Building a Network for an Innovative Population Health Solution
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Building a Network for an Innovative Population Health Solution

Samantha Stewart
PharmD Candidate, 2022
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Transitions of Care Extern
Hackensack Meridian Health

Picture this: a patient, one of your regulars, comes to your clinic on an early Monday morning. Late last year, she came to your clinic newly-diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Initially, controlling her A1C posed a challenge after she was laid off from her full-time job. Yet ever since your clinic’s partnership with the Dispensary of Hope a few months ago, you have been able to secure her free access to insulin therapy, bringing her closer to her target A1C. Though today, she is not here to see you about her diabetes. Today she is here to discuss her concerns about medication access given her plans to move as she prepares for a new job. What are her options given her limited income and lack of insurance? 

Health disparities have been studied to be a consequence of unaddressed social determinants of health. As the nation’s focus turns to public health advocacy, leaders of the industry are promoting population health initiatives to address health inequities in our communities and close gaps in care. As a charitable medication distributor, the Dispensary of Hope is an organization that provides medication access to low-income patients across the nation. The organization partners with local dispensing sites (e.g., pharmacies and clinics) and pharmaceutical donors to supply communities with medications at no charge to the patient. Through this initiative, the Dispensary of Hope aims to reduce the number of hospital readmissions and emergency department visits attributed to lack of medication access. A vast selection of drugs is available on the formulary, among the most common including therapies for diabetes, cardiovascular, and behavioral health conditions. Patients are empowered to control their diseases with medication and education on how to use them safely. 

The Dispensary of Hope allies with health systems across the nation to grant communities affordable access to medications. The organization has served hundreds of thousands of patients through its network of dispensing sites including outpatient pharmacies, charitable pharmacies, federally-qualified health centers, and safety-net clinics. Once partnered with the Dispensary of Hope, dispensing sites have unlimited access to the inventory donated by pharmaceutical manufacturers. With 24/7 access, sites may see available inventory in real time and place medication orders at no cost to the patient. Health systems have incredible potential to influence community wellness. Through outpatient wellness centers and patient education, health systems are already involved in expanding health literacy in the community. With the Dispensary of Hope, institutions have yet another powerful tool to close gaps in health care access and social determinants of health. So what are you waiting for? To learn more about how to join this effort, please visit

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