Earlier this month, members of the Dispensary of Hope team visited several new sites at Ascension - Wisconsin and AMITA Health in the Chicago, Illinois area that are being helped through the generous support pharmaceutical company donors
Ascension - Wisconsin
Last year, Dispensary of Hope implemented ten sites that are ministries of Ascension in Wisconsin into the network of charitable dispensing sites. Earlier this month, the team had the opportunity to meet with several of the Ascension Wisconsin pharmacies. Their Pharmacy Director, Mike Torhorst, RPh, and Pharmacy Manager, Kris Cyr, PharmD, gave the team a tour of four of the ten sites implemented. Josh Kravitz, Dispensary of Hope Chief Operations Officer, and Kasey Gregory, Account Manager, saw first-hand how mission focused the teams at each pharmacy are in serving their patients. At each pharmacy, they were impressed by the dedication of the discharge pharmacists, who Mike says are some of the true champions and advocates of the program.
Pictured is Kris Cyr, Pharmacy Manager at Ascension - Wisconsin.
Further, their community pharmacists build relationships with the patients,
talk about their medications and answer any questions they might have. Many of these patients meet more often with the pharmacists than their doctors. With a deep passion for the vulnerable patients they serve, the pharmacy will not only help with access to medical care and medication, they will connect their patients with local agencies that will provide additional resources such as finding housing, job hunting skills, paying utilities, and much more.
This year, the pharmacies are gearing up to host several Medical Missions at Home where patients can receive free medical, dental, and vision care, as well as, meeting with these local agencies for help with other social determinants of health outside traditional medical needs.
Pictured is Mike Torhorst, Pharmacy Director at Ascension - Wisconsin.
AMITA Health - Chicago, IL
Along with the Ascension Wisconsin sites, AMITA Health, a collaboration of
Ascension and Adventist Health System, introduced four sites in the Chicago area into the network last year. Dispensary of Hope’s Josh Kravitz and Kasey Gregory also met with many members of their pharmacy teams. David Tsang, RPh, MBA, Pharmacy Director, and Myra Priser, RPh, Pharmacy Manager, gave the Dispensary of Hope representatives an inside look at the pharmacies in action. The pharmacies have done a lot of work around socializing the Dispensary of Hope program across the hospital departments to identify vulnerable patients. There is a strong reliance and partnership with the Care Management department that is key to sending referrals of eligible patients to the pharmacies. While Illinois is a state that has expanded Medicaid, the pharmacies will use the Dispensary of Hope program to fill the gaps between the time it takes to submit the Medicaid application and confirmation of acceptance. Plus, their program helps vulnerable patients who do not qualify for federal and state health insurance.
The pharmacy teams have many creative ideas to go beyond the pharmacy walls to help the vulnerable in their communities. During the visit, David and Myra explained that they had a need for educational materials and one of their own pharmacy technicians used his talents to create items that educate providers and patients about medication donations. They are currently planning to host an event similar to a Medical Mission at Home for the Chicago area patients as well.
Pictured are some education tool AMITA Health created for their providers and patients.