It did not take long working in a District of Columbia pharmacy for Dr. Vivian Nnacho Ayuk to realize that the community’s needs were not being met. Day after day, she saw the same patients return for their expensive medications, no better than they had been at their last visit. They racked up major medical bills but never saw any lasting results and ended up trapped in a cycle of medicating. After noticing how many of these pharmacy patrons live with chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and depression, she came to the conclusion that medicine and traditional healthcare services were not enough for her patients. With limited resources, she set out to supply solutions and services that were tailored to her community.
She began to provide fundamental diabetes and hypertension education, management, and prevention programs to the community. These initiatives were so effective that they led to the pharmacy being nationally accredited. Soon, however, it was clear that the pharmacy setting would not allow for all the work Dr. Ayuk was hoping to accomplish. Thus, she formed Sorogi as an organization offering education and community-based support. Their specialty lies in addressing, preventing, and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression, both with providers and in the underserved populations where they work.
A multi-faceted approach sets Sorogi apart from other healthcare organizations. Their diabetes programs alone range from education to management and even include a concierge service to aid persons newly-diagnosed as they learn to manage day-to-day life with diabetes. These components work together to ensure that patients have all the information and resources they need to take care of themselves. Similarly, a remote monitoring program for diabetes and hypertension provides real-time data for those looking to better understand the patterns in their conditions and adjust their lifestyles accordingly.
Sorogi recognizes that their services have to be accessible to their diverse communities and has built this into their operations by ensuring their services remain affordable and even offering programs like telehealth. This allows them to, both literally and figuratively, meet their patients where they are. Since their inception, they’ve broadened their targeting from primarily African Americans living in the D.C. area to include other at-risk populations, such as Hispanics, women of childbearing age, and older adults. Today, thanks to the resources Sorogi provides, more communities than ever have access to education and management tools for chronic illnesses.
Aside from their community outreach, Sorogi also trains and assists healthcare workers and all organizations looking to tackle the issues of modern healthcare, adopt new technologies, and, and of course, transform the lives of their patients for the better.
Sorogi is a true example of a community-driven organization looking to improve lives through result-driven methods and a strategic approach to addressing inequality in the healthcare system.