of rushing to the emergency room.”
“Winston-Salem State University is pleased to host the mobile free pharmacy event as part of our commitment to addressing health disparities and helping underserved communities here in Forsyth County,” said Dr. Cecil Holland, Associate Dean of Chief Operating Officer of WSSU’s Division of Nursing.
Individuals received up to 10 medicine cabinet items for their family/home. Additionally, participants received other free healthcare services which included information on NC MedAssist Free Pharmacy Program, free health screenings provided by WSSU students and faculty, and expired/unwanted medicine disposal drop box. NC MedAssist’s overall goal is to help ease the burden for those who are making the choice between buying food or purchasing medication.
The event was completely volunteer run. Serving 800 individuals in one day takes many hands to make sure the event runs smoothly and ensures that all participants were served before the door closes. NC MedAssist partnered with Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem State University and other safety-net organizations to recruit community members to serve in roles such as pharmacy consultation, client ‘personal shoppers,’ and sorters.
“NC MedAssist is excited to work with Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem State University and all of our partners to give back to our neighbors in need,” stated CEO Lori Giang. “Through our collaboration we are able to reach more and more individuals and educate them on our free resources. No one should go without medicine and this program is enabling us to reach those who are unaware of our free medications.”
There are currently more than 21,800 people in Forsyth County that live below the Federal Poverty Level and do not qualify for insurance. Last fiscal year, NC MedAssist dispensed over $48 million in free prescription medication statewide. For more information on the Mobile Free Pharmacy and NC MedAssist, please visitwww.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. NC MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy Program, the Mobile Free Pharmacy, and the Senior Care Program. NC MedAssist dispenses more than $48.5 million worth of free prescription medication to 15,000 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.