Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity Presented by the NAFC Awarded to Charitable Pharmacy Director Mike Espel

The First Annual Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Award for Health Equity presented by the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) has been awarded to Mike Espel, Pharmacy Director for the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy in Cincinnati, OH.

 “For decades, Free and Charitable Clinics, their staff and their volunteers have been building a culture of health care equity for all individuals,” NAFC Chief Executive Officer Nicole Lamoureux said.  “This award celebrates a health practitioner who has shown success in changing systems that impact health outcomes among our patient populations, and we are proud to have Mike Espel recognized for exactly that reason.”

Mike opened the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy in 2006, and has been responsible for dispensing over 310,000 prescriptions valued at over $36 million all the while making systems changes to increase health equity. Mike is an advocate for patients prone to health disparities in the Greater Cincinnati area and is celebrating 42 years of serving indigent patients, 10 of which have been serving at the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy and 32 years as the Director of Pharmacy for the Cincinnati Health Department pharmacies.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation —the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care—developed this award program to find and honor individuals who are using systems changes to address health disparities within their communities.

“We’re honored to be able to help the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics highlight the life-changing work of Mike Espel, who truly embodies our commitment to real people and on-the-ground solutions,” said Catherine Malone, program officer at RWJF.

The RWJF Awards for Health Equity is a grant program spanning seven years that has been awarded to the NAFC and other organizations spanning several sectors including public health, health care, business, social justice, civic leadership, education, community development, and philanthropy.


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 

For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

About the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC)

The NAFC is the only nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the medically underserved throughout the nation and the more than 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics that serve them. Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is working to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care and strives to be a national voice promoting quality health care for all. The organization believes that access to health care should be a right, not a privilege, and it values volunteerism, community ownership, service and collaboration.

For more information about the NAFC, please visit Follow the NAFC on Twitter at and on Facebook at

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