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ER doctor, best-selling author to speak in Richmond on Thursday

Posted at 7:28 AM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 07:28:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. --Renowned emergency room doctor and best-selling author Dr. Sampson Davis will participate in a Heart-to-Heart conversation with a VCU leader this week.

The non-profit, Rx Partnership, is hosting Dr. Davis and VCU School of Pharmacy Dean Dr. K.C. Ogbonna at Main Street Station from 6pm to 8pm Thursday.

Dr. Davis has coauthored New York Times bestselling books, The Pact, We Beat the Street, The Bond, and Living and Dying in Brick City: An ER Doctor Returns Home. 

His story is also featured in the award-winning documentary The Pact which was recently shown at the Byrd Theater in Carytown.

“It’s not just a presentation where somebody's going to be talking at the audience, but we want to engage people thinking about healthcare, education — how those two things go together to help us get to a better place with the care that patients can receive,” said Amy Yarcich, executive director of Rx Partnership.

The talks coincide with the non-profit’s 20th anniversary of providing medication access to uninsured patients in Virginia.

2023 marked the major milestone of 1 million prescriptions provided by Rx Partnership since its founding in 2004.

Since then, more than $273 million in free medications have reached over 82,642 low-income, uninsured people throughout Virginia.

“We really want to see more people going into the health professions. We need more doctors, pharmacists, and we need folks of color to be able to be in those professions and supported as they have that journey,” Yarcich explained.

The conversation comes as free clinic usage by Virginians continues to grow, according to new data from the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

Patient demand was up 11.5% from July 2023 to March 2024, compared to the same period a year prior.

It’s a familiar dynamic for the VAFCC’s 69 member clinics which provide medical care to vulnerable Virginians: Clinic usage was already up 28% in fiscal year 2023 versus 2022, according to a press release.

The latest growth also follows national trends, which saw 80% of free clinics across the country [nafcclinics.org] serving more patients last year.

The VAFCC is asking state lawmakers to include an additional $5 million annually in the state budget to help fund the yearly cost of care for more than 5,000 uninsured patients across the state’s free clinic network, as legislators prepare for a special session on May 13 to finalize the biennial budget.

“Virginia’s free clinics are vital to the state’s health care safety net,” said Rufus Phillips, VAFCC CEO. “Most clinic patients are working adults with chronic conditions. Clinic teams are helping them stay healthy and out of emergency rooms. But with increased economic pressures that aren’t slowing down, clinic leaders need the legislature’s help more than ever.”

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