Attendees included political representatives, members of the media and leadership from hospitals, health systems and community clinics.
Event speakers included: Christopher Palombo, CEO, Dispensary of Hope; Maureen Sanders, President and CEO, San José Clinic; Diana Grair MD, Medical Director, San José Clinic; Randall Flores PharmD, Pharmacy Resident, San José Clinic; Jamie Matthews, Head of Site Operations, Mylan - Sugar Land, TX and Umair A. Shah MD, Executive Director, Harris Public Health. Dr. Grair introduced a patient, Mr. Gilbert Ruiz, who shared his story about the journey from acute heart attack to fear of needing medication that he cannot afford leading to the hope and future that he’s looking at now.
Left to right: Maureen Sanders, President and CEO, San José Clinic; Christopher Palombo, CEO, Dispensary of Hope; Randall Flores, PharmD, Pharmacy Resident, San José Clinic
Christopher Palombo kicked off the celebration with excitement about the current impact and creating hope for patients that are suffering. “Today is a new day! You’ve heard stories of people suffering, you and I have friends, family and neighbors who suffer from lack of access to medicine and chronic illness. Today, we get to tell a new story. Today we celebrate five years of partnership with San Jose Clinic that connects donated medicine from pharmaceutical manufacturers with patients who are in need. The value of this national partnership is not in the volume or valuation of that medicine, but in lives saved and health improved. Today, it is possible to serve a noble mission, and simultaneously deliver financially sustainable solutions that improve health.”
Maureen Sanders shared details about the current impact in Houston, and the value of their partnership with the Dispensary of Hope. “Last year, we dispensed about 25,000 prescriptions. We are so appreciative of the pharmaceutical manufacturers that support Dispensary of Hope and Dispensary of Hope’s work with us and others across the country. I was here at the clinic from 2013 to 2016 as the Development Director and helped create the program with Dispensary of Hope five years ago. It is so awesome that now as the CEO, I’m here to help celebrate how this partnership has transformed the clinical care for our patients.”
San José Clinic’s Medical Director, Diana Grair MD discussed the value of medication access to the medical practice. “I have been quite lucky and blessed to have so many success stories. Lots of our patients with chronic medical issues have from 5-12 medications that they have to take on a daily basis, and the cost for this can be quite a barrier to comply with a doctor’s orders. This is really exciting for me. Without the right tools, I cannot do my job right. I can be motivating, have the right diagnosis, but without the medicine there isn’t much I can do.” Dr. Grair then introduced one of her own patients, Gilbert Ruiz who shared his
“I had a heart attack, I still don’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it. When I was discharged, I didn’t have insurance and there was no way that I could afford the medication. When they told me how much the medication was I said they could keep it. They told me that I lost 70% of my heart function. I just figured I’ll give up, it doesn’t matter anymore. But then I came to see Dr. Grair and everything changed. When I asked them how much the pills would cost here at San José Clinic pharmacy and they told me, I thought it was a mistake!”
One of Dispensary of Hope’s partners is the global pharmaceutical manufacturer, Mylan. Jamie Matthews, who heads the company’s Sugar Land, Texas, manufacturing plant, shared Mylan’s commitment to make high quality medication available to those who need it most. “Mylan is proud of our many years of partnership with the Dispensary of Hope. We appreciate the relationship and advocacy which enables us to expand access to medicine for people in need around the country and right here in our local communities.”Randall Flores reiterated the value of medication access to patient health.“ 18,793 prescriptions are from medicine provided by the Dispensary of Hope in 2019. We’ve been able to significantly decrease inventory cost and increase our formulary. Because of the Dispensary of Hope, we are able to dispense 90-day prescriptions which improves our patient’s medication adherence and their overall health.”
The partnership between the Dispensary of Hope and San José Clinic clearly meets a community need for individuals who might not have access to the care and medicine that they need in order to survive.
To learn more about the Dispensary of Hope or San José Clinic visit: www.dispensaryofhope.org or www.sanjoseclinic.org