LOUISVILLE, Ky. and TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) is helping to combat chronic diseases in the commonwealth through a $16,450 grant to Microclinic International, Inc. (MCI),a nonprofit organization seeking to revolutionize how deadly diseases are prevented and managed worldwide. The grant funded the training of more than 20 facilitators who now work to change behaviors to reduce obesity, diabetes and heart disease in 44 Kentucky counties.
Building on evidence-based research suggesting that healthy behaviors are transmittable across social networks, the Microclinic Program (MCP) utilizes the power of social support and positive peer pressure to promote long-term, sustainable lifestyle changes.
"A microclinic is not a building, but rather a real-life social group. The program does not require major investments in technology, infrastructure or human resources," said Dr. Daniel Zoughbie, MCI's founder and chief executive officer. "To fund and sustain a successful Microclinic Program only requires participant recruitment, education, health screenings and group support."
This Kentucky program is based on a 10-month randomized controlled trial, which took place in Bell County. Ninety-five percent of the Bell County residents who completed the MCP realized at least one health improvement in the following areas: reduced body mass index, sustained weight loss, decreased symptoms of diabetes and reduced blood pressure.
Facilitators from health departments, care centers and agencies received the MCP training, as well as information and guidance from practitioners, educators and experts who know and understand the commonwealth, and the needs and customs of its residents. These trained facilitators are now in their communities deploying the Microclinic Program, a 16-week initiative that will encourage participants to make positive changes in their own health and in those around them.
These newly trained facilitators are expected to bring more than 1,000 new participants to the MCP within one year of training. The facilitators are also tasked to assist at least 75 percent of the participants who complete the 16-week program to reduce their weight and BMI, and increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables.
"WellCare is committing additional resources to help MCI achieve its vision of bringing their program to more people," said Pamme Lyons-Taylor, vice president of advocacy and community based programs for WellCare. "We have experienced the training and are seeing first-hand the power of positive peer influence in helping people to adopt healthier behaviors so they can live longer, healthier lives. Through effective policy and advocacy, we can help to catapult the community-based Microclinic Program into effective regional and statewide public health policies."
To participate in or to learn more about the Kentucky Microclinic Program, please contact your local health department from the list below.
Barren River District Health Department
1109 State Street
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Counties Covered: Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Simpson and Warren
Christian County Health Department
1700 Canton Street
Hopkinsville, KY 42240
County Covered: Christian
Cumberland Valley District Health Department
470 Manchester Square # 212
Manchester, KY 40962
Counties Covered: Clay, Jackson and Rockcastle
Graves County Health Department
416 Central Avenue
Mayfield, KY 42066
County Covered: Graves
Hopkins County Health Department
412 N Kentucky Avenue
Madisonville, KY 42431
County Covered: Hopkins
Juniper Health, Inc.
P.O. Box 690
Beattyville, KY 41311
Counties Covered: Breathitt, Lee, Owsley and Wolfe
North Central District Health Department
1020 Henry Clay Street
Shelbyville, KY 40065
County Covered: Henry, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble
Lake Cumberland District Health Department
500 Bourne Avenue
Somerset, KY 42501
Counties Covered: Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, Taylor and Wayne
Martin County Health Department
261 Main St, Inez, KY 41224
County Covered: Martin
Monroe County Health Department
452 E 4th Street
Tompkinsville, KY 42167
County Covered: Monroe
Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
145 Citizens Lane # 100
Hazard, KY 41701
County Covered: Perry
Three Rivers Health Department
510 South Main Street
Owenton, KY 40359
County Covered: Gallatin
Todd County Health Department
205 Public Square
Elkton, KY 42220
County Covered: Todd
WEDCO Health Department
302 Oddville Avenue
Cynthiana, KY 41031
Counties Covered: Harrison, Nicholas and Scott
As of June 30, 2015, WellCare serves approximately 429,000 Medicaid members, 7,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 21,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Kentucky. To learn more about how we care for Kentuckians, watch Brandi's story at http://youtu.be/YwOw5EgeSYo.
About Microclinic International
Microclinic International (MCI) is a nonprofit organization seeking to revolutionize how deadly diseases are prevented and managed worldwide. Building on cutting-edge epidemiological evidence suggesting that healthy behaviors are transmittable across social networks, the microclinic strategy of "contagious health" leverages human relationships to address diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and HIV/AIDS. MCI has established Microclinic Programs in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and North America. For more information, please visit www.microclinics.org.
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. The Company serves approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of June 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.
SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.