BD Launches BD Helping Build Healthy Communities with Direct Relief and the National Association of Community Health Centers

Initiative Seeks to Expand Access and Improve Healthcare for Underserved and Vulnerable Populations in the U.S. Through Support to Clinics and Community Health Centers

PR Newswire

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (BDX), a leading global medical technology company, together with Direct Relief and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), today launched BD Helping Build Healthy CommunitiesSM, a four-year initiative that will expand access and improve care for underserved and vulnerable populations in the U.S. The initiative, first announced earlier this year with a founding pledge at the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, includes a BD commitment of approximately $5 million in cash and product to clinics and community health centers (CCHCs) employing innovative models of care, along with strategic support from all partners.

"Clinics and community health centers all over the country provide critical services for millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans, but they face significant resource constraints," said Vincent A. Forlenza, Chairman, CEO and President of BD. "We are excited and proud to be working with Direct Relief and the National Association of Community Health Centers to help address some of these constraints and enable centers to continue delivering innovative care to underserved communities."

The initiative includes awards of up to $100,000 to CCHCs that are addressing the prevention and treatment of diseases that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. The first two awards, announced this summer as part of the initiative's pilot year, were given to Zufall Health Center in Dover, New Jersey, and The Children's Clinic in Long Beach, California, for their successes in improving care for people with diabetes and cervical cancer, respectively. Awards in future years will also focus on HIV prevention/detection and populations at high risk of developing co-morbidities. BD has a long history of developing tools to help diagnose and manage these conditions and is committed to improving care for those who lack access.

The initiative also includes an expansion of BD's existing syringe donation program with Direct Relief. In 2013, BD donated more than 7.8 million insulin syringes and needles to support diabetes treatment for the vulnerable populations served by clinics and community health centers.

"BD Helping Build Healthy Communities recognizes a huge and typically unrecognized fact: clinics and community health centers are America's healthcare safety net and provide quality, affordable preventive and primary care to those who wouldn't otherwise have access," said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. "Direct Relief is delighted to once again work with BD on this new and unique initiative to support these providers."

Throughout the U.S., 23 million people are medically underserved and receive healthcare at one of more than 2,400 CCHCs.[1],[2],[3]  The number of people who receive care at these providers dramatically increased in recent years due to loss of insurance or limitations on coverage, and volume is expected to grow further. More than 7 million people are without health insurance, and at least 20.4 million have an earned income 200 percent below the Federal Poverty Level.[4] 

"This multi-year initiative brings together resources that make a difference in the lives of the medically underserved," said Malvise A. Scott, Senior Vice President of Partnership and Resource Development at NACHC. "We appreciate this partnership and the recognition of the important work of community health centers across the country."

To learn more about BD Helping Build Healthy Communities, the current awardees or apply for a future award, please visit www.bd.com/responsibility/community/healthy_communities.asp.

Diabetes, a disease in which blood glucose levels are too high, currently affects an estimated 25.8 million Americans; costs of the disease in the U.S. amount to an estimated $174 billion annually.[5],[6] People with diabetes can live healthier lives by carefully managing their disease, including keeping tight control of blood glucose levels. Many depend on clinics and health centers for care and support. In 2011, 1.4 million people were treated with the primary diagnosis of diabetes, and 3.9 million people were seen for diabetes-related visits at clinics and community health centers.[7]

In 2012, an estimated 12,170 new cases of invasive cervical cancer were diagnosed in U.S. women.[8] Cervical cancer deaths in the U.S. declined by nearly 70 percent between 1955 and 1992 and continued declining to 2003, which is mainly attributed to the increased use of Pap test screening.[9] In 2011, 3.2 million people were screened for cervical cancer (females ages 24-64 who had at least one Pap test performed during the measurement year or during one of the previous two years) at clinics and community health centers.[10]

About BD

BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. The Company is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world. BD is focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery and production of new drugs and vaccines. BD's capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world's most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs nearly 30,000 associates in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public. For more information, please visit www.bd.com.

About Direct Relief

Direct Relief is a medical relief organization active in all 50 states and 70 countries. It works with more than 1,100 health clinics across the United States to assist in emergencies on an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world's largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and "top-notch" rating from Charity Navigator, and a 99 percent fund-raising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. Direct Relief was awarded the 2011 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation for its ability to adapt the insight, approaches, and tools of commercial technology for humanitarian purposes. For more information, please visit www.DirectRelief.org.

About National Association of Community Health Centers

Founded in 1970, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America's medically underserved and uninsured. NACHC represents the nation's network of over 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which serve over 22 million people through over 9,000 sites located in all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. For more information, please visit www.nachc.com.

[1] National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc. Community Health Centers: The Local Prescription for Better Quality and Lower Costs. Accessed October 16, 2013. Available at: http://www.nachc.com/client/A%20Local%20Prescription%20Final%20brief%203%2022%2011.pdf

[2] The National Association of Free Clinics & Charitable Clinics. Accessed October 16, 2013. Available at: http://www.nafcclinics.org/about-us

[3] Darnell, J.S. Free Clinics in the United States. A Nationwide Survey. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2010: (11):170

[4] Health Resources and Services Administration. Accessed August 8, 2013. Available at: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/

[5] International Diabetes Federation.Atlas. Accessed August 8, 2013. Available at:  http://www.diabetesatlas.org/content/some-285-million-people-worldwide-will-live-diabetes-2010  

[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.

[7] Health Resources and Services Administration. Uniform Data System Report, 2011 National Data. Accessed August 8, 2013. Available at: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/uds/view.aspx?year=2011

[8] American Cancer Society (ACS). (2012). Cervical cancer: detailed guide. Accessed July 17, 2012. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CervicalCancer/DetailedGuide/index

[9] U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2009 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute; 2013. Available at: www.cdc.gov/uscs.

[10] Health Resources and Services Administration. Uniform Data System Report, 2011 National Data. Accessed August 8, 2013. Available at: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/uds/view.aspx?year=2011

Contacts:

BD

Lindsay Roman
(201) 847-4312

lindsay_roman@bd.com

Direct Relief

Kerri Murray

(805) 452-7599

kmurray@directrelief.org

NACHC

Amy Simmons

(301) 347-0476

asimmons@nachc.org 

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