Local clinic helping Richmond County's uninsured and under-insured with medications

By  | 

Thursday, June 13, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- In 2018, more than 16 percent of people under 65 years old in Richmond County were uninsured.

The St. Vincent De Paul Health Center is helping out.

The clinic sees around 800 patients a year, about 2800 doctor visits total. On Thursday, they received free prescriptions to mainly treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which will improve patient-care.

Prescriptions now line the shelves at the clinic where they serve the uninsured and under-insured.

“Ninety-nine percent of our patients are diabetics, hypertension, high cholesterol, things that they cannot diet control, so then medication becomes the key in order to make sure that we're really having an effect on their medical conditions,” Kimberly Blanchard, executive director of Coordinated Health Services, said.

In the past, doctors would write prescriptions and send them to a pharmacy.

“These are patients that are not able to get their medications, they are not able to get what they need even on the $4 or the free list because transportation becomes an issue,” Blanchard said.

Now they can be treated and given a prescription for free. Kathy Ordelt refers clients to St. Vincent's and other clinics.

“We also send them clients who need to see doctors,” Ordelt said.

She says at GAP Ministries they buy prescriptions for those in need, but the need continues to grow.

“The need just keeps growing as services are cut -- i.e. Medicaid, Medicare keeps getting cut,” Ordelt said.

Which is why another place like St. Vincent's is a blessing.

“Medicines are just so high priced these days, and it’s very hard if you have limited income or no income to be able to afford them and that's just one more great way of reaching out to the community and helping them,” Blanchard said.

Map International is providing the prescriptions and Augusta West Rotary Clubs are paying for them to be brought here.

The prescriptions are donated to Map International from pharmaceutical companies.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved