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Real People Getting Real Help
Vital Medications at Extremely Discounted Rates
Before O’Lena Fordham learned about ChesPenn Health Service’s new physician dispensary, she sometimes skipped some of her diabetes, heart and thyroid medications because she simply could not afford them. But thanks to a federal program that requires drug manufacturers to provide discounted outpatient drugs to eligible health centers, the 53-year-old estimates the dispensary now saves her $500 each month.
“I feel a lot better and I know I wouldn’t be feeling the way I do now if I couldn’t keep up on my medicines,” says Fordham, whose health conditions caused her to give up her job as a pre-school daycare worker.
The physician dispensary is just the newest program of ChesPenn Health Services, the only Federally Qualified Health Center in Chester County. First brought to Coatesville in 2005 by the Brandywine Health Foundation, ChesPenn provides affordable primary and preventative health care, including pediatric, prenatal and chronic diseases services.
Now housed in the foundation’s Brandywine Center, its programs also include an innovative outreach program that has taken health educators into area barbershops to spread the word about the importance of understanding prostate screenings and controlling hypertension. The result: a number of residents have received vital, possibly life-saving primary care from ChesPenn.
Begun in the spring of 2011, the dispensary offers ChesPenn patients with diabetes such as Fordham a month’s supply of insulin for just $5. Also, about a third of ChesPenn’s patients and about 70 percent of those taking advantage of the dispensary are Hispanic – so the dispensary offers the options of both Spanish-language prescription labels and Spanish-speaking staff. These include Alicia Hayter, the dispensary coordinator.
Fordham, who also has survived a heart attack, now relies upon a ChesPenn physician, Gerard Hart, MD, as her primary care doctor. “He’s very nice,” she says of Hart, who has taught at both the Thomas Jefferson and Robert Wood Johnson medical schools. “He checks on me and helps with my diabetes to make sure I’m doing well.”
She also appreciates Hayter, who helped Fordham transfer all of her prescriptions from Hart and her four other physicians to the dispensary. “She’s patient if I’m having a problem,” she says. “With Alicia, it feels like I’m going in to see an old friend.
“The physician dispensary is a godsend.”
ChesPenn Health Services
A Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary care services in the Brandywine Center to people of all ages and incomes, particularly the uninsured and underinsured. Highlights include prenatal care, chronic disease management and a new on-site pharmacy.
By The Numbers
|View a short video featuring O'Lena Fordham.|
|View a short video featuring Mike Barnard, Community Health Educator at ChesPenn Health Services.|