DETROIT, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As Michigan first responders and frontline workers continue to face severe shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), Meridian, a subsidiary of Centene Corporation, announced today it has donated more than 130,000 units of PPE to help protect Michigan's first responders and essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"Our emergency responders and healthcare community are the heroes among us, and we are committed to making sure they know how much we appreciate and value their lives by ensuring they have the tools they need to stay safe," said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "I am sincerely grateful to the people of Meridian and Centene for their commitment to Michigan and the contribution of safety equipment for those working on the front lines in service to others."
"At Meridian, the health and safety of our members, providers and local communities is – and continues to be – a top priority," said Sean Kendall, Meridian Plan President and CEO for Michigan. "Every day, our first responders and essential workers are on the front lines of this pandemic, risking their lives to serve others. These contributions are aimed at ensuring these brave men and women have the protective equipment they need and deserve to stay safe during this time."
Contributions will be made through the following Michigan emergency response offices, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer's COVID-19 response team:
Michigan's State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), National Guard, State Police, and Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division – 45,000 KN95, N95 and disposable masks will be disseminated in support of healthcare workers, first responders, and nursing home staff.
City of Detroit Police and Department of Transportation (DDOT) – 35,000 KN95 and disposable masks will be distributed to first responders, transit personnel and DDOT riders.
Wayne County Sheriff's Office – 17,500 KN95 and disposable masks will be distributed to deputies at the Wayne County Jail.
Oakland County Emergency Management – 35,000 KN95 and disposable masks will be distributed to first responders, Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) personnel, and SMART riders.
Many PPE donations will focus on serving southeast Michigan's public transportation and jails, which have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. As many residents continue to use public transportation, riders and transportation workers put themselves at daily risk. Meanwhile, jails, such as the Wayne County Jail, are reporting increased cases of COVID-19 among inmates and staff despite prevention methods and efforts to decrease current populations.
"We appreciate Meridian's commitment to keeping Oakland County first responders and essential personnel safe while they serve on the front lines of community safety," said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. "Meridian's support for PPE is especially welcomed at this crucial time, as it is vital that we continue to exercise the good practices that will further reduce the number of COVID cases in our community and ensure the safety of all residents."
"No words can explain or describe our gratitude and appreciation for organizations such as Meridian that have stepped up in support of the men and women of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies across our country," said Wayne County Sheriff Benny N. Napoleon.
"The Detroit City Council appreciates the efforts that Meridian has taken to help protect essential city workers and Detroiters that utilize the city buses as their means of transportation. These masks are vital as I ask everyone to wear a mask while outside while we fight to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus in Detroit," said Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council President.
About Meridian Meridian in Michigan and WellCare of Michigan provide government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs primarily through Medicaid (MeridianHealth), Medicare Advantage (WellCare), Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MeridianComplete), Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (WellCare) and the Health Insurance Marketplace (MeridianChoice) across the state. Meridian and WellCare are wholly owned subsidiaries of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information about Meridian, please visit www.mhplan.com. For more information about WellCare, please visit www.wellcare.com/michigan.