BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, Direct Relief and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) honored five of the nation's 1,400 community health centers with the Innovations in Care Award at the 2017 Community Health Institute and EXPO in San Diego.
Part of the BD Helping Building Healthy Communities™ initiative (HBHC) -- a collaboration between BD, Direct Relief, and the National Association of Community Health Centers -- the $200,000 annual award recognizes community health centers for innovative approaches in Medication Therapy Management programs that target vulnerable populations. Since the program's inception in 2013, $3.6 million in awards have been presented to 31 health centers in 17 states, and BD has committed $10 million in cash and product donations for 845 community health centers and clinics nationwide.
"A strong network of community health centers is critical to improve access to our health system, and this year's winners represent what's possible for community health in the U.S.," said Vincent A. Forlenza, chairman and CEO of BD. "The wellness, prevention and care that community health centers provide help to avoid unnecessary hospital visits and sometimes represent the only care for some of our country's most vulnerable populations."
Each award-winning program is tailored to fit a unique set of barriers within each community from Minneapolis, Minn., to Fort Meyers, Fla. Programs focus on Medication Therapy Management services, in which pharmacists work with patients to use medication for the best possible health outcomes.
"The Innovations in Care Award recognizes the critical role of clinics and community health centers as America's healthcare safety net," said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. "Direct Relief is delighted to work once again with BD and NACHC to highlight and elevate such deserving health centers for their amazing commitment, insight, and effectiveness in serving their patients and communities." The following winners were selected with guidance from experts in the field of Medication Therapy Management:
Cherokee Health Systems, Knoxville, Tenn. (Expanding Innovation)
• Honored for its efforts to expand medication therapy management and subsidize access to over 4,000 patients with uncontrolled hypertension. Many of the patients targeted by the program live in remote rural areas or are transportation challenged due to mental illness, poverty, and other factors.
Coastal Family Health Centers, Gulfport, Miss. (Creating Innovation)
• Recognized for its efforts to ensure that all patients with both diabetes and hypertension and struggle with one or more uncontrolled diagnoses become engaged in comprehensive, team-based care.
Community University Health Care Center, Minneapolis, Minn. (Expanding Innovation)
• Awarded for its efforts to provide medication therapy management services for patients with chronic medical conditions who have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse diagnoses. Providers will conduct outreach and provide culturally responsive person-centered services, with additional focus on refugee populations, to improve the patient's physical and mental well-being.
Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida, Ft. Myers, Fla. (Creating Innovation)
• Honored for its efforts to use virtual technology to provide real-time, pharmacist-to-patient education and support to high-risk, underserved patients.
Neighborhood Health, Nashville Tenn. (Creating Innovation)
• Recognized for its efforts to improve the knowledge of both patients and providers on medication therapies, identifying potential medication problems, and advancing pharmacist-recommended resolutions to help improve the health of Nashville-area homeless patients.
About Direct Relief
Founded in 1948, Direct Relief (DirectRelief.org) is a California-based nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian medical aid in all 50 states and more than 70 countries, with a stated mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief has been named among the world's ten most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, received the CECP Directors' Award, the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping, and the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. Of the more than 8,000 charities rated by Charity Navigator, Direct Relief is one of only 49 to receive a perfect overall score of 100.