The Pharmacy of Grace Story
One in ten people in the Kansas City metro area are uninsured and as many as 40-percent are underinsured, making simple maintenance or even life-saving medications unaffordable. As a pharmacist, John Yost knows how important it is for people to manage their chronic illnesses with medication. That’s why he set out on a mission to improve access to medications for Kansas City’s most vulnerable populations.
The inspiration came while on a church trip with a group from the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (COR) in Leawood, KS, who were visiting the Church for All People (C4AP) in Columbus, Ohio. John Yost was talking to C4AP’s senior pastor and learned about the “Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio” and its mission to provide free medication to the uninsured and underinsured. John and his wife Sarah returned to the pharmacy on two mission trips and the experience inspired him. Witnessing the powerful impact on peoples’ lives made John and Sarah wonder how this vision could be brought back to Kansas City.
After much analysis and discussion, the vision to bring affordable access to prescription medication is becoming a reality with the Pharmacy of Grace. In fulfilling its mission to provide access to necessary and life-saving medications, Pharmacy of Grace also aims to break the cycle of homelessness, poverty, school absentee days, and unemployment caused by unmanaged medical conditions. Many medical conditions (such as hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma, COPD, Bi-Polar, and migraines) often go unmanaged simply because patients can’t afford medication or do not understand how to take it, and this eventually causes people to seek emergency medical care. Pharmacy of Grace will offer not only access to medication, but also counseling services to make sure patients understand their medications. Pharmacy of Grace fills an important gap in the Kansas City metro as the only stand-alone pharmacy dedicated to serving uninsured and underinsured patients on a long-term basis, whereas many programs in the metro focus on short-term needs.
Making Medicine More Accessible
Pharmacy of Grace is located in Wyandotte County, Kansas, the county with the highest percentage of people living in poverty in the greater Kansas City Metro. The pharmacy’s location near I-635 and Minnesota is an area of tremendous social and healthcare need with 30-40% of residents uninsured.