Faces of 340B
Cindy Williams, Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, Riverside Health System, Newport News, Va.
Tangier Island is in the middle of Chesapeake Bay. Roughly 25 percent of the population lives in poverty. For years, the only medical care was an hour away by boat or provided by itinerant doctors. Residents have a high incidence of health problems including Tangier Disease, which allows cholesterol to build up in internal organs.
Tangier is in Riverside Health System’s 8,000 square mile service area in the eastern part of Virginia. Based in Newport News, Riverside uses savings from the 340B drug discount program to maintain a clinic on Tangier so its residents, who often don’t have insurance, can access primary care services. It’s just one of ways “the 340B program is critical to Riverside being able to provide comprehensive services in the communities that we serve,” says Riverside Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer Cindy Williams.
Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital is the only hospital on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It would not be able to keep its doors open without 340B program savings, Williams says. The hospital provides comprehensive oncology services that residents would otherwise have to drive one and a half hours to access. “The 340B program allows us to provide these comprehensive services even though these services are a money-loser for the organization,” explains Williams.
“It would really be impossible to provide the comprehensive care and that safety-net for the underserved population if the 340B program were not in existence,” she says. “We use directly the savings from the 340B program to further our mission of caring for others as we would care for those that we love.”