In a joint press conference Wednesday, April 15, Multnomah County and Portland Fire & Rescue leaders announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to get medication delivered to qualifying community members in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program offers City of Portland residents a prescription pick-up and delivery service of vital, life sustaining medications. The program is specifically geared towards people who are especially vulnerable to the virus, older, or disabled.
“We are proud to work together, in unison, to make sure that vital medication gets delivered to those who need it most,” Interim Department of County Human Services Director Mohammad Bader said. “COVID-19 can only be defeated by us working together, and this is another example of agencies cooperating during extraordinary times in an extraordinary way.”
In order to qualify for the program, a program participants must be:
Vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19
65 years of age and have a life threatening pre-existing medical condition.
Disabled and unable to leave the house.
Lacking other means of obtaining prescriptions.
To participate in the program, qualifying residents must call the Meds on Wheels intake line at (971) 288-7687. From there, intake staff will ask a series of questions including:
Name of the participant’s pharmacy.
Participant's name, address and date of birth.
The intake staff will set up a time to deliver the medication between 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. The participant must also work directly with their pharmacy to pay for their medication and inform them that Portland Fire & Rescue will be picking up the prescription.
Portland Fire & Rescue will contact the program participant when they arrive at the residence. Donning a protective mask and gloves, a representative will leave a medication bag at the door along with community resource information and a waiver form. The representative will communicate with the participant 6 to 10 feet from their doorway and verify the participant’s personal information, then confirm that the order is correct.
The program also allows Portland Fire & Rescue staff to check in and connect them with other resources that could help them. According to Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone, the program is aimed at serving residents who may be experiencing fear of social isolation as a result of the statewide stay at home order. “We will work upstream to detect potential problems with our most vulnerable community members,” Chief Boone said.
“Let this be an opportunity for all members of our community to support each other and to look to the example of Portland Fire about how to connect with our neighbors to make sure people are doing ok and are there ways we can help, while maintaining physical distance,” Bader said.