DENVER, COLORADO – August 20, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MMJ Patient Advocacy Group Brings Doctors to Patients
MMAPR Brings Mobile Doctors to Patients on Saturday at Cannabis Festiva
DENVER, CO, August 19, 2010 – "No patient left behind." That’s the mantra of the Denver-based Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of the Rockies (MMAPR).
In an industry that has been dominated by attention to medical marijuana dispensaries and regulations, MMAPR is redistributing the focus back to where Colorado voters intended the focus to be placed – on patients.
Working every day for indigent, low-income patients who may not have the resources or good health to visit a doctor, MMAPR has launched a mobile doctors service, bringing highly qualified doctors to the patients themselves. Through the support of local dispensaries and other medical marijuana industry businesses, MMAPR is able to not only provide convenient doctor visits, but also significant savings to patients, often as much as 25 percent.
The Mobile Doctors of America bus – a converted 31-foot 1968 Airstream recreational vehicle – will be on site at the Cannabis Festiva festival this Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to serve patients in need of evaluations. The service is launching at the festival with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The goal of MMAPR and its Mobile Doctors of America is to provide free medical evaluations to 30 indigent patients per month. Other patients see significant savings, allowing indigent patients to receive necessary medical attention that they might otherwise not receive.
For MMAPR founder and executive director Vincent P. Palazzotto, the issue is a personal one. He watched as his aunt who was living in federal housing suffered through reflex sympathetic dystrophy, an illness similar to multiple sclerosis. His aunt was in pain, she was immobile – she desperately needed help. But there seemed to be little focus on patients and their needs. That’s when Palazzotto decided to form MMAPR.
"The patient was kind of being left out of the equation. In fact, I saw that the patient was being squeezed," said Palazzotto, a real estate investor and entrepreneur. "There was no room. There were no patient stories. There was no, ‘Why does this exist?’ So, I did my homework, researching it, seeing what people were doing … I started talking to people, and everybody that I talked to said, ‘We need advocates, we need people that can stand up for patient rights.’"
Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state’s largest drug policy think tank, applauded MMAPR for bringing patients back into the spotlight and out of the shadows.
"The needs of Colorado’s patients needs to be the No. 1 point in the discussion, that should be the absolute focus," said Vicente. "Any program that provides care for indigent patients should be saluted."
About Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of the Rockies (MMAPR):
Founded in 2009, MMAPR is an indigent patient advocacy group with a focus on medical marijuana, founded by Vincent P. Palazzotto, serving dozens of patients across Colorado. Medical marijuana and patient advocacy groups have recognized it as the only group in Colorado serving the needs of MMJ patients and focusing the debate where it should be – on the patients themselves. MMAPR’s mission is to provide indigent patients with the care they need, aiming to provide free medical evaluations to 30 patients per month, as well as savings of up to 25 percent for other low-income and debilitated patients. MMAPR thrives on the support of the medical marijuana community, bringing a grassroots campaign to the forefront of the medical marijuana industry.
WHO: Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of the Rockies (MMAPR) and Mobile Doctors of America (MDARX).
WHAT: Bringing doctors to indigent patients at Saturday’s Cannabis Festiva event. Ribbon cutting ceremony to launch Colorado’s first MMJ mobile doctors service.
WHEN: Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Cannabis Festiva
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
6000 Victory Way
Commerce City, CO 80022