NOVA ScriptsCentral is a health services non-profit founded in 2007 with the primary focus of providing life saving medications to uninsured people living in Northern Virginia. They work with 16 safety net clinics at 34 locations across the area— the organization has helped to supply over 82 million dollars worth of medication over the past 14 years.
Donney John joined the organization as a board member in 2014 and now serves as Executive Director. In his role, he has worked to expand NOVA ScriptsCentral beyond just providing medications. He has worked to create free educational programs for people across the area.
“We teach kids, adults and seniors about their illnesses because no one chooses to be sick, they just need help learning how to heal,” said John.“We focus on making sure people are not needing as many medicines in the future and they know how to take care of themselves. We help them understand the stigmas associated with certain illnesses and get them engaged in knowing how to better manage their health.”
Not only does the nonprofit help those who are native to the area, but also those who are new— including refugees making their way into America for a variety of reasons. Northern Virginia Family Services, another local nonprofit, works closely with these refugees to provide them with the resources they need, including working with NOVA ScriptsCentral to provide medications and other medical supplies such as nutrition supplements for those of all ages and prenatal vitamins for pregnant mothers.
John contacted Direct Relief who helped the organization receive five pallets of items including over 14,000 bottles of Pediasure, Similac and Ensure, hygiene kits, Dove soap, and disinfectant wipes.
NOVA ScriptsCentral was also a vital part of the community during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“When Covid first started we were one of the first groups to go out and get PPE supplies to give out to community partners, such as local churches and school systems. We’re accustomed to being a go-to resource when people need something to help the community,” said John.
Almost 20,000 pieces of PPE (personal protective equipment) were given out to the community by NOVA ScriptsCentral last year.
In order to be eligible for NOVA ScriptsCentral’s medication program, you must be a patient at one of their clinic sites, have no access to prescription insurance and be 300 percent below the federal poverty level. For a family of four in Virginia, that means making less than $78,000 a year.
When individuals reach out, the organization helps them to determine which of their partner clinics is the closest to get in in order to access their resources. NOVA ScriptsCentral also works to help those who do not meet their requirements but are still in need of help by connecting them with other resources available in the area.
This year, they also launched their diabetes pilot program which helps to provide free insulin to anyone who needs it that is being seen at one of their partner clinics. Although President Biden recently announced that insulin prices would be capped at $35 but that is only for those with some type of insurance— leaving those without still struggling to obtain this life-saving medication.
The organization is predominantly grant-funded and always looking for people to donate— both their time and money. Volunteers work behind the scenes to help with logistics, blog writing and other activities.
Additionally, the organization is always looking for members to serve on their board. You do not need to be a medical professional to serve on the board, just someone who is passionate about providing help to underserved communities.
NOVA ScriptsCentral also received an overall score of 100/100 from Charity Navigator, a charity assessment organization that evaluates charitable organizations. All of the money they receive goes to directly supporting the community.
“We’re so focused on serving the community that whatever money we are able to raise goes directly to service,” said John, who is proud of the work he and his team have done to receive this score. “I have a super talented team of individuals that are mission-driven and looking to find the most resourceful ways of gaining access to supplies to help serve the community.”