The Cincinnati section of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is embarking on a $5 million expansion of its free prescription program.
The organization has already raised $3.2 million toward the campaign, with the public phase of the fundraising beginning Sept. 28.
“This campaign will save lives,” said Dr. Rusty Curington, director of the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy. “Every day, we speak with patients who are splitting pills in half or skipping doses just to get by. The Prescribing Hope Campaign addresses these patients’ needs by improving access to care, broadening our pharmaceutical programs and operations and enhancing the Charitable Pharmacy’s long-term sustainability.”
Nearly one in four Americans struggle to afford their prescription medications. That’s why Cincinnati’s St. Vincent de Paul has been providing free prescriptions through its charitable pharmacy since 2006. It is the only stand-alone pharmacy dedicated to providing free prescriptions and pharmaceutical care to residents of Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties.
The Prescribing Hope campaign includes a plan to open a third location of the SVDP charitable pharmacy in Milford, expanding SVDP’s reach eastward to residents of Adams, Brown, Clinton and Highland counties.
“Some of our patients drive from as many as 40 miles away to have their prescriptions filled,” said Currington. “That is why we are launching the Prescribing Hope campaign – to break down barriers to care and improve our neighbors’ health and wellbeing.”
In addition to a third location and expanded service area, the campaign will:
- Enhance SVDP’s nurse-practitioner-led health services and strengthen clinical programs;
- Increase weekly hours of operation for the SVDP pharmacy location in Western Hills;
- Grow SVDP’s procurement of donated medications;
- Expand opportunities for pharmacy learners (fellows, residents, students) to participate in experiential education;
- Expand navigation services to help patients transition out of the pharmacy program and allow new patients to receive services.
The fundraising for the expansion began in October 2021.
Since opening in 2006, the pharmacy has dispensed over 711,000 free prescriptions, with a value exceeding $96 million. Besides the pharmacy, SVDP Cincinnati operates a network of 11 food pantries and eight thrift stores and donation centers across Cincinnati.