WellCare Gives $25,000 Grant to Fall Prevention Efforts

Fall Injuries Hospitalize More Than 700,000 Older Americans Each Year

Nov 12, 2015, 08:30 ET from WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

CHICAGO and TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of its Harmony Health Plan of Illinois, Inc., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) announced today that it gave $25,000 to White Crane Wellness Center to significantly expand the organization's work to reduce falls and fall-related injuries for at-risk, low-income Cook County seniors.

The grant will allow White Crane to increase access to its evidence-based, falls prevention programming for hundreds of Cook County seniors. The programs are designed to reduce the fear of falling, enhance skills and strategies to reduce fall risk, and facilitate exercises to increase strength and balance.

Falls are a leading cause of injury and death for older Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that:

  • One in three Americans age 65 and older will fall each year, resulting in direct medical costs of $35 billion.
  • Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
  • Every 13 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency room because of a fall.

"Falls and fall-related injuries represent a devastating threat to the health and independence of older Americans," said Dr. Robert Hilliard, Jr., president of Harmony Health Plan. "With this grant, we are helping to equip Cook County seniors with fall prevention skills that can minimize their fall risk and enhance their quality of life. These efforts also have the potential to reduce the significant costs of care related to fall injuries."

As part of the grant, White Crane will take the lead in creating a Falls Prevention Directory resource guide for seniors in collaboration with the Illinois Falls Prevention Coalition.

"At the heart of our work, White Crane is empowering older adults with the skills and support they need to remain healthy, active and engaged in the community," said Elizabeth Cagan, executive director of White Crane. "This grant from WellCare will enable us to educate an even greater number of seniors about the risks."

For more information about White Crane fall prevention programs, call (773) 271-9001.

As of Sept. 30, 2015, WellCare and Harmony Health Plan serve approximately 221,000 members in Illinois, including 173,000 Medicaid members, 15,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 33,000 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 3.8 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 2015. 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.