'Ohana Health Plan Supports Communities in Need During COVID-19 Pandemic

Partnerships help address hunger, food insecurity, and access to essential supplies

KAPOLEI, Hawaii, June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As residents across Hawaii continue to face challenges beyond medical care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 'Ohana Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare company, is partnering with community-based organizations and other programs to provide access to food and other essential supplies across Oahu.

Social determinants of health are non-medical barriers to achieving quality health outcomes. They include socioeconomic and environmental factors such as food accessibility, employment, education and more. Research shows medical care accounts for approximately 10 to 20% of health outcomes, while the other 80 to 90% is affected by social determinants of health.

"The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching and have extended beyond medical care to affect access to food, education and other critical resources across our state," said Scott Sivik, 'Ohana Health Plan President and CEO. "Social determinants of health have a significant impact on overall wellbeing, especially among vulnerable populations, and 'Ohana Health Plan wants to help ensure we're continuing to support the needs of our communities during this challenging time."

Hunger and Food Security
The demand on food banks has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding America, a national hunger relief nonprofit, estimates organizations will need an additional $1.4 billion in funding during the next six months to provide food assistance to people facing hunger. In partnership with Feeding America, Centene and 'Ohana Health Plan will coordinate a donation of 1 million meals a month for the next 12 months to feed those in Hawaii and across the country.

In addition, 'Ohana Health Plan donated $40,000 to local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and food banks including Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, YMCA of Honolulu, Hawaii Foodbank, Malama Meals, and Lanakila Meals on Wheels to support food-funding in local communities across Oahu.

"Hawaii Foodbank is deeply grateful for the continued support of the 'Ohana Health Plan team, and we look forward to our continued work together to serve those faced with food insecurity in Hawaii," said Marielle Terbio, Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy, Hawaii Foodbank.

"We appreciate the generous donation from 'Ohana Health Plan and will use it to continue to support our community through this difficult time," said Lori Lau, Director, Lanakila Meals on Wheels.

"In response to the pandemic crisis and resulting closure of schools, the YMCA used its experience as an approved USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsor to implement Y Feeds Kids," said Diane Tabangay, Executive Director of Youth Development. "While the cost of meals are reimbursed by USDA's SFSP, funds are needed for staffing to prepare our sites and to distribute meals. Without the generous support of our partners such as 'Ohana Health Plan, Y Feeds Kids! could not happen. To date we have served nearly 50,000 meals."

Essential Supplies
'Ohana Health Plan also purchased 500 Walmart gift cards for use on essential supplies. Each gift card holds a value of $35 and can be used to purchase items like food, diapers, over-the-counter medicines, and cleaning supplies.

'Ohana Health Plan is partnering with the following local community-based organizations to distribute the gift cards:

  • YMCA of Honolulu
  • Waikiki Health Center
  • Community People Ministries
  • The Salvation Army's Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division
  • Hawaii Foodbank
  • Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
  • Waimanalo Health Center

"Thanks to this generous gift from 'Ohana Health Plan, instead of waiting until a bulk order can be processed and shipped, managers can instantly purchase products without using their own money and then getting reimbursed later for it," said Mary Beth Lohman, Director of Marketing & Development, Waikiki Health. "We are fortunate to have community partners like 'Ohana Health Plan supporting Waikiki Health because we cannot do it alone; your help is greatly needed and much appreciated."

"On behalf of Community People Ministries, our 65 volunteers, and the 700+ households we serve each month with free groceries, we want to thank 'Ohana Health Plan for its generous contribution of Walmart gift cards," said Pastor John Hershenberg of Community People Ministries. "We have started distributing these cards throughout the marginalized communities we serve here on Oahu, and we already know what a blessing they will be to the families faced with tough financial hardships during this COVID-19 crisis. We are grateful for your generosity and how you've made a positive impact in their lives."

'Ohana Health Plan is committed to supporting members during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit https://www.wellcare.com/en/Hawaii/COVID-19.

About 'Ohana Health Plan
'Ohana Health Plan provides government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (WellCare) across the state. 'Ohana Health Plan is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information, please visit www.wellcare.com/hawaii.

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SOURCE 'Ohana Health Plan

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