Alexandra Schreiber

Alexandra Schreiber is a 2012 intern with the U.S. Domestic Aid team at AmeriCares.

Chronic Disease Initiative Helps Patients in Need

Luis uses a spirometer to help better manage his asthma.

Tom is constantly feeling fatigued, extremely thirsty, and gets a tingling sensation in his extremities. What should he do?

The answer seems simple: Go to the doctor. Unfortunately, Tom is one of the 50 million Americans who do not have health insurance or a way to pay for medical attention.

Eventually his disease gets so unmanageable that Tom has to take a day off work to go to the free clinic. At the free clinic he is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a chronic but manageable disease. But once again Tom has an issue because he can’t afford his medicine and there is no easy way to get his medicine for free. So now what?

AmeriCares Chronic Disease Initiative helps people like Tom who are living with a chronic illness, but are unable to access the information and medicines necessary to manage their condition. AmeriCares is currently accepting applications from its partner network of 400 safety net clinics for the second enrollment period of the initiative. Four chronic illnesses are being targeted: Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and chronic respiratory disease.

Thirteen clinics will be selected as recipients of the initiative. The recipient clinics will benefit with support from AmeriCares for a specific chronic illness that affects their patients.  The support includes patient educational materials about the illness, prioritized assistance with donations of targeted medications, as well as a two year license for a web-based software system to expedite and simplify the applications for Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) a program by which pharmaceutical companies donate medicines directly to the patients in need.

The Chronic Disease Initiative helps clinics better serve their community, and also helps patients like Tom learn more about their disease and provides them with access to medications needed for management. This initiative is just one of the many ways that AmeriCares works here in the U.S. and around the world with “A passion to help. The ability to deliver.”


  • Visit Free Clinics TodayExternal Link, AmeriCares online resource guide for America’s free clinics and nonprofit health centers.
  • Partner clinics can order medicines and supplies on the AmeriCares U.S. Access website; the medicines are shipped within six days.
  • Icon PDF 2Download the special reportAddressing Resource Gaps in the U.S. Health Care Safety Net—the first nationwide study of free clinic resource needs.