Ridgefield, CT, March 15, 2016 - Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation and AmeriCares today announced a new Health Coach Program at the Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares Free Clinic in Danbury, Conn., for uninsured patients with chronic disease. The primary role of the AmeriCares health coaches is to equip patients who are committed to improve their health with the knowledge, skills and confidence to better manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
The field of health coaching emerged to fill an information gap, following research that shows half of patients leave medical visits without understanding their provider’s advice. It includes one-on-one interactions with patients to ensure they have the information they need, and understand what they need to do to be successful. The health coaches will also help to increase overall productivity at the clinic, freeing up providers’ time to treat more uninsured patients. Lack of adherence to medical advice is a significant problem in the United States and results in poor health outcomes for patients and significant burden on the healthcare system. In the United States, medication nonadherence alone is estimated to cost the system as much as $300 billion annually.
“Staying healthy means more than just taking your medicine; it also means sticking to an exercise regimen, eating right, and working with a team of healthcare providers to monitor and track your health. But with the challenges of everyday life, it’s not easy,” said Karen Gottlieb, executive director, AmeriCares Free Clinics. “We are excited to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation on this important AmeriCares program – by providing additional education and resources, we can improve a patient’s chance of success.”
This cross-sector collaboration is the result of an extensive assessment of community needs, existing community programming, and best practices in improving patient outcomes nationwide. Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation also engaged community partners in program planning, including Western Connecticut State University and Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation. Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation is providing financial support for two health coaches at the clinic, which serves more than 1,200 low-income, uninsured patients annually. Patients receive comprehensive primary care services including medications, lab work and diagnostic testing all at no cost.
“We have a long-standing partnership with AmeriCares and are proud to build on the strength of our existing programs to help with one of the hardest aspects of healthy living – behavior change,” said Lilly Ackley, president, Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation. “Health adherence is central to a patient’s overall success, and by putting resources in place to improve it, we are working together towards a healthier community.”
“As both a caregiver and patient, I know how challenging it can be to follow a health regimen, especially while juggling a busy life,” said Juanita Castillo, one of the new health coaches. “Traditionally, patients are only involved in making their healthcare decisions 10 percent of the time, which leads to a lack of adherence. By working together to develop and monitor a plan that works for them, they are more invested in the solution and are more likely to see improvement.”
The clinic will have health coaches available for all weekday clinic sessions. Both health coaches are fluent in English and Spanish, and will initially be partnered with patients who have previously experienced challenges managing their health. Program success will be determined by measuring improvements in clinical outcomes, medication adherence, clinic productivity and patient satisfaction.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation
Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation is a private foundation with a mission to provide “more health” to patients, families and communities through its major programs:
- A Patient Assistance Program that makes our branded medicines available free of charge to patients without prescription insurance coverage who meet certain household income criteria
- A Product Donation Program that donates Boehringer Ingelheim medicines to approved nonprofit partners who meet certain standards, and who distribute the medicines around the world where there is tremendous unmet need
- A Financial Contributions Program that provides financial support to Connecticut programs that improve access to healthcare and enhance STEM education for the underserved
- A Skills-based Volunteer Program through which employees donate their time and skills to nonprofit organizations to help fill community needs
About AmeriCares Free Clinics
The AmeriCares Free Clinics provide quality health care to low-income, uninsured patients in a setting where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. Since 1994, our clinics in Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford have helped 26,000 Connecticut residents receive free health care services valued at $65 million. For more information, go to americaresfreeclinics.org or call +1 (203) 658 9500.
About Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation.
Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, the company operates globally with 146 affiliates and more than 47,000 employees. Since its founding in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel treatments for human and veterinary medicine.
Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and providing valuable services and support to patients and families. Our employees create and engage in programs that strengthen our communities. To learn more about how we make more health for more people, visit our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about $16.96 billion dollars (13.3 billion euros). R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9 percent of its net sales.