ATLANTA and TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Only 40 percent of teen mothers in the U.S. finish high school. To improve the life opportunities of adolescents, WellCare of Georgia, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), is working to raise awareness of teen pregnancy prevention in Burke County, Georgia.
WellCare's CommUnity Advocacy team launched the Burke County HealthConnections council with local community partners to address barriers to social services. The HealthConnections model was introduced in Georgia in 2015 to support the social safety net through collaboration with local social service agencies and community leaders.
The council determined teen pregnancy remains a serious issue in the county, where approximately 31 percent of residents live in poverty. The poverty level is the basis on which many assistance programs are based. The facts are sobering; teen mothers are less likely to graduate from high school, and their children are more likely to grow up in poverty.
"By preventing teen pregnancy, other serious social problems that are associated with it can also be averted, including poverty, child abuse and neglect, low birth weight, school failure and poor preparation for the workforce," said Dr. John Alexander Johnson, senior medical director, WellCare of Georgia.
WellCare and the council, which includes the Burke County Health Department, the Board of Education - Burke County Public Schools, Partnering with Communities In Schools of Burke County - Family Connection, Enterprise Community Healthy Start, the Richmond County Health Department, Birth without Birth, The Rock Creek Baptist Church and The Life Club, are partnering to spread awareness of teen pregnancy prevention, and to help teen mothers finish school, gain employment and find safe housing.
"The partnership between WellCare and the council is an example of driving positive change through meaningful collaboration," said Veatrice Futch, supervisor of WellCare of Georgia's community advocacy team. "This is why WellCare invests in building deep relationships with the local, community-based organizations that help us to best serve our members."
As of June 30, 2016, WellCare serves approximately 580,000 Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® plan members, 38,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 23,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Georgia. To learn more about how we care for Georgians watch Gloria's story at http://youtu.be/qyn-nywze04.
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 3.8 million members nationwide as of June 30, 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.
SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.