Upon the passing of their beloved classmate, members of the Lawson Neel Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church (Thomasville) looked for a way to honor the man for whom the class was named. In these deliberations, one class member proposed “medications” as a fitting way to honor this great man. And, not too long afterward, a chance occurrence in a local pharmacy helped bring this idea into focus. A gentleman was observed by another waiting drug store customer having to choose which of his two prescriptions he could afford to fill. Unfortunately, it is a scenario that is played out every day and with increasing frequency: which prescribed medicines do I forego for reasons of limited funds? I have enough money to buy the medications I need or food to eat, but not both. Which do I buy? Horrible and sad choices that many of our neighbors are forced to make.
This eye-opening, chance observation was the catalyst to investigate the need for a MedBank in Thomas County. In early 2001, community leaders, churches, health care providers, and concerned citizens came together to discuss the plight of members of our community who could not afford to buy the prescription medicines they needed to live. From these grass-roots meetings eventually came Lawson Neel MedBank, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the uninsured and underinsured citizens of the area in getting the medications they need to stabilize chronic illnesses and disease.
Incorporated in 2001, Lawson Neel MedBank serves as a facilitator between the patients, healthcare providers, and the pharmaceutical companies that furnish free medications. The work of Lawson Neel MedBank is done in cooperation and partnership with other area organizations such as Family Connections. Since opening its doors on February 2, 2002, Lawson Neel MedBank has facilitated over $25,000,000 worth of medications for the consumers it serves.