by Susan Dammann RN, Medical Specialist
With a presence in the U.S. and globally, Vitamin Angels assists at-risk pregnant women, new mothers, and children under 5 years old gain access to life-saving and life-changing multivitamins.
Vitamin Angels’ domestic program is coordinated through a network of grassroots organizations, including pregnancy resource centers and national organizations with a network of local operations, such as Feeding America, the National Association of Free Clinics, WIC, and local food banks.
In the U.S., Vitamin Angels is working to reach 70,000 children under the age of five, new mothers, and pregnant women with daily multivitamins in 2013.
Hundreds of thousands of children—right here in America—are undernourished. An undernourished child’s ability to reach his or her full potential is hindered by inconsistent access to healthy and nutritious foods. This food insecurity can result in deficiencies of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are necessary for proper physical and mental development. Without these micronutrients, their lives—and futures—are at risk. These deficiencies can start in the womb, which is why reaching a mother during her pregnancy with these vitamins can be so pivotal.
To learn more about Vitamin Angels click here.
You may review eligibility requirements and apply for a grant at http://www.vitaminangels.org/become-field-partner .
Does This Establish A Client-Physician Relationship?
Good question! And one that needs exploring before a center begins offering prenatal vitamins to clients. There are several aspects to consider in finding the answer…
- If you are a medical clinic, and you give the patient prenatal vitamins when you discharge her following an ultrasound with prenatal vitamins, then the patient/physician relationship is terminated.
- A standard consent and release would likely cover prenatal vitamins. For good measure, you might want to refine the consent and medical release to specifically include the dispensing of prenatal vitamins. There is no need for a standing order.
- If you are non-medical, the answer it is not as clear. If you hand out vitamins that don't require a prescription, it is not recommended to have an MD provide a standing order. Grocery stores, for example, distribute prenatal vitamins, and are not subject to oversight by an MD, which means there is no risk of establishing a physician/patient relationship.