By Shirli Kaskie
After a medication room volunteer checks a prescription for content of the medication, Anneliese takes the files and lists all the prescriptions being ordered for the medical supervisor to check. Once it has been determined whether the medication is new or a refill, Anneliese is in charge of communicating the Clinic’s medication needs to the drug companies. Even though most medications are donated through PAP, the Clinic purchases about 20% of the medications dispensed to patients which are funded through monetary donations.
In 2010, over 2000 patients were treated at the Neighborhood Health Clinic and made over 7000 patient visits, worth more than 5 million dollars. One night recently, the Clinic handed out 452 prescriptions valued at $43,000. The savings to the Clinic through the operation of PAP has been estimated in excess of $250,000 per month.
Anneliese grew up in Prague, Czechoslovakia. After the Germans took over the country in the late 30s, Anneliese and her husband (members of the Jewish religion) were sent to a concentration camp. They were among the few fortunate survivors. Eventually they escaped communism and sought political asylum in the United States. With their two daughters, ages 9 and 11, they emigrated in December of 1968. Once Anneliese mastered the English language, she worked as a medical technologist. They lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 36 years. Their daughter Eva became a doctor and Susan a dental hygienist.
After her husband passed away in 2004, Anneliese moved to Florida to be near her daughters. “I didn’t know anyone. Initially I cried, I read, I ate too much. In about six months, I said to myself, I can’t live like this. So I joined the Newcomer’s Club, a Ski Club, but they did not keep me busy enough. So I was looking for some service projects I could do. It happened that someone from the Museum called Eileen and told her about me. “
“Eileen asked me if I wanted to learn how to apply to pharmaceutical companies to participate in the Patient Assistance Medication Program. At once, I said, yes. I started a week later. At first I came in once a week, then twice. Now I come as needed.”
“I love to come here. I need to be needed – to stay mentally okay. I’ve worked all of my life. It is a pleasure for me to be here at Neighborhood Health Clinic. To be able to give, not take. To be able to give to this country which helped us so much when we were in need. What I do here at the Clinic helps me do that,” declares Anneliese.