The Charitable Pharmacy has met or exceeded all the short-term outcomes established for the grant period of October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020. Though in-person access to services has been restricted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 23, patients have continued to access medications and other pharmaceutical assistance by means of an adjusted, drive-through / pick-up model. Starting in October 2020, a limited number of patients had also begun to enter the facility for certifications, comprehensive medication management, and health screenings, while keeping within safe operating measures. However, this is now being halted due to Hamilton County’s recent surge in coronavirus cases.
Given the success of its alternative “curbside” service model, the Charitable Pharmacy anticipates continuing in this way until the pandemic is over. While FY20 has not been without challenges, the Charitable Pharmacy has surpassed many milestones in service to neighbors in need across greater Cincinnati.
Patients have benefitted from the larger Impact 100 Dispensary (nearly triple the size of the former dispensary), expanded days and hours of operation (by 57%), additional staff members, and consistently ample supplies of medication donations. While these successes were somewhat expected, others were not.
The pandemic forced the Charitable Pharmacy to institute strict social distancing rules for staff and volunteers, and these would have been nearly impossible in the old space. Rather than a maximum of two to three people working in the old dispensary, the Charitable Pharmacy can have six people at one time in the Impact 100 Dispensary. Similarly, the Processing and Storage Room, also made possible by Impact 100, is vastly expanded, and taking inventory this year amid social distancing would have been nearly impossible without the expanded space.
Finally, another unexpected success this year has been the pilot initiative of providing primary care telehealth services within the Charitable Pharmacy. This project launched right as the pandemic began because so many Charitable Pharmacy patients lost access to primary care; it has been so successful—and as the pandemic persists —that the Charitable Pharmacy is actively seeking additional funds to continue this initiative.