For 22 years, a unique service in
I've admired the work of PharmAssist and its driven founder and executive director,
The number of clients it serves has grown steadily over the past two decades, from serving 530 persons its first year to more than 2,200 last year. "We'll continue to have a great demand for our services," board Chairman
The reason, of course, is our rapidly growing senior population. It's us baby boomers once again swelling whatever demographic stage we occupy. By 2025, an estimated 70,000
Senior PharmAssist is of particular help to those whose socioeconomic status may make coping with health care issues especially challenging, but the agency helps many others, too.
"Even those in good health with adequate means can stumble when trying to navigate our healthcare system," according to an outline of the agency's mission in the program for Thursday's breakfast. "We believe that your zip code should not determine how long you live or the quality of all those years. We believe that
The agency's work clearly pays off. Participants who have worked with it for two years see their hospital stays halved and their rate of emergency department use cut by more than one-quarter.
A key role is helping their clients save money on medications, which can be staggering for many elderly. The agency reports that 60 percent of
SeniorPharmassist's goal, as Upchurch put it, is "being a cushion for older adults." It does that by helping people:
-- "Pay for needed medicines if they have limited incomes."
-- "Use their medications safely, effectively and cost-effectively."
-- Connect with other community resources.
It will provide
In addition to helping individuals, SeniorPharmassist also will weigh in on issues such as
While the agency receives foundation and governmental support, more than 40 percent of its nearly
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