As the Greater Killeen Free Clinic gets ready to offer chronic care next week, clinic employees are utilizing a nonprofit that offers free medication.
Marlene DiLillo, executive director for the clinic, said she orders free medicine from AmeriCares’ medical assistance program.
“Each month we’re able to order from a drug inventory,” she said. “We’re expanding into chronic care beginning next week, so we’ll be able to order medications for heart conditions, for diabetes and hypertension.”
AmeriCares, a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization that delivers medicine and medical supplies to people globally and nationwide, received $2.1 million grant from the GE Foundation last week.
DiLillo said the large donation will provide increased aid deliveries to the Greater Killeen Free Clinic and about 300 other clinics nationwide.
“(AmeriCares) provides direct benefits to our patients by providing medications that they need,” she said. “It helps us control the cost of medications and other supplies.”
Sandra Burgos has received health care from the local clinic for about seven years. Without the clinic noticing how sluggish she became, Burgos said she might never have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Burgos, who works at a hair salon, is one of many uninsured Killeen residents who visit the clinic to receive services and medication for free.
“If you think about it, a lot of these people may not know they have high blood pressure or diabetes because they can’t afford to go to the doctor,” said Burgos, who also volunteers at the clinic weekly. “It’s wonderful (that) it’s only for people who don’t have insurance, so it helps 100 percent.”
Last year, the Killeen clinic received nine shipments of various vaccines and medicines from AmeriCares, valued at $135,000.
“AmeriCares is one of our partners,” DiLillo said. “We have many partners here in the greater Killeen community that support the clinic. ... As we expand, we hope to continue to expand partnerships.”