This past week in The Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship Program, where my nonprofit placement is the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio has been a great experience. The Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio increases access to affordable prescription drugs and pharmacy services for low-income, underinsured and uninsured individuals in the community. Services to these individuals are related to health and medication counseling, free prescriptions and referral support to area social services. I am excited to help fulfill the Charitable Pharmacy’s mission, which is related to healthcare access; it is a policy interest of mine and is timely, relevant and compelling as healthcare access has become an increasingly salient focus within our society. As a student of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, how public policy affects our society, whether it be through government affairs, research or policy implementation, is an interest of mine.
The project I will be carrying out this summer is researching and identifying programs to assist Medicaid- and Medicare-eligible patients with the cost of healthcare needs, development an eligibility screening process, and to implement it. I will also be developing a patient resource guide. Prior to the start of this summer experience, I interned in the Health Care Fraud Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which allowed me to develop an interest in healthcare and health policy that I wanted to further explore.
On the first day, I had orientation at The Columbus Foundation, which was an enjoyable time along with meeting the other Fellows. After orientation, I reported to Pharmaceutical Horizons, Inc., a healthcare-consulting firm in Worthington, OH, where I would be for the first half of the summer, to do the research component of the project. To get the full experience of the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio, and how it serves people of the community, I will be completing the research and implementation phase of the project at the Charitable Pharmacy. For the rest of the week and for the duration of the summer, I will be at the Charitable Pharmacy, which is housed in Livingston United Methodist Church.
Throughout the duration of the week, I was able to meet staff and also observe some patient health counseling sessions. Since opening in 2010, the Charitable Pharmacy has served over 3000 patients, and in 2013 dispensed over 50,000 prescriptions. Assisting the Charitable Pharmacy with the goals to provide affordable and appropriate pharmacy services and serving individuals in the community is something I am looking forward to this summer! A lot of individuals who use services of the Charitable Pharmacy are not familiar with various programs that could assist them with paying for their healthcare needs, so the project I will be completing will be of significant help to the Charitable Pharmacy and the needs of the community.
I am excited to make an impact in the community this summer and to be helping the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio fulfill their mission and carry out their goals. Additionally, I am excited to also help the organization with community relations and local government affairs efforts.