The MLK Health Center & Pharmacy and the North Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy (NLIP) are excited to announce the integration of their two pharmacies.
The MLK Health Center & Pharmacy and NLIP have a long history of collaboration serving the uninsured and under-insured struggling with chronic conditions in Northwest Louisiana. Both organizations have shared a common mission to address the coverage gap in our health care system, often working side-by-side to care for our community’s uninsured and under-insured.
MLK Health Center & Pharmacy holds the first Charitable Pharmacy permit issued by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy. Prior to this integration, our pharmacy services were available only to clinic patients who were required to regularly attend clinic appointments. With NLIP integrating into MLK Health Center & Pharmacy, MLK will now be a community pharmacy serving both clinic and pharmacy-only patients.
This is an exciting development that will allow us to ensure no one struggles alone with their health. Former NLIP patients will now have access to our additional services and referring agencies and organization now have one point of contact.
Ellen White, Executive Director of NLIP, said “This is a good thing! We believe that our patients will not only continue to have access to the medicines but also to the host of programs MLK Health Center & Pharmacy can share with them. Our missions have been closely aligned for years; we have served the same population and will continue to do so.”
Referrals formerly made to NLIP will now need to be referred to MLK Health Center & Pharmacy.
Janet Mentesane, Executive Director of MLK Health Center & Pharmacy, said “NLIP has a strong legacy of addressing the health care coverage gap in our community. They have been our partners in caring for the uninsured and under-insured from the very beginning. Our team is excited to welcome their patients into our community of patients.”
As NLIP integrates into MLK Health Center & Pharmacy, the overall mission remains the same: to provide comprehensive, patient-centered health care to the uninsured and under-insured struggling with chronic conditions.
Healthy communities start with healthy families. MLK Health Center & Pharmacy will continue their work to ensure no one struggles alone with their health, including NLIP patients.
North Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy Legacy
In the fall of 1999, four diverse groups of Shreveport citizens, meeting independently, identified a compelling need for a free pharmacy in Northwest Louisiana. Each of the groups recognized a gap in the health care services for the indigent. The uninsured were able to get healthcare at Louisiana State University Health Science Center but had no resource for their medicines. Unable to follow their doctor’s orders, these uninsured patients often ended up back in the hospital again and again for the same illness or further complications due to their noncompliance. These groups included the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, the First Presbyterian Church, the Caddo Community Action Agency, and citizens representing many denominations. In March of 2000, these groups met to establish a “free pharmacy,” and a governing board was established. The name Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy (Interfaith Pharmacy) was chosen to represent the concept of inclusiveness and support from the entire faith community. The Interfaith Pharmacy started providing services in May of 2003.