Medicine Assistance Program Touching More Than 6500 Region 8 Residents

July 21, 2005 -- Posted at 12:00 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- "Well if it wasn't for this program, we couldn't afford the medicine. It is just that simple, because her medicine is outrageous," said Charles and Emma Knight.

"If it wasn't for this assistance, I wouldn't be able to get my medicine, because it is very expensive," said Hoover Kimble.

The price of prescription drugs keeps rising.

It's a burden for those who need them, sometimes even having to forsake one necessity for another.

"I said look, if you keep giving me medication, I might get physically well, but I am going to starve to death, because I don't have money to buy food", said Kimble.

The physicians of the NEA Clinic wanted an organized way to give back to their community.

"They'd say, what's wrong isn't your medicine working? They'd say well doctor, I can't take it. I can't afford it. After seeing this day after day after day, they knew there was such a great need for a medicine assistance program," said Executive Director of the NEA Charitable Foundation, Holly Acebo.

"The patients receive paperwork. We sign it and partner up with different pharmaceutical companies to get people the medicine they need," said Director of the Medicine Assistance Program, Kim Provost.

These shelves are filled with the files of more than 6500 patients, and that number continues to grow by at least 50 each week.

"We are one of the first and maybe only medicine assistant programs that we know of, of our size in the country," said Acebo.

Providing more than 600, 000 dollars in medication each month alone, the work of this Medicine Assistance Program is gaining national recognition.

"We're helping other groups locally, and we're helping groups, similar groups, nationwide form similar programs," said Acebo.

For those this program has helped, they say it has been a blessing.

The burden of worry about whether or not they will get their medicine is gone--thanks to the kindness which is certainly recognized by the recipients.

"A lot of people really go out of their way to make this possible. We're living in a world today where there is not too much love towards one another, and when you find somebody, well you can't hardly believe that they care," said Kimble.

For more information about the program, call 934-5700.