Harmony Health Plan Gives $2,000 to the Asthma Coalition of Illinois to Send 120 Children to Camp

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Olympic Track Athlete, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Sends Personal Message to Inspire and Encourage Healthy Habits

"Harmony WellCare is proud to support SWIAC in its efforts to equip families and children with the information and tools they need to manage childhood asthma..." said Dr. David Sand, medical director for WellCare of Illinois.

Harmony Health Plan, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), announced today that it gave $2,000 to the Southwestern Illinois Asthma Coalition (SWIAC) to send 120 children to the organization’s Asthma Blast Summer Camp in East Saint Louis, Ill. The SWIAC offers free half- and full-day camps to provide children who are six years old and older with asthma education through fun games and activities. It also educates the campers’ parents about asthma management to help them assist their children in developing the life-long habits needed to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

As a part of Asthma Awareness Month, Harmony presented the check to SWIAC at its East St. Louis Asthma Kick-Off event. Track and field star, four-time Olympian, three-time gold medalist and SWIAC supporter, Jackie Joyner-Kersee shared a message at the event about her personal battle with asthma.

“I was in denial for a long time and I had to learn to respect the disease and take my medication regularly so the disease wouldn’t control me or my quality of life,” said Joyner-Kersee, who was diagnosed as a college freshman. “Asthma awareness is very important in helping children understand that asthma doesn’t have to prevent their athletic dreams. The SWIAC asthma camps will teach so many children facing the challenges of asthma to take their medication properly and to avoid potential asthma triggers.”

Asthma is one of the most common chronic pediatric diseases and affects approximately 9.6 million children across the country. National survey data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate a disproportionately greater rate of asthma among children, women, blacks and those reporting income below the federal poverty level.

"In the St. Louis Metro region, asthma is the number one reason children are hospitalized,” said Amy Funk, asthma home assessment program coordinator for SWIAC. “In fact, East St. Louis falls within St. Clair County, which has the highest rate of asthma hospitalizations in the state. We thank Harmony WellCare for supporting our asthma camps and for making a significant difference in the lives of the children who will attend as a result of their contribution.”

"Harmony WellCare is proud to support SWIAC in its efforts to equip families and children with the information and tools they need to manage childhood asthma so children can stay out of the hospital, stay in school and enjoy the activities that make childhood special,” said Dr. David Sand, medical director for WellCare of Illinois.

For more information about SWAIC, and to attend or sponsor an asthma camp, contact Rhonda W. Comrie, the associate dean for the school of nursing at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, at 618-650-3972.
As of March 31, 2015, Harmony WellCare serves approximately 153,000 Medicaid members, 15,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 34,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Illinois.

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 March 31, 2015. 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.

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