CHICAGO and TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), on behalf of its subsidiary Harmony Health Plan, Inc., announced today that it has given $18,000 in the form of 13 micro-grants to community-based organizations across the state. These micro-grants will support nonprofit and 501(c)(3) organizations that provide vital social services such as transportation, behavioral health services and youth empowerment.
"Harmony Health Plan is proud to be part of an effort that allows us to build partnerships with organizations that are working to make a difference in Illinois communities," said Dr. Robert Hilliard, Harmony state president. "Now more than ever, it is important to support these organizations which provide valuable social services and give people the opportunity for a better, healthier life."
"The organizations we selected for our micro-grant program help fill social service gaps for families and individuals in need," said Enrique Salgado, advocacy manager of advocacy and community-based programs at WellCare. "It can be hard for our members to prioritize their health when they have more urgent needs around food or transportation. WellCare's micro-grant program is aimed at ensuring these vital services continue for the entire community."
The micro-grants were given to the following organizations:
Breakthrough Urban Ministries – The grant will be used to support the Behavioral Health Care for Homeless Adults program. Annually, the program provides 150 homeless men and women with onsite access to trauma-informed integrated medical and behavioral health services that stabilize conditions and support healthy behaviors.
ChildServ – ChildServ's dedicated military therapist provides therapy for families impacted by trauma associated with military service – from separation anxiety to coping techniques for managing post-traumatic stress disorder. Service concentrates on needs the VA does not cover, including serving children, significant others, siblings and parents as well as veterans with less-than-honorable discharges.
NAMI Chicago – With this micro-grant, NAMI Chicago will expand recovery-oriented programming by implementing the evidence-based Wellness Recovery Action Plan program that supports the health and wellness of people living with mental illness in the community.
NAMI Illinois – NAMI Illinois will use the grant for Ending the Silence (ETS), a free classroom presentation using first-person recovery stories from young adults with mental illness that educates middle and high school students on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, the importance of early detection and treatment, and information on how young people may help themselves or their friends. ETS in school settings is a non-threatening way to engage youth in the discussion of mental illness and provide opportunities for young people to link to other NAMI resources.
Hanul Family Alliance – The Mobile Senior Congregate Meal Program provides a safe and accessible place for underserved, vulnerable Korean seniors that reside in Lake County to enjoy dietitian-approved meals and time to socialize with other Korean seniors. Hanul Family Alliance will use the grant to transport hot-prepared meals to suburban locations from its facility in Chicago.
Metropolitan Tenants Organization – MTO provides home inspections for lead paint and other hazards to at-risk households, including those with pregnant women or with children under two years of age. The grant will be used to educate residents about health hazards in their homes, counseling through MTO's hotline and traveling to and hosting community-based healthy homes workshops.
Girls in the Game – This after-school program allows participants to seamlessly transition from its elementary and middle school programs to the Teen Squad. Teen Squad members are trained to mentor middle-school girls, and in turn, the middle-school girls coach the elementary-school girls at their school. By providing girls with the opportunity to grow within the programs, it has significant impact on their behavior and decisions in the future.
Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community – Transportation is a major issue for Chicago's Chinatown, especially for its higher-than-average senior population. This grant will help identify opportunities to build a walkable and safe community in the area.
Boys & Girls Club of Carbondale – The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale will use the micro-grant for its SELF programs, which support youth in grades 4-12 with better decision-making and self-awareness. Other programs address conflict resolution, peer relationships and bullying.
River City Community Development Center – River City Community Development Center (R CITY) operates a robust after-school program providing academic support and arts enrichment to children of low-income families in Chicago's West Humboldt Park neighborhood. The grant will help engage low-income young adults in the program as paid apprentices, providing a stronger one-on-one support system for youth.
A Safe Place – A Safe Place will use the grant to continue providing services to survivors of domestic abuse. A Safe Place provides safe housing and counseling for survivors and educational programs for professionals, students and the community.
Growing Home, Inc. – Through a unique combination of paid farm work, classroom studies, and case management, Growing Home helps job-seeking individuals learn the skills they need to succeed in the workforce. The grant will be used to provide pre-paid transit cards to participants, preventing program drop-outs due to transportation barriers.
Association House of Chicago – Association House will be using the grant to establish a youth mental health first aid (YMHFA) training program. The training program will allow Association House to increase both awareness of and support for the mental health issues experienced by youth in its community.
"Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, and only 20 percent of the one-in-five young people who experience a mental health condition access help," said Mary Colleran, executive director of NAMI Illinois. "However, early identification and intervention provide positive outcomes. Harmony's generous support allows NAMI Illinois to expand its 'Ending the Silence' program, through which young adults living with mental illness and their family members share their personal stories with mental illness with middle and high school students in underserved communities throughout Illinois."
"Thanks to Harmony's support, River City Community Development Center will now be able to provide the youth of West Humboldt Park with holistic after-school support to help set them on the path for a healthy and successful future," said Elizabeth Galik, executive director at River City. "We are so grateful for Harmony's investment in the incredible youth of our community and, by extension, the future of our city."
"Growing Home is honored and thrilled to receive this grant from Harmony to assist in our mission to bring good jobs and good food to residents of Chicago's Southside," said April Harrington, development director at Growing Home, Inc.
"Harmony's investment in our critical programming will help to prevent the perpetuation of the cycle of violence," said Pat Davenport, executive director and CEO of A Safe Place. "Without donors like Harmony, thousands of families impacted by and struggling with domestic violence would not be able to receive life-changing services."
As of Dec. 31, 2016, WellCare and Harmony Health Plan serve approximately 209,000 members in Illinois, including 166,000 Medicaid members, 16,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 27,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members.
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. WellCare 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.