Foundation Wins Grant for Hope Dispensary
St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation has been awarded a grant of $15,000 from the Fairfield County Community Foundation on behalf of the Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport, which provides free lifesaving pharmaceuticals to low-income and uninsured individuals in Bridgeport and the surrounding area.
The Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport is a new charitable dispensary project which grew out of a partnership between the Primary Care Action Group (PCAG), a collaboration of both medical providers and advocacy groups in the Greater Bridgeport area, and the Dispensary of Hope, a growing national network of clinics and pharmacies, which serves uninsured and low-income patients . It is the first Dispensary of Hope site in Connecticut, and provides short-term and long-term medication assistance to eligible patients. The Hope Dispensary will stock medications to treat the top five chronic diseases which fall under the categories of cardiac, pulmonary, diabetes and mental health.
“At a time when much of the funding for community resources and programs has dried up due to the severe downturn in the economy, St. Vincent’s and PCAG are grateful to the Fairfield County Community Foundation for this grant which will help those who may have nowhere else to turn for medications necessary to their health, “ said St. Vincent’s Foundation President Ronald J. Bianchi. “The grant will help us to maintain this vital resource for the underserved in the community.”
“The mission of the Hope Dispensary is consistent with our mission of trying to improve the quality of life for area residents,” said Nancy von Euler of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to assist in continuing this important program in Bridgeport.”
St. Vincent’s is acting in a fiduciary capacity to the Hope Dispensary for funding and oversight purposes. The grant will fund the salary of the staff pharmacist at the Hope Dispensary. Currently, Christine Toni, RPh, a licensed pharmacist from St. Vincent’s, staffs the site aided by an AmeriCorps intern serving in the capacity of patient navigator, while the Greater Bridgeport Medical Association coordinates the outreach to doctors to encourage them to donate their unused drug samples and products.
PCAG members include St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport Hospital, Optimus Health Care, Southwest Community Health Center, Bridgeport’s Department of Health & Human Services, and the City’s two federally qualified neighborhood health centers, AmeriCares Free Clinics of Bridgeport, Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Connecticut Department of Social Services, Greater Bridgeport Medical Association, Southwestern Area Health Education Center and Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition. PCAG focuses on education and advocacy to ensure that every person has access to affordable health insurance coverage.
Other sponsors are the City of Bridgeport and State of Connecticut, both of which donated the space for the dispensary, which is located in the building that currently houses the City’s Department of Health.
About the Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport
To qualify for prescription assistance, an individual must have no prescription coverage, and have a limited income (be at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or less). Individuals must provide the prescription, a photo ID or social security card, and proof of income such as a pay stub or bank statement, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) /Disability documentation, or unemployment or pink slip from employer. The Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport needs continual support from local physicians who can donate excess, unexpired medications. Physicians may visit the website to learn how to donate. Its formulary consists of 1700 different drugs, but will stock no controlled drugs. For more information, please contact the Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport at 1-203-332-5653 or www.hopedispensarybridgeport.org
About Fairfield County Community Foundation
The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The Foundation provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $135 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.