Charity Category: Health
Patient Assist VI was founded on the principal that no person should have to choose between the medications they need to stay healthy and the food they need to stay alive. That was the reality here in the US Virgin Islands before Patient Assist VI was founded.
While assisting my husband, a practicing internist, it became clear that many patients were able to afford either a visit to the doctor or their medications, but not both. After conducting a needs-based survey and analyzing the data, I discovered that approximately one third of our population was without health insurance due to both income limitations and policy restrictions.
With a background in the pharmaceutical industry and nonprofit sector, I knew there was a solution for patients desperately in need. After developing a model for the organization, I approached several caring individuals who provided insight, technical support and financial backing. Months later, Patient Assist VI helped its first patient within the walls of Red Hook Family Practice, as the late Dr. James Clayton provided the office space for us to meet with patients in a medical setting.
Two years later we are busier than ever. Our patients are “the working poor”: they are our landscapers, restaurant workers, fishermen, charter staff, chambermaids, retail clerks and fast-food workers. They help our island run smoothly, but are unable to obtain insurance. In return, we provide them with assistance, and they receive their medications free of charge.
We are currently helping any patient in need on St. Thomas and St. John. Moving forward, we hope to expand our reach to St. Croix and ensure that all eligible patients in the USVI have access to our service. We look forward to the day when all patients in the Virgin Islands will not only receive the medical care they need, but also the medications necessary to lead healthy, productive lives.
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