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Dispensary of Hope turns surplus medications into blessings

Every year, pharmaceutical companies give huge amounts of medication samples to doctors offices. Unfortunately, many of these samples go unused, never helping the patients for which they were intended. 

That’s where the Dispensary of Hope comes in. 
Through its outlets across the country, such as the Outpatient Pharmacy at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and the Ascension Medical Group Pharmacy, this nonprofit organization helps put unused sample medications and generic medications donated by pharmaceutical manufacturers into the hands of patients who might otherwise not be able to afford them.
Since becoming part of the national Dispensary of Hope network in January, Via Christi has been able to provide nearly 400 of its qualifying hospital and ER patients with $175,000 worth of free donated medication. 
These are the sorts of patients most at risk for readmission to the hospital if they don’t receive the medications they need for proper management of their conditions, says Jim Garrelts, senior director of Ascension Via Christi Pharmacy. “In a way, this is like helping them twice: once when they are hospitalized, and again when they go home,” he adds.
The Via Christi program has been so successful at reaching patients in need, adds Garrelts, that Dispensary of Hope hopes to expand its reach to other Via Christi hospitals and area safety net clinics. We hope to be able to tell you more about that in the months to come.
In the meantime, visit the Dispensary of Hope website,, to learn more and find out how you can support this important ministry.

If you’re a Ascension Via Christi Hospital, ER or Ascension Medical Group patient who might benefit from the dispensary’s services, contact the Outpatient Pharmacy at 316-613-6511 or the Ascension Medical Group Pharmacy at 689-9280.

About Judy Conkling

Judy Conkling is a Wichita writer and editor with a deep interest in all things related to healthy living.