TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Families and individuals struggling with economic hardship are often unable to prioritize their health or obtain needed preventive care. To address this issue, WellCare of Florida, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), has awarded $8,000 in micro-grants to support six organizations working to support the social safety net for Floridians.
Research indicates that four out of five people experience economic hardship by the time they are 60, such as enduring unemployment, living at least a year below the poverty level, or requiring the support of government programs, such as food stamps.
"WellCare's micro-grant program is one facet of our commitment to building partnerships with community-based organizations that offer support in meeting basic social needs," said Chris Swigon, WellCare's regional manager of community advocacy. "These grants of up to $1,500 each help organizations find their own solutions to challenges that affect the health of individuals and families."
In Florida, these micro-grants aim to help organizations that help people find their way back to stable living environments, and thus, more healthy lives. For example, one micro-grant will help provide transportation for seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income individuals who live in Leon County who are seeking to attend programs designed for health, well-being and self-sufficiency. Another grant is aimed at serving the population in Valrico County, where it will be used to fund an organization that supplies resources for single mothers, the elderly and the homeless.
This year's micro-grants were awarded to:
- Alpha House of Tampa – A $1,000 micro-grant will provide safe, reliable transportation for 100 homeless pregnant and parenting women and their infants and children during the grant year.
- Beacon of Hope Pine Island, Inc. – A $1,500 micro-grant will help provide a daily meal and wellness visits to residents who are unable to prepare or shop for food due to disability, illness, limited mental or physical abilities and low income.
- City of Tallahassee/Star Metro Transit – A $1,500 micro-grant will provide transportation for individuals to attend programs focusing on health, well-being and self-sufficiency.
- Ministerio Cornas Del Rey, Inc. – A $1,500 micro-grant to supply resources for single mothers, the elderly and the homeless.
- St. Vincent de Paul Orlando – A $1,000 micro-grant will help provide person-to-person service to the needy and suffering.
- URLinked Charities – A $1,500 micro-grant supported more than 70 girls, ages 10-17, attend the I Am Me Retreat, which provided sessions on childhood obesity and the importance of dental care.
WellCare's community partners express appreciation for the program.
"This grant will help our patrons with transportation, such as bus passes to help them get to work or a doctor's appointment or repairs to keep a personal vehicle in running order," said Trace Trylko, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Orlando.
"The impact of this grant assisted our girls in several ways. Most importantly it will provide the tools necessary for them to be the mature and empowered individual they need to be," said Iris Thurman, executive director and founder of URLinked Charities.
As of Dec. 31, 2016, WellCare serves approximately 780,000 Medicaid members, 62,000 Florida Healthy Kids members, 94,000 Medicare Advantage members, and 28,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Florida.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. The company serves approximately 3.9 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2016. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.
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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.