Cenla Medication Access Program is now helping more than 6,000 people get the free prescriptions they so desperately need to maintain their health.
CMAP works with doctors across Central Louisiana to sign up eligible patients for free medications, and supports an outpatient pharmacy at the region's public hospital - Huey P. Long Medical Center's England Airpark Clinic.
The Rapides Foundation developed and funded CMAP almost eight years ago. Since then 22,300 people in Cenla have been served through this innovative medication assistance program.
Foundation President and CEO Joe Rosier says while these numbers are impressive, "There are still so many people who could benefit from this life-saving program, and we want to get the word out that it is free and easy to sign up."
In these uncertain economic times, the Foundation believes now more than ever it is vital for people to tell their family, friends and neighbors about CMAP.
If you know someone who is struggling to pay for prescription medications they might qualify to receive them free through CMAP.
For more information about the program call 888-443-7494 or visit www.cmaprx.org.
Anna Moreau, Avoyelles Parish
Having no insurance at all is a daunting situation. When paired with having to take seven to eight medicines a day, it can be downright frightening. For Avoyelles Parish’s Anna Moreau, CMAP was a “revelation.”
At 63, Moreau and family members were concerned for her life because out of necessity she had regularly shirked treatment for her cholesterol and high blood pressure. Moreau said the medicines she requires run in the hundreds of dollars. One prescription, for instance, costs $160 per filling, she said.
“Thank God for CMAP,” Moreau said. “With the medicine I need for my high blood pressure and blood sugar, it would really be hard taking care of myself. Before CMAP, I was always worried about how I could get medicine and when I could get it. That’s no way to live. Now, I’m living.”
Now Moreau is not only able to receive all her medicines but also routine check-up calls from CMAP staff to ensure her well-being.
Lerenda Dauzat, Avoyelles Parish
Lerenda Dauzat of Avoyelles Parish thinks back to a bleak period six years ago, and the problems she had getting the 26 medicines needed to treat her heart condition. It was at that critical time when she first learned about a relatively new program funded by The Rapides Foundation.
“I would have died,” Dauzat said. “There is no way I would’ve been able to afford all that medicine. I neglected myself. It was always, ‘Will I eat or take my medicine?’ Then she found CMAP.
Michael Crist, Rapides Parish
In Rapides Parish, Pineville resident Michael Crist considers his CMAP experience one that was ordained by a higher power. Crist and his wife were finding it difficult to pay for four different medications for his diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and cholesterol on the couple’s fixed income.
“This has been a tremendous help and a blessing,” Crist said. “We’ve had three CMAP staff who worked with us, and they’ve all been very efficient, very helpful. And we’ve had a very good doctor. We’ve been blessed.” Crist, 63, added, “CMAP’s allowed us to have more money for things like food and bills; it’s saved my family more than $400 each month.”
Christie Madden, Allen Parish
Prior to her introduction to CMAP, this was the quandary for Christie Madden. The 52-year-old Allen Parish resident had to make dire choices between medications for her high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Ongoing issues with getting qualified for disability payments make her need that much greater.
“It’s made a tremendous impact,” Madden said. “If it wasn’t for CMAP and The Rapides Foundation, I don’t know how I would have been able to survive. People I know have said they notice a change in me. That’s because I feel better. I don’t have to think about whether I’ll be able to afford my medicine.”
The state is poised to significantly expand the Cenla Medication Access Program. It's taken notice of the positive impact on healthcare costs and improved health, and is now funding the effort to spread the program throughout Louisiana.
Since it began eight years ago, CMAP has helped 22,300 people in Cenla get the prescriptions they needed, but couldn't afford.
The Rapides Foundation funds the program in nine parishes in Central Louisiana. CMAP has worked with the Louisiana Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health under the Department of Health and Hospitals, which is funding the program for 30 more parishes, and even more in the future.
The Bureau says it's committed to the expansion because CMAP serves as an innovative model for helping the uninsured get needed medications.
This unique partnership between the Foundation, the Bureau and physicians in 39 parishes has the potential to reach thousands of people who are eligible for free prescriptions.
The Bureau's Interim Director Gerrelda Davis notes, "Within Louisiana, nothing like this has been achieved."
The Foundation is proud of CMAP's achievements and the important role this program plays in meeting its Mission - to improve health status in Central Louisiana.