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STAR Members Collaborate Through "Healthy Transitions" Program

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By William Vatterott

Grants and Development Manager
Rx Outreach

Few groups are as at-risk as ex-offenders; most leave prison unemployed, uninsured, and wearing the scarlet letter of their crime. They also suffer from a high rate of physical and mental illnesses and may lack access to affordable healthcare and medication which make the transition to society more difficult.  Fortunately, a new program is available to help ex-offenders stay healthy.

The “Healthy Transitions” program was launched in April 2016 to fill the “medication gap” that occurs between when an ex-offender is released from prison and the time that they are able to get a new prescription. Funded through a grant by the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, the program provides an additional 60 days of free medication for ex-offenders released to the St. Louis area so that they are able to manage their mental and physical health needs until they can get to a community clinic, have an examination, get a new prescription, and establish a new medical home.

The Healthy Transitions program is a collaborative effort between Rx Outreach, Corizon Health, and Missouri Department of Corrections - Probation and Parole. People are enrolled from the prison by Corizon Health and prescription orders sent to Rx Outreach for processing, which then mails medications directly to ex-offenders.

By providing free medication to ex-offenders, the Healthy Transitions program will increase access to medications and ongoing healthcare, provide a continuum of care which will fill the medicine gap, and reduce unnecessary ER visits for ex-offenders.


Analysis of the 1,665 prescriptions mailed through the first seven months of the project confirms the serious health conditions that the program addresses including mental illness, high blood pressure, and diabetes.  414 people have received prescriptions through the program. Participants receive, on average, four scripts each, and 44% receive mental health medication.

Participants receive incentivized surveys to determine satisfaction, improved adherence to medication regimen, effectiveness of medicines, timeliness of initial doctor's appointment, and use of other medical services. While it is too early to measure all outcomes, it is believed that participants in the Healthy Transitions program will have improved access to medication compared to baseline, a reduction of risk factors for recidivism, and a better continuity of care as they transition from incarceration. Funding is currently being sought to expand the Healthy Transitions program to the entire state of Missouri.

Rx Outreach is a non-profit, fully licensed mail-order pharmacy that exists to create healthier communities by providing low-cost and free medications to underserved, low income, and chronically ill people.  Over 71,000 people in all 50 states received their prescriptions from Rx Outreach last year, including thousands in the St. Louis area.

For more information on the Healthy Transitions program or Rx Outreach, please contact April Green, Healthy Transitions Coordinator, at 314-627-6178  or visit www.rxoutreach.org.

October 26, 2016: Professional Development Series

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Exploring Intervention and Reentry Strategies for Young Offenders

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Time: 8:00 am to Noon

Place: Harrison Center, 3140 Cass Ave, St. Louis, MO 63106

Cost: Free (limited seating, please register early)

Featured speakers:

Moderator: John Buck, District Administrator, Missouri Dept. of Corrections

Kwame Mensah, ABE, MARS, CCJP,  In-Custody Adolescent Substance Abuse Program Manager, Bridgeway Behavioral Health

John T. Nanney, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Director, Community Psychological Service, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Carl Filler, Director of Strategic Policy Initiatives, Office of the Mayor, City of St. Louis

Perry A. Johnson, Lieutenant, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Eventbrite - June 2015 STAR Professional Development Series

Coffee Chat: September 23, 2016

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STAR Coffee Chat 2016

Topic: Community Reentry Resources for the Youthful Offender

Date: Friday, September 23, 2016

Time: 10:00 am to Noon

Location: Family Resource Center, 3309 South Kingshighway, St. Louis, Mo., 63139

Cost: Free. Pre-registration required (only 35 registrations available).

Featuring: Family Resource Center, Rx Outreach, Hopewell, and others to be announced

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September 30, 2016: Gender Impacts Symposium at Washington University

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STAR is proud to co-sponsor this upcoming symposium at Washington University in St. Louis.

Topic: Gender Impacts: Women and the Criminal Justice System

When: Friday, September 30, 2016, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Where:Washington University, Danforth Campus, Umrath Hall

Co-sponsored by: The Washington University Prison Education Project (PEP), Let’s Start, the Center for Women in Transition, Connections to Success, and STAR, with funding from the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement

Registration fee: $5 (WU Students) $15 (General Public)

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September 22, 2016: Job and Resource Fair

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STAR encourages area agencies to let their clients know about this upcoming Job and Resource Fair:

When: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Where: Overland Community Center, 9225 Lackland, Overland, MO 63114

Featuring: One on one contact with employers

Note: Please bring resumes, business attire suggested

For more information: 314-448-4431

Sponsored by: Community Action Agency of St. Louis County

 Fair Chance Job Fair Flyer 2016