Critical medicines closer to west Denver metro residents
(Colorado News Connection) After 18 months of planning and renovations, STRIDE community health center has opened its second pharmacy inside the Wheat Ridge clinic at 29th St. and Wadsworth Blvd. The safety-net health provider's other pharmacy is more than 15 miles away in Aurora.
Paula Alexander, director, STRIDE Wheat Ridge Pharmacy, said the new site will allow more people to get medicines on the same day of their visit at affordable prices.
"Patients on the west side of our service area can now have access to the convenience of one-stop-shopping. So they'll have access to medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health - all under one roof," she said.
The new pharmacy offers walk-in and drive-through options. STRIDE's 19 clinics serve a large horseshoe-shaped area surrounding the city and county of Denver which includes Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson and Park counties and the cities of Arvada, Aurora and Lakewood. For an appointment, call 303.7-STRIDE (778-7433), or check in online at 'stridechc.org.'
STRIDE provides care to people regardless of their ability to pay, and Alexander says 93 percent of patients live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, about $60,000 for a family of four. Three out of four STRIDE patients have no health insurance, and the majority are paying for prescriptions out of pocket.
"Many medications are cost prohibitive at retail pharmacies, even for patients who have insurance. So if you have no insurance, you just don't have access to life-sustaining medication," she added.
Alexander said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Along with regular primary-care checkups, she added prescription medicines are critical for managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which if left unchecked can turn into something much worse.
"They may become life threatening. So by adhering to medications, patients can prevent hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and it helps improve their quality of life," she continued.