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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2009 Archives > February 2009 > Prescription 4 Health Literacy Initiative Launched

Prescription 4 Health Literacy Initiative Launched

Contact: Peter Cutler

City of Buffalo Partners with Community Health Foundation Fellows Program

Deputy Mayor Donna Brown today announced the Brown Administration’s partnership with the Community Health Foundation Fellows Program on their Prescription 4 Health initiative.

This program was developed to enhance patient health literacy in the area of prescription and over-the-counter medications by simply changing how health care practitioners work with their patients in the clinic and community pharmacy.  The project will provide health care practitioners with tools that can be utilized in assisting their patients in enhancing the continuity of medication management from the clinic to the community pharmacy. There are four questions that health care professionals will ask in discussing medications with their patients. These questions include: 1) Why am I taking it, 2) How and when do I take it, 3) How do I know it is working, and 4) Who do I call if I have questions?
“The focus of this program is to help these health care providers and their patients by providing them with the necessary tools and encouraging them to work with each other to become health literate,” said Deputy Mayor Donna Brown.

The Deputy Mayor was joined by representatives from many local organizations, including the Community Health Foundation, UB Schools of Pharmacy and Public Health, Daemen College, ERIE I BOCES, Buffalo Hearing and Speech and Community Youth Development at the Northwest Buffalo Community Health Care Center (NWBCHCC) for this announcement. The NWBCHCC has been designated as Healthcare location with the following local pharmacies serving as pilot locations: Wegman’s Pharmacy on Amherst Street, Black Rock Pharmacy on Tonawanda Street, Rite Aid Pharmacy on Tonawanda Street, and Union Pharmacy in West Seneca.

This initiative will focus on area youth and improving their health literacy and medication management.  According to “Healthy People 2010,” health literacy is described as the ability to obtain, to process and to understand health information and services, and to then make appropriate health decisions based on that information.  To be considered health literate, a patient must be able to understand information given to them by health care providers, and also be able to comply with medical advice.

This partnership was developed as a result of The Community Health Foundation’s Fellows identifying Health Literacy as the 6th Vital Sign with physicians working with adolescent patients. This has been emphasized in Read to Succeed Buffalo, a citywide strategic plan for literacy.