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West Virginia Rx: A Grass-Roots Charitable Central Pharmacy

Nominated by Andre Heinz

With a grant from the Heinz Family Philanthropies, the Benedum Foundation and state dollars, West Virginia Rx was launched. WVRx is a grass-roots charitable central pharmacy that provides brand name prescription medications for free to impoverished, uninsured and underinsured West Virginians statewide. WVRx serves citizens who are at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but will help anyone find needed health care resources.

Nestled inside of a free clinic, WVRx could be a “Rx medical home” for over 400,000 medically disenfranchised West Virginians. Since its March 2008 beginning, WVRx has grown to serve over 20,000. Operating with a staff of 5 full-time people and a volunteer pharmacist, WVRx has dispensed over $4 million dollars in donated brand name medications for free. With its budget at just over $225,000 WVRx has realized a 16:1 Return on Investment (ROI).

WVRx tries to reach anyone who is eligible for free medications, yet so many still don’t know it’s available. Television, radio and collateral material is cost-prohibitive. The WVRx website provides a primary point of entry, yet 50% of West Virginians have no Internet access. Getting the word out has been the most difficult piece of this innovative and exceptional project

See more about the project on YouTube: WVRxPsa

Image Credit: Flickr/ep_jhu, Creative Commons License

Andre Heinz is co-founder and investment director of Sustainable Technologies Fund.

Editor's Note: This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

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