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AmeriCares and Boehringer Ingelheim Open New, Expanded Free Clinic to Help Families Hit Hardest by Economic Hardship
Date:5/28/2009

Clinic provides needed services with increasing numbers losing access to healthcare

DANBURY, Conn., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim and AmeriCares Free Clinics today announced the opening of a new, expanded clinic in Danbury to serve the medical needs of the working poor at a time when demand for such services is higher than ever due to economic pressures.

The clinic, located at 76 West Street, is a partnership between AmeriCares and Boehringer Ingelheim to address the urgent need for free, quality healthcare in the community's large uninsured population. With more Americans losing jobs and their health insurance every day, the new facility will help those hardest hit by the recession.

"We know from our recent Boehringer Ingelheim Family Health Survey that access to healthcare remains a significant issue in our community and nationwide, with half of Americans concerned about losing healthcare access and economic pressures exacerbating the problem," said J. Martin Carroll, President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim. "We share AmeriCares' commitment to improving the health of patients and their families and are proud to provide this clinic for the people of Danbury at this time of critical need."

The Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares Free Clinic will serve thousands of patients in a modern healthcare facility. It replaces a smaller clinic AmeriCares has operated for 12 years in the basement of Ives Manor, a public housing complex.

One of three AmeriCares Free Clinics in Connecticut, the facility recruits volunteer physicians, registered nurses and interpreters, drawing on the resources of community hospitals, corporate partners, laboratories and pharmacies to ensure access to outpatient healthcare.

"Our extraordinary partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim allows us to provide free healthcare for even more self-employed patients trying to make ends meet, the newly unemployed and many others," said Karen Gottlieb, Executive Director, AmeriCares Free Clinics. "With increasing demand, this new facility couldn't open at a better time and should be upheld as an example of the tremendous benefit of communities working together to provide for those most in need."

Providing Essential Healthcare to Thousands of People in Need

Since opening in 1997, the AmeriCares Free Clinic of Danbury has delivered $12 million worth of medical services to more than 6,500 patients. Today, the clinic has more than 3,500 patient visits annually, making it AmeriCares' busiest clinic. The larger facility will enable the clinic to serve more patients. Currently, there are three AmeriCares Free Clinics in Connecticut, operating in Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury.

"I probably wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for the clinic. I am uninsured, and yet I have a primary care doctor, a urologist, an oncologist, a radiologist and even a pulmonologist at one of the top hospitals in the country," explained a patient at the Danbury clinic. "I never could have afforded this kind of treatment on my own. I have never seen such dedication or kindness at a medical facility."

An Ongoing Commitment to Patients and Families

In addition to providing the funds to make the new Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares Free Clinic possible, Boehringer Ingelheim also funds the Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares' mobile outreach program to increase access to healthcare in Danbury and surrounding communities. In addition, Boehringer Ingelheim has supported AmeriCares international programs.

The company provides free medication to the clinic and provides volunteer support, including a Boehringer Ingelheim physician who sees clinic patients on an ongoing basis.

"Our involvement with AmeriCares goes beyond our shared commitment to family health and the new clinic building," said Carroll. "Our family of employees also is helping serve our community as volunteers at the clinic."

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 138 affiliates in 47 countries and approximately 41,300 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2008, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $17 billion (11.6 billion euro) while spending approximately one-fifth of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

For more information, please visit http://us.boehringer-ingelheim.com.

About AmeriCares

AmeriCares Free Clinics is a community program of AmeriCares, a nonprofit international disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $8 billion in humanitarian aid to 137 countries. For more information, please visit www.AmeriCares.org.


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SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim; AmeriCares Free Clinics
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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