Richmond clinic accepts medical donations from public

Updated: Feb. 21, 2017 at 10:18 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A diabetic man who called NBC12 after he says he was discriminated against is now getting help from an anonymous donor.

Jacob Fleming says he went to the Brook Road Walmart to buy syringes. He says the pharmacist thought he was a drug addict and refused to sell him syringes he needed for insulin.

An anonymous viewer saw his story and came forward with a big supply of insulin syringes that belonged to her late husband.

There are many people like our anonymous donor who have medicines and supplies they want to put to good use but don't know how. Her gift is a two-for-one solution. Fleming gets his syringes and you get information on a clinic few people know about that accepts medical donations.

After receiving the generous donation, we searched for a way to pass the syringes on in a safe manner and still comply with the donor's wishes. Our calls led us to Cross Over Ministry on Cowardin Avenue in Richmond. It agreed to inspect the gift and give approval. A nurse inspected the boxes to make sure they're still sterile and the packaging is as it should be. She gave the thumbs up and said the sealed packages of syringes were good to pass on.

Cross Over Ministry runs a licensed clinic and is the only facility in the area with Board of Pharmacy approval to accept medicine donations from the community. Donations from pharmaceutical companies are routine. This is relatively new.

"Medicine is so expensive, and for it to sit in someone's home when it could no longer be used is really a tragedy when there are people that really need it," said Dr. Mike Murchie, Medical Director of Cross Over Ministry. "We want to do good things. We also want to do good things the right way and in a way that doesn't cause any harm or put anyone at risk."

Cross Over Ministry sees roughly 7,000 low-income patients for chronic disease management, pediatrics to dentistry and counseling. The pharmacy provides medications to nine other area clinics, including Goochland and Powhatan. It fills about 100 prescriptions daily for people who otherwise would go without.

"As far as medication goes, things that are not expired. It has to be at least 3 months from expiration date the moment that they get donated. Also, they have to be in their original packaging," said Dr. Estela Lajthis, a licensed pharmacist at Cross Over Ministry.

From Cross Over Ministry to Fleming carrying a donation from a woman battling cancer and whose disabled veteran husband recently died. Fleming received the anonymous donation with open arms.

"I think that's beautiful," said Fleming. "I guess I won't have to buy any needles. This is a lot of needles. Ha! Ha! I've got one for five times a day now. I don't have any reason to go back to any of these stores, and I want to thank the lady who remained anonymous. I hope that this gets played on the news and she knows that I said thank you."

Cross Over Health Care Ministry could always use more volunteers. The clinic is located at 108 Cowardin Avenue in Richmond. The phone number is 804- 233-5016. You don't need a medical background to help.

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