Quietly Leading the Way to Health
Tucked away down a seemingly one-way street in Elizabethtown, Kentucky is the Community Health Clinic. The CHC is a non-profit health facility that has been delivering free basic health and dental care to low-income, chronically ill, uninsured residents of Hardin & Larue Counties since 2002. Composed of a few paid staff members and a multitude of volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists and ordinary citizens, the CHC has been faithfully dispensing care, medications and therapies to those persons most in need.
This year the Clinic was awarded the Platinum Award from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services/Department of Public Health and the Kentucky Prescription Assistance Program (KPAP), for saving Kentuckians over $5,000,000 in prescription costs since its inception. The KPAP program helps qualifying individuals and/or their families receive prescription drugs for free or at reduced costs through partnerships with drug manufacturers and pharmacies.
Before the KPAP program was brought to the Community Health Clinic, the Clinic had to purchase many of the maintenance medications for their patient population. This was a very costly practice and was eventually going to force closure of the Clinic since their services are provided by way of grants and donations. The Clinic was invited to become a satellite site for KPAP and began utilizing volunteers to act as advocates to enroll patients in medication assistance programs with pharmaceutical companies.
“Very soon after initiation of the program, we realized our efforts were very fruitful! We started to see many of our patients’ medicine arriving free of charge to be dispensed in our volunteer pharmacy,” says Director Rebecca Allen.
The clinic has an on-site pharmacy that is open twice a week and is operated by licensed pharmacists. Life-saving medications such as those for insulin and blood pressure are dispensed, as well as flu vaccinations and preventative medications. In addition to those provided through KPAP, the clinic dispensed $11,000 in durable medical items that are not covered under the program including nebulizers, CPAP machines, catheters, wheelchairs, glucose monitors, ostomy supplies, and more.
“This program has only become more valuable to the Clinic and our community as we have utilized it throughout the years. This is a remarkable award! We are very proud of our efforts and service!” says Allen.
The clinic served 611 unduplicated patients in 2012. They are a member of the Kentucky Free Clinic Association and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. The Community Health Clinic is also a proud funded partner of United Way of Central Kentucky. In 2013 the program was awarded $80,000 by the all-volunteer Community Investment Team convened by United Way of Central Kentucky to allocate funds raised through the organization’s annual campaign.
“The Community Health Clinic meets a critical, unduplicated need by serving hundreds of our local individuals and families,” stated UWCK Executive Director Christopher Wilborn. “United Way of Central Kentucky’s mission of helping people achieve self-sufficiency through improved Education, Health, and Financial Stability while meeting Basic Needs makes the Clinic an ideal partner in our work.”
For more information on the Community Health Clinic or United Way of Central Kentucky, visit unitedwayck.org.