Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 12 : Spring 2012 - Page 69

life threatening, so the Prescription Assistance Program is truly a life saver.” Program Coordinators are available to provide patients with prescription assistance at Pines Health Centers in Caribou, Presque Isle, and Van Buren. Patients may be referred by a Pines provider or by a provider from another physician practice in the area. Mary Gallant is a Pines Family Nurse Practitioner. “I’m from this area, and I know what the economic conditions are like right now,” said Gallant. “I know people are struggling and how valuable this program is for them.” Gallant has a number of cardiac patients who rely on anti-hypertensive medication to reduce their risk of a heart attack. She knows many would not be able to afford their prescriptions without prescription assistance. “These patients are in an age group between 50 and 65, so they are not eligible for Medicare and find themselves in a bind,” said Gallant. “Most may be currently looking for work or recently unemployed. Without this program, many would go without their medicine.” When talking about Pines Prescription Assistance Program Coordinators, Gallant said, “They often read between the lines when they work with our patients. It is a sensitive situation, many patients are embarrassed. It takes a special person, along the lines of a social worker, to Ann Gahagan help patients get the help they need in a respectful manner. They are wonderful.” As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Pines provides enhanced access to health care services for all members of the community including those who are unserved, underserved, or unable to pay. Along with prescription assistance, Pines offers a sliding fee scale and financial counseling, as well as free case management services. GREAT FOOD Ann Gahagan is a Pines Family Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Specialist. “The Prescription Assistance Program has been a wonderful addition to the range of services offered at Pines,” said Gahagan. “We see patients every day who have to make real hard financial decisions and having this program available to them really does make their life ch