LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people across Arkansas are facing challenges that extend beyond medical care and include basic daily needs such as food, internet connectivity, and essential supplies. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care, in partnership with Centene, a leading multi-national healthcare company, will be deploying these programs throughout Arkansas.
Social determinants of health are non-medical barriers to achieving quality health outcomes. They include socioeconomic and environment factors such as food accessibility, employment, education, and more. Research shows that medical care accounts for approximately 10 to 20 percent of health outcomes, while the other 80 to 90 percent is affected by the social determinants of health.
"The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and have extended beyond medical care to affect people's access to food, employment, connectivity, and more," said John Ryan, CEO of Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care. "These social determinants of health have a significant impact on people's overall wellbeing, especially among vulnerable populations. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care wants to help ensure we're supporting the additional needs of communities during this challenging time."
Hunger and Food Security
The demand on food banks has significantly increased during this pandemic. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will donate $100,000 to help feed those who are food insecure in Arkansas. In partnership with the Arkansas Food Bank, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will provide funding to ensure critical resources are distributed to all six food banks and their associated food pantries throughout the state.
"Arkansas Health & Wellness has been a wonderful partner with the Arkansas Foodbank. We are very pleased to have them serve the entire state through our food banks. Arkansas is facing a huge crisis and partners like Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will make the difference for all Arkansans," said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of Arkansas Foodbank.
During this time of social distancing, telehealth and other virtual communications tools have become invaluable for providing access to care. In collaboration with FirstNet®, built with AT&T – the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America's first responders and the extended public safety community – Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care are helping make FirstNet more accessible to healthcare providers. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will be extending grants to assist providers with the upfront investment costs of new devices and equipment. This will streamline access to affordable, high-speed wireless broadband services for primary care providers in rural and underserved communities. Arkansas is one of the pilot states leading this collaboration which intends to support Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers and independent practices. The program will expand into additional states over the next few months.
As an independent primary care physician in an underserved rural area, Dr. Jason Lofton of DeQueen, AR has a lot of recent experience with accessing support funds for primary care practices on the frontline. "If the local economies in small towns like mine are going to survive this challenging time, it is critically important to provide support for busy physicians to navigate all these new programs," said Dr Lofton. "I am pleased to see Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care making this resource available."
Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care are also working to improve internet access for Arkansas residents by purchasing tablets for thousands of community members who lack internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will announce specific details of this initiative as they become available.
FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
About Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care
Founded in 2014, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care are managed care companies that deliver quality health care throughout Arkansas. Committed Helping Arkansas Live Better, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care support active local community involvement in all 75 Arkansas counties, with more than 600 employees statewide. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care are wholly and partially owned subsidiaries (respectively) of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid, Medicare and specialty services. More information on Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care can be found at https://www.arhealthwellness.com/ and https://www.arkansastotalcare.com/
About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. The Company takes a local approach – with local brands and local teams - to provide fully integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities. The Company also serves several international markets, and contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. Centene focuses on long-term growth and the development of its people, systems and capabilities so that it can better serve its members, providers, local communities, and government partners.
Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene's investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.
SOURCE Arkansas Health & Wellness; Arkansas Total Care