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Mobile pharmacy offers free medicine

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Teresa Horne puts a box of children's medication out on a table Friday at the Mobile Free Pharmacy event at the E.L. Roberson Center in Tarboro. NC MedAssist hosted the Mobile Free Pharmacy with Vidant Edgecombe Hospital.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Saturday, April 7, 2018

TARBORO — NC MedAssist held its first Mobile Free Pharmacy Event on Friday in Tarboro as hundreds of residents signed up to receive up to 10 over-the-counter medications each.

Cars lined up along West Baker Street as people, young and old, came to the E.L. Roberson Center to claim over-the-counter pain killers, cough medicines, allergy medications, vitamins and other items. By noon, more than 400 people had been served.

Tarboro resident Barbara Snow said she appreciated the items she received.

“I think this was an excellent event,” Snow said. “They had a lot to offer from children’s medicines to those for adults. This event was well-organized and had plenty of volunteers on hand, so there was a short wait.”

Representatives from the OIC Medical Clinic also were present to offer free health screenings for high blood pressure, high glucose levels and HIV.

Kathie England said she thought the health screening was helpful.

“I think this is a really good idea,” England said. “It helps a lot of people who may not be able to afford to go to the doctor. They can pinpoint problems they need to get checked out.”

England said she also was glad to receive medications at the event.

“Over-the-counter medications are so high these days.” England said. “This really helped me.”

NC Med Assist is a statewide nonprofit pharmacy that provides free prescription medicines to low-income, uninsured North Carolinians. Operating on state funding and grants, NC MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy Program, the Mobile Free Pharmacy and the Senior Care Program, according to a press release from the organization.

Friday’s event in Tarboro was held in collaboration with Vidant Edgecombe Hospital.

“Vidant Edgecombe Hospital values the work we do in our community for those who are vulnerable and don’t have access to health care. We hope the event helps educate participants on the health care resources available in Tarboro and in Edgecombe County,” Michele Cherry, manager of grants and special projects for Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, said in the release.

NC MedAssist CEO Lori Giang said the organization is excited to work with Vidant Edgecombe Hospital for the first time.

“Through our collaboration we are able to reach more and more individuals and educate them on our free resources. No one should go without medicine, and this program is enabling us to reach those who are unaware of our free medications,” Giarg said in the release.

Kristin Young, communications director for NC Med Assist, told the Telegram that the mobile pharmacy events not only help residents at the event, but they also help identify people who will need more assistance in the future.

“Anyone can obtain free medications at these events, but the short application that people complete allows us to identify people who are uninsured. Our social workers follow up with them and see if they also need help with their prescription medications,” Young said

Last year, the organization aided 15,565 North Carolinians in obtaining $48.5 million worth of medications, Young said.

To learn more about NC MedAssist, visit www.medassist.org.

 

 

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