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PRESS RELEASE- Downing & Pignatelli Announce Grant Funding for Local Non-Profit Healthcare Clinic
February 27, 2009

Great Barrington- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) are pleased to announce that Attorney General Martha Coakley has awarded Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires a grant through her office’s Prescription Drug Assistance Grant Program. 


“VIM Berkshires provides free medical services to thousands of people in Berkshire County who otherwise would not have access to healthcare,” said Downing.  “Without continued support from grant programs like Prescription Drug Assistance, many would be without access to the medicines they rely on.”


Since 2003, VIM Berkshires, a volunteer-based program, has been bridging healthcare gaps throughout the community.  Their network of nearly 200 volunteers serve the thousands of Berkshire residents who work without employer-provided health insurance, do not qualify for governmental assistance programs and are financially unable to purchase individual healthcare.  


Pignatelli said, “Because of rising healthcare and prescription drug costs, many residents throughout Berkshire County are having trouble paying their monthly bills. With this grant, Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires will be able to continue to fill this gap and provide the essential services and coverage that so many people lack.”


VIM Berkshires was one of fourteen grantees receiving funds from the Prescription Drug Assistance Grant Program.  Coakley’s office has awarded over $1 million in grants to nonprofit community health centers to provide free or significantly discounted prescription medication or co-pay assistance to low income and uninsured individuals across the Commonwealth.  Funding for these grants comes from a series of multistate settlements with pharmaceutical companies that authorized the Attorney General’s office to direct settlement proceeds to benefit low income, disabled or elderly consumers of prescription medications.




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