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FHBS Pharmacy Stipend Program Begins Sixth Cycle

The sixth cycle of FHBS’s Pharmacy Stipend Program began on September 1, 2015 with a total of 26 participants, each receiving a monthly $50 gift card, or the equivalent, through February 1, 2016. Stipends are to be used for uncovered medical expenses. The total cost of the program is $7,770; funding came from The Legacy Fund of Suburban JCC Bnai Aaron ($7,500) and an FHBS board member ($270).

Thirteen women from the fifth cycle were eligible for renewal. A referring social worker advised that two of her clients were currently financially stable and would not need the stipend; one client died mid-cycle. Twelve new clients were added. Of these 12, five were never before assisted by FHBS in any category. At the request of social workers, we also included four women with great financial need who had been participants in earlier cycles.

Fourteen of these women live in Philadelphia with 12 in surrounding suburbs including Bensalem, Elkins Park, Hatboro, Huntingdon Valley, Merion, Plymouth Meeting, Trevose, Willow Grove and Wynnewood. They range in age from 42 to 92 with approximately equal numbers of women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Ten are married, four are divorced, eight are widows, three are single, never married and one is separated. There are six minor children in five households; 15 households have two or more adults.

Primary sources of income include employment, SS and SSD. All but two households receive at least one public entitlement. Fourteen households receive SNAP. According to the 2015 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines, three households live at 100% or lower, nine at 150%, nine at 200 % and five at 250%+. [A single person classified at 100% subsists on an annual income of $11,770 or less, two persons at $15,930 or less, etc.]

Referrals came from Heart to Heart at Klein JCC, JFCS Departments of Care Management, Senior Services and Orthodox Services and Federation Housing. Pharmacies include Acme, CVS, Giant, Rite Aid, ShopRite, Target, Walgreens, Walmart and seven independent stores.

This program, initiated with contributions in memory of Lillian Tabas and continued for five additional cycles through the generosity of The Legacy Fund of Suburban JCC Bnai Aaron, has impacted on the lives of 78 different women.

Written by Eileen S. Sklaroff