February 12, 2013

Reach Out of Montgomery County receives grant for Safety in Numbers Program

$25,000 From Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to help educate uninsured patients

Reach Out logoDAYTON—Reach Out of Montgomery County received a $25,000 grant in October for its Safety in Numbers program, which educates underserved and uninsured patients about the importance of numbers and what they mean to their health.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, LLC, awarded the grant to Reach Out to help provide access to low-cost pharmaceuticals and training to ensure that uninsured patients are educated on the importance of prescription compliance and the impact it has on their overall health.

The program encourages patients, including multicultural patients, to better understand what numbers such as blood pressure (BP) or body mass index (BMI) mean to their health. Each person has an individualized set of numbers for achieving BP and BMI goals and body mass index (BMI). Through electronic data collection and face-to-face interaction, Reach Out helps patients understand how their medication helps them achieve their BP and BMI goals.

Reach Out, a nonprofit organization, provides health care services, including prescription assistance, to the underserved and medically uninsured population in Montgomery County. Reach Out is staffed by volunteer physicians, nurses and other health care professionals. It is funded by local donations and contributions.

“The Safety in Numbers program will increase knowledge about medication administration and discuss safety in medication administration to those in Montgomery County who are most vulnerable to medication errors,” said Sharon J. Sherlock, RN, BSN, MSA, DHA, executive director of Reach Out of Montgomery County and assistant professor in the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Department of Community Health.

“Educating patients about each pill they take can result in better disease management. It also can keep patients from more serious and costly treatments and ultimately lead to fewer hospital visits,” Sherlock said. “In short, it saves lives.”