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Free Over the Counter Medicine for the Forsyth Community

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, NC MedAssist, Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center — August 08, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Winston-Salem, NC (August 8, 2016) - - NC MedAssist will hold a free Over the Counter (OTC) Medicine Give Away Day in Forsyth County on Friday, August 26. The event, which is made possible by Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, is open to any individual or family needing OTC medication. The Give Away will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health (799 N. Highland Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101).

"We are privileged to support the OTC Medicine Give Away Day as a part of our ongoing commitment to serving the Forsyth County community," stated Ronda Outlaw, senior community executive for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. “By collaborating with NC MedAssist, we can help provide medications to those in need and have the opportunity for people to speak with pharmacists all free of charge. We are also able to reach those individuals who are Medicaid eligible or uninsured who could benefit from the services that we provide in Forsyth County and surrounding areas.”

This will be the first OTC event held in Forsyth County and event organizers are expecting to serve at least 1000 individuals. Each individual will receive $80 worth of OTC products which includes items such as allergy relief, pain relief, indigestion relief, cold medicine, first-aid and vitamins for all ages. There is no identification or eligibility requirement for Give Away Day participants, however, participants must be 18 years of age or older.

“We are honored to partner with NC MedAssist for the Over the Counter Medicine Give Away Day in Forsyth County,” said Laura Holby Manager, Novant Health social responsibility. “Individuals in our community struggle to afford common medications such as Tylenol and cough medicine. This OTC program provides the education to participants on the healthcare resources available in Forsyth County and necessary OTC medications needed for their families.”

The OTC program is completely volunteer run. Serving 1000 individuals in one day takes many hands to make sure the program runs smoothly and ensures that all patients are served before the door closes. NC MedAssist is collaborating with Cardinal Health Innovations, Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and other safety-net organizations to recruit community members to serve in roles such as pharmacy consultation, client ‘personal shoppers’, and OTC sorters.

“Our organization is looking forward to the Give Away Day on August 26,” stated Beth Williams, assistant director, pharmacy, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Access to medicines is an extremely important issue and the Give Away Day will help us to identify those who need our assistance and are falling through the gaps. This event not only fills a mother’s medicine cabinet, it allows her to treat her child’s fever in the middle of the night instead of rushing to the emergency room.”

NC MedAssist’s overall goal is to help alleviate the strain on the healthcare system by providing medications to those who normally use the emergency room for reasons such as fever, minor pain relief and treating cold and flu symptoms.

“NC MedAssist is looking forward to hosting our first OTC Event in Forsyth,” stated Executive Director Lori Giang. “There are over 44,000 people in Forsyth County who are both low-income and uninsured. This OTC program will help us identify neighbors who may qualify for our free prescription pharmacy program. We are thankful for our partners for helping us to bring an OTC day to the Forsyth community.”

Since its inception, NC MedAssist has distributed more than $2 million dollars of donated OTC medication to North Carolina individuals and clinic partners. For more information on the OTC Program and NC MedAssist, please visit www.medassist.org.

About NC MedAssist: Founded in 1997, NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy that provides free prescription medicines to low-income, uninsured North Carolinians. MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy program, the Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine program, and the Senior Care program. MedAssist dispenses more than $32 million worth of free prescription medication to 13,000 low-income North Carolinians each year. To learn more about NC MedAssist and find out how to get involved, visit www.medassist.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About Cardinal Innovations Healthcare: Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is the largest specialty health plan in the country, serving 875,000 members through its Medicaid, state and county funded plans. Using a community-based model of care management, Cardinal Innovations seeks to improve the health and wellness of individuals with complex needs by collaborating with local providers and stakeholders. Recognized for operational excellence, innovative solutions and superior outcomes for members, accuracy and speed of payments to providers, and cost-effective funds management, Cardinal Innovations is a leading healthcare company in the United States. For more information, visit www.cardinalinnovations.org.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (www.wakehealth.edu) is a nationally recognized academic medical center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with an integrated enterprise including educational and research facilities, hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and other primary and specialty care facilities serving 24 counties in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Its divisions are Wake Forest Baptist Health, a regional clinical system that includes Brenner Children’s Hospital and has close to 175 locations, 900 physicians and 1,000 acute care beds; Wake Forest School of Medicine, an established leader in medical education and research; and Wake Forest Innovations, which accelerates the commercialization of research discoveries and specialized research capabilities of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and operates Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, an urban district for research, business and education. Wake Forest Baptist clinical, research and educational programs are annually ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

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