WellCare Gives $50,000 Grant to Morehouse School of Medicine Initiative to Advance Health Equity for Minorities, Low-Income, Aged and Disabled

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WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) and the Health Equity Leadership & Exchange Network (HELEN), an initiative lead by Morehouse School of Medicine, the National REACH Coalition, and the National Collaborative for Health Equity, announced today that WellCare gave a $50,000 grant to further HELEN’s efforts to advance health equity in Georgia and throughout the nation.

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“We look forward to addressing an issue that directly impacts the nearly 70 million Americans who receive Medicaid benefits,” said Dr. Steve Goldberg, WellCare's chief medical officer.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) and the Health Equity Leadership & Exchange Network (HELEN), an initiative lead by Morehouse School of Medicine, the National REACH Coalition, and the National Collaborative for Health Equity, announced today that WellCare gave a $50,000 grant to further HELEN’s efforts to advance health equity in Georgia and throughout the nation. The grant will be used to support HELEN’s efforts to facilitate national discussions to address the impact health disparities are having on quality measurements, and the influence this has on care for minorities, those who are low-income, and the aged and disabled.

HELEN was established in 2014 to bolster leadership and the exchange of ideas and information among communities of color and other vulnerable populations relative to the advancement of health equity in laws, policies and programs.

“The HELEN initiative is increasing the number of sustainable campaigns that play a role in offering community education and mobilization to help achieve the highest level of health for all people, said Daniel E. Dawes, executive director, Government Relations, Health Policy and External Affairs, Morehouse School of Medicine, and HELEN’s co-principal investigator. “WellCare’s thought leadership and monetary investment will support our efforts to drive measureable, impactful change.”

“Health equity is about focusing societal efforts on addressing avoidable inequities in areas including education, employment status, income level, gender and ethnicity,” said Brian Smedley, co-founder and executive director, National Collaborative for Health Equity, and HELEN’s co-principal investigator. “It will take extensive collaboration between business, government and civil society to address the systematic differences in the health status of vulnerable populations in this country.”

“One of HELEN’s focus areas is the analysis of policies and the implementation of these policies, which has a direct bearing on health equity in under-resourced communities,” said Charmaine Ruddock, chair of the National REACH Coalition. “We are looking to advance a community engagement model of environmental, programmatic and infrastructural change at the local, state and national levels.”

“WellCare is committed to partnering with our government customers, providers, thought leaders and communities to find innovative solutions to remove barriers to care for the low-income children and families, the aged, and the blind and disabled members we serve,” said Dr. Steve Goldberg, WellCare’s chief medical officer. “We look forward to working with the Morehouse School of Medicine and other HELEN participants to address an issue that directly impacts the nearly 70 million Americans who receive Medicaid benefits.”

The HELEN initiative includes members of various organizations, coalitions and associations committed to the elimination of health disparities. To learn more about HELEN go to http://www.healthequitynetwork.org.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, including Medicaid, Medicare, Prescription Drug Plans and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind and disabled. The company serves approximately 4.1 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2014. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at http://www.wellcare.com or view the company’s videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.

About HELEN
The Health Equity Leadership & Exchange Network (HELEN) is a collaborative effort between the National REACH Coalition, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the National Collaborative for Health Equity. The national network was designed to bolster leadership and the exchange of ideas and information among communities of color and other vulnerable populations relative to the advancement of health equity in laws, policies and programs. The HELEN initiative will strengthen health equity leadership and increase the number of sustainable campaigns that play an important role in offering community education and mobilization. HELEN, which will include members of various organizations, coalitions and associations committed to the elimination of health disparities, will serve as a national forum for health equity champions to share information about timely, relevant and pressing policy issues impacting health equity.

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Crystal Warwell Walker

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