St. Anthony’s Donates Pharmaceutical Refrigerators to Free Clinic
When the St. Petersburg Free Clinic expanded its medical assistance programs, the agency needed additional refrigerated storage space. St. Anthony’s Hospital stepped in to help.
St. Anthony’s recently donated two Helmer pharmacy refrigerators for use in the Free Clinic’s Health Center nursing station/lab and for the Prescription Health Program. The refrigerators cost $14,000.
According to the Free Clinic, the pharmaceutical refrigerator in the nursing station expands the Health Center’s ability to draw a variety of in-house labs for patients. That also helps to reduce patients’ transportation costs and time-off requests from work.
Having the Health Center refrigerator enables the clinic to do more in-house labs and receive real-time lab results, Free Clinic officials said. That allows providers to treat health conditions earlier and improve patient health outcomes.
“The St. Petersburg Free Clinic has been such a strong partner and ally of St. Anthony’s Hospital over the years,” said Tim McMahon, operations director who serves as chairman of the clinic’s Health Equity Committee. “St. Anthony’s decided to purchase and donate these refrigerators to further strengthen our relationship and support the Free Clinic’s expanded scope and reach in the community.”
The pharmaceutical refrigerator used for the Prescription Health Program stores thousands of dollars’ worth of medication at a regulated temperature. It ensures that medications stay viable for patient use. The refrigerator also provides a greater volume of medication storage, allowing the health program to increase the number of patients.
For patients with limited refrigeration storage or unstable housing, the additional storage space in the health program refrigerator has a bonus, Free Clinic officials said. Patients now have the choice to take a 30-day supply of medication rather than having to worry about keeping a 90- or 120-day supply of medication at a consistent refrigeration temperature.
“St. Anthony's Hospital has given our Health Center a unique opportunity to make health care resources more equitable for our patients and give them the ability to improve their health outcomes,” said Alejandra Sosa, the Free Clinic Prescription Health Program manager. “The St. Anthony's Hospital pharmacy has been a great resource for understanding the Helmer pharmaceutical refrigeration products and allowing us to determine which refrigerator we would need.”
One of the ways that St. Anthony’s has worked closely with the Free Clinic is to keep medications safe during hurricane evacuations. “We’re in a Zone A Flood Evacuation Zone,” Sosa said. “During Hurricane Ian on short notice, the St. Anthony's pharmacy accepted all of our medications and kept them safe throughout the entire time we were closed.”
“We’re proud to continue our work with the Free Clinic and to provide them the help they need to expand their programs and help their patients,” McMahon said. “Many of our patients are also seen at the Free Clinic. Working together helps the continuity of care for them.”