Baldwin health center wins $200,000 grant

BALDWIN — Baldwin Family Health Center will be able to expand on a program designed to make sure medical patients are taking their prescriptions, and eliminate barriers for those having problems doing so, thanks to a $200,000 grant.

The award was announced this week by the medical technology company Becton Dickinson and the National Association of Community Health Centers, which awarded five community health centers across the country with $1 million total in grant funds as part of its BD Helping Build Healthy Communities program.

“I was just so excited to find out we won,” said Lisa Dysard, chief pharmacist at Baldwin Family Health Center, who applied for the grant. “We’ve never gone out for this grant before. This is great for family health care, our patients, and, I think, pharmacy professionals. The goal is to make sure that people who have conditions like hypertension are taking medication as they should, so they can be healthier.”

According to Dysard, the grant will go toward the development of a program already in place that primarily targeted medical patients suffering from hypertension. It aims to reduce each patient’s blood pressure within six months of starting.

The program starts when a patient comes to pharmacists for the first time, she said. The pharmacist discusses medication that has been prescribed and makes sure a patient will take it. Pharmacists also go through side effects of the medication and the lifestyle the patient lives. The process is made easier, Dysard added, by the way community health centers operate — offering a pharmacist in the same building as a doctor.

However, Dysard said, some patients deal with issues when taking their medication — including costs, transportation to pick up their dosages and misunderstandings about the need for them. Pharmacists now work to identify those issues and if necessary, put patients on a “medication synchronization program,” which allows them to pick up their prescriptions all at once, rather than piecemeal them throughout a given month.

“We had a trial run of this program that has been successful and we wanted to expand on it,” Dysard said. “This is something that pharmacies all across the country are doing.”

The BD Helping Build Healthy Communities program offers grants to community health centers with “innovative approaches to health care for underserved and vulnerable populations,” according to a press release. Jennifer Farrington, vice president of the BD Foundation, said Baldwin Family Health Center was chosen for its role in helping patients manage their medication.

“Baldwin engages with their patients,” Farrington said. “There’s this mindset that you don’t want to come back for several treatments, due to transportation issues, so if there’s ways you can be more efficient and streamlined … community health centers can really have an impact.”

Leave a Reply