Around Town

Help available for prescription drug users

Rapoport Pharmacy, 6934 Bustleton Ave., is helping people who are having problems obtaining their prescription medications during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pharmacy is part of the Philadelphia Association of Retail Druggists, a group of independent community pharmacies that has initiated a toll-free telephone hotline.

The hotline is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The phone number is 215-934-9412.

People who pick up their prescriptions at any pharmacy are welcome to call the hotline. ••

Karen’s Law advances

State Sen. John Sabatina Jr. applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous passage of House Bill 1538, known as Karen’s Law.

“It’s good to see progress of this important legislation, which survivors of sexually violent crimes so desperately need,” Sabatina said.

Karen’s Law would increase from one to three years the parole hearing application eligibility for inmates deemed sexually violent predators.

Rep. Martina White authored the House bill.

As a 16-year-old living in Wissinoming in the 1990s, Karen Widdoss-Milewski was strangled, stabbed, raped and left for dead by an ex-boyfriend, Leonard Tilton. Police arrested Tilton as he was about to jump from the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. He pleaded guilty to rape and aggravated assault and was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in prison.

“It’s been a couple of years since I first met Karen and heard her story,” Sabatina said. “It’s been quite a journey, and we still have more to do. But this is another step toward combating the revictimization of survivors of sexually violent predators.”

The state Fraternal Order of Police and Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association support the bill. ••

PATH earns COVID grant

Service provider People Acting to Help announced receipt of a $50,000 grant from the PHL COVID-19 Fund.

PATH was awarded the grant to fund remote service delivery, clinical supervision and communication; personal protection and safe workplaces; and additional staffing costs.

PATH will purchase telehealth software to continue behavioral health services to individuals; video conferencing software to connect with remote clinical workers; personal protective equipment for clinical staff who provide in-person services; additional cleaning/disinfection of buildings; and cover overtime costs due to COVID-19 staffing disruptions.

“This award from PHL COVID-19 Fund will allow PATH to continue to deliver the critical services and supports the individuals we serve need during this uncertain time, while keeping our staff and individuals safe at our sites,” said Elizabeth Andl-Petkov, PATH’s president and CEO. “PATH extends our deepest thanks to PHL COVID-19 Fund, Philadelphia Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey for this generous grant and looks forward to seeing its benefits.” ••

Murt bill would strengthen mental health coverage

The state House has passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) to require insurance companies show the Department of Insurance that they are offering mental health coverage with the same parity as they do coverage for physical illness.

House Bill 1696 would require insurers to file an annual report with the Department of Insurance detailing how they offer mental health coverage at the same level as medical and surgical benefits.

“Sadly, many people who need mental health care are often incapable of complaining because they are actively in crisis,” Murt said. “Filing a complaint or fighting through due process with the insurance company in question is not always realistic.”

Murt’s bill would require insurance carriers in the state that cover behavioral health  submit information each year to the Department of Insurance to help the department ascertain if the insurance carrier is being compliant with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

The bill now moves to the Senate. ••

Henon welcomes correspondence from constituents

City Councilman Bobby Henon (D-6th dist.) is available to answer questions and connect people with resources on any issue, including ones related to the spread of COVID-19.

Although city government is largely shut down, Henon’s office is responding to calls, texts, emails and social media messages.

People can reach the office at 215-686-3444 or ••