CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Thousands of people in the Charlottesville region are uninsured, which would leave them unable to access certain medication. Fortunately, Sentara Martha Jefferson has teamed up with the United Way to come up with a potentially life-saving solution.
Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital's community benefit fund, along with the Virginia Health Care Foundation, has helped support the United Way's RxRelief Program, which provides free medication to low-income, uninsured people with chronic illnesses.
Brittani Meney, United Way Medication Assistance Caseworker, works with health care providers to get the necessary medications to patients.
"We're making sure they get their medications that they desperately need," she said. "Most of the time, it's medications that they absolutely cannot live without."
For the past 11 years, the RxRelief Program has assisted patients by getting them access to more than 1,200 free or discounted medications and eyeglasses. All they have to do is fill out an application.
"I recently had a patient who had had a stroke, and he was uninsured, couldn't afford the medication. And it was crucial that he get it, so I was able to email Brittani, and she got in touch with him, got the application done fairly quickly and he was eligible. And they sent the medicine to us, and they'll do that for the next year," said Barrie Carveth, a Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital nurse practitioner.
Carveth describes the process of receiving the medications as seamless for the patients who need it, especially with the help of their health care providers.
"I think they're grateful, not only for the medicine but for having someone there who is going to take the effort to help them through the process," said Carveth.
The RxRelief Program also partners with the Charlottesville Free Clinic and Region Ten to ensure community members are getting the treatment they need.
For more information on the program, click on the link in the Related Links box.