January 21, 2008

San Francisco, CA — Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) announced today that it has acquired the northeast corner property at Eddy and Taylor Streets and plans to develop 130 homes for low income and formerly homeless families. The 22,000 square-foot parking lot, acquired by TNDC with support from the Mayor's Office of Housing, will be transformed over the next five years into a 13-story, family-centered building with a large, neighborhood-serving retail component at street level.

TNDC recently sponsored a neighborhood survey report to determine the needs of the community in relation to the large street-level retail space at Eddy and Taylor. The report, released today by the Oakland-based nonprofit ChangeLab Solutions (PHLP), indicates an enormous need within the neighborhood for a full-service grocery store.

"We've had our eye on this site for a long time," said Don Falk, Executive Director of Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. "It's a rare development opportunity to create something from the ground up that is completely tailored for families and, at the same time, transforms the block and offers the neighborhood this opportunity."

It is estimated that nearly 30,000 people – including 4,000 children and their families – live in the Tenderloin area. Many of these families are the working poor who live in SROs, studios or one-bedroom apartments. Moreover, according to the PHLP report, most Tenderloin residents travel outside the neighborhood to shop for groceries. Although there are several small stores in the Tenderloin selling a variety of groceries, survey respondents feel that local stores’ prices are too high, the quality of the food is too poor, and the stores themselves are too dangerous. The report also indicates that there is no single store in the Tenderloin that offers residents one-stop grocery shopping with high quality, good selection, and low prices in a safe environment.

Other key PHLP report findings:

  • Residents reported that they shop mainly in Chinatown and at the Safeway at Church and Market Streets—and that they rely on public transit to reach these stores, which makes grocery shopping a time-consuming and inconvenient exercise
  • Nearly one-third of Tenderloin residents surveyed reported that it was fairly or very difficult for them to get to a grocery store
  • More than half of neighborhood residents surveyed get food from soup kitchens or food pantries
  • 89 percent of residents surveyed say that they would actively support and shop at a new food market in the Tenderloin
  • 74 percent of Tenderloin residents surveyed say that they would prefer one large grocery store in the neighborhood rather than many new smaller stores

April 19, 2007

Oakland, CA — Beginning May 1, community clinics throughout California will get money back for their purchase of selected generic drugs, with reimbursement totaling $2.7 million statewide.

Medicine for People in Need (Medpin), a project of the Oakland-based nonprofit Public Health Institute, is launching the project to help "safety net" clinics serving uninsured or indigent patients in California.

Many drug companies sponsor charitable programs offering free brand-name drugs to needy patients. Clinics serving large numbers of such patients reported in a 2004 study that while they appreciate industry-sponsored charitable programs, the complexity and unreliability of these programs can disrupt and take significant time away from patient care.

"Safety net clinics rely heavily on donations of new, high-priced drugs through industry programs that can change without notice, " says Medpin director Kathryn Saenz Duke. "Medpin’s project is designed to help clinics rely less on short-term handouts and more on ‘learning to fish’ as a long-range strategy."

Community clinics and county health systems throughout California were invited to apply for Medpin’s six-month High Value Medications Project. Each of the 150 clinics chosen has been assigned a credit limit based on its relative volume of care to uninsured or indigent patients. This credit is the maximum a clinic can be reimbursed for its purchase of selected generic drugs May 1 through October 31.

Working with physicians and pharmacists from California’s health care safety net, Medpin selected generic diabetes and cholesterol drugs as examples of the "high value " that generic drugs can bring to patient care. The funds for the reimbursement project come from the California Attorney General’s settlement of a consumer protection lawsuit against the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management company.

Medpin was established in 1999 with another litigation settlement project, which distributed $170 million worth of pharmaceuticals to uninsured patients statewide. Since its founding Medpin has provided training and education to safety net providers throughout California, as well as policy analysis related to pharmaceutical access for the state’s uninsured and underinsured.