EAST PRICE HILL, Ohio (WKRC) - A new partnership to help provide free care and medications to those who need it appears to be working.
This partnership teams up pharmacists at St. Vincent de Paul, providers at the Good Samaritan Free Health Center and an organization that provides grants to help fund it, called bi3. If you are in need of medication and care and can't afford it, this program could change your life.
"I can remember being at work sweating a lot and urinating a lot. I kept thinking, 'Something's wrong, something's wrong,'" said Tweety Frye, a patient at the Good Samaritan Free Health Center in East Price Hill.
Several years ago when Frye was diagnosed with diabetes, she said she couldn't afford her medication.
"And I had to make choices too. And sometimes, I didn't even take the medicine. And then I didn't realize how sick I was without taking it before I came here," she said.
Thanks to funding for extra staff at the Good Samaritan Free Health Center from bi3, Frye can now meet with everyone from her social worker to her dietitian to her pharmacist all in one visit.
"This just brings everybody together...The patient has one place to go. They get all the information they need," said Jill Miller, the president of Bethesda, Inc.
From there, however, Frye is also invited to stop at the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy in the West End. Their goal is to provide free medication to those in need.
"Having the medication for free available to people who really have no other choice. They have nothing else. They're choosing whether they're going to pay for groceries or for medicine," said pharmacist Rusty Curington.
Miller says that's the point of this partnership.
"If you don't recognize what barriers that these patients are facing, you might make the assumption that they're just being non-compliant, and that's not always the case," said Miller.
With her no-cost care and no-cost medication, Frye now has her life and her health back in balance.
"This is so God-sent," she said.
The good news is she's not the only one. In the last six months, they've tracked diabetes patients served here at no charge. The results?
"Seventy-eight percent of these patients experience a reduction of hemoglobin A1C. They experience improved diabetes control," said Curington.
If you would like to see if you qualify for this kind of free care and medication, you can call 513-246-6888. If you are a physician's office or nursing home that can donate surplus or sample medications, St. Vincent de Paul asks for you to call them at 513-562-8841 ext. 228.
This free care is not just for those with diabetes, but also other chronic illnesses that need long-term management as well.