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WRHCF grant aids medication program

Foundation works with Sterling Drug, A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota.

Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation Executive Director Jeff Rotert (from left) presents on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, a grant check for a Sterling Drug medication adherence program with Sterling Drug pharmacist Jason Turner, Sterling Drug pharmacy manager Joe Anderson, Sterling Drug (OTHER PERSON) and A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota Nobles County Coordinator Joanne Bartosh. (Ryan McGaughey/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — For the second time, a grant from the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation (WRHCF) will benefit a medication adherence program for people who can’t financially participate.

WRHCF Executive Director Jeff Rotert on Tuesday presented a ceremonial $10,000 check to A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota Nobles County Coordinator Joanne Bartosh, Sterling Pharmacy Manager Joe Anderson and others to once again fund the program.

“There are people that have trouble with adhering to their medications, and this program eliminates confusion,” Anderson said. “It does result in extra staff time and resources, though, which means there is a fee. This grant helps us to fund that service for those who can’t afford it.”

Jason Turner, a pharmacist with Sterling, noted that the pharmacy had been hearing from people who wanted to participate in the medication adherence program but couldn’t afford the added fee when on a fixed income. The fee also isn’t covered by many insurance providers, he added.

The program creates personalized multi-dose cards that allow people to see clearly what day of the week and time of day (morning, noon, evening or bedtime) that they should take medications. While Sterling offers the medication adherence cards, A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota also has a key role as well.


“We help find people who qualify for being a part of this,” said Bartosh, noting that as a 501(c)(3) organization, A.C.E. is also the recipient of the grant.

“There are a number of reasons that make this medication packaging program a great fit for many people, including complicated medication regimens, busy schedules, reduced vision with age or memory impairment, to name a few,” Turner added.

The WRHCF awarded an initial $5,100 grant for the program in December 2019, and this time additional funds were secured.

“We get calls all the time from medical providers wanting something like this for their patients,” Anderson said. “I’m appreciative of the foundation for its support of this.”

Rotert is pleased the WRHCF is able to play any role it can to continue the program.

“To us, this fits perfectly with what we want to do,” he said. “Anything we can do to help people maintain their medications correctly and keep them on track, that’s important. For the ones who struggle with maintaining the multiple medications they need to be on, this is a great way to minimize their risk of them using those medications incorrectly.”

“The merits of the program are many, but the ones that hit home with me are that we are adding to our patients’ safety in taking their meds correctly and also in many cases allowing people to remain more independent in their own homes with this professional service,” Turner said. “My hope is that insurance payers will see the value and start to invest in this affordable service as opposed to more expensive options.”

Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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