WellCare: Working Toward a Healthier Kentucky

Jul 10, 2017

Sometimes getting a job is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. That’s why WellCare Health Plans’ (NYSE:WCG) Community Foundation is working with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to provide up to 50 scholarships for students seeking employment-oriented certificate programs or two-year degrees. 

A 2013 report from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that stable employment had direct, positive impacts on the health of families – both because of the increased ability to afford nutritious meals and health-supporting services like quality child care but also because of the reduction of stress-related illnesses and other factors. 

“In a world that increasingly expects some post-high school training, jobs can be hard to find for students who can’t afford to go to college,” said Bill Jones, president of WellCare of Kentucky. “That means a scholarship like this could be life-changing for the students who receive this assistance.” 

The scholarships, valued at $50,000, will help 25 to 50 students complete programs in fields like medical technology, certified coding, nursing, manufacturing, skilled labor, information technology and more. The scholarship program will particularly focus on non-degree certifications and paraprofessional jobs, which can sometimes be completed in as little as six weeks. These types of paraprofessional jobs are in high demand. 

KCTCS is the largest provider of post-secondary education and workforce training in the state. With 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses, it is accessible to students around the state, with more than 700 fields of study and flexible schedules that work well for traditional and returning students. 

“We appreciate WellCare’s generosity and interest in KCTCS students,” said KCTCS President Jay K. Box. “This scholarship covers many of the fields that are in demand all across the state. Employers are having difficulty filling these jobs mainly because they can’t find enough highly skilled applicants. This new scholarship will help us work toward meeting employers’ needs and helping move more Kentuckians into a good jobs.” 

Through KCTCS’ Commonwealth Scholarship program, WellCare will award a minimum of 25 and maximum of 50 scholarships of $1,000 each semester of study, for a maximum annual total of $2,000 per KCTCS student. For more information or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.kctcs.edu/affording_college/paying_for_college/scholarships/commonwealth.aspx

“WellCare understands that when a person’s basic needs for food, shelter, and security are not met, that individual likely won’t be healthy,” said Rep. Addia Wuchner, of Florence. “I applaud WellCare of Kentucky for making an investment in education, which will help Kentuckians get the jobs they need to maintain healthy, productive lives.” 

“WellCare of Kentucky and KCTCS have formed a powerful alliance that supports our students and our future workers,” said Sen. Julie Racque Adams, of Louisville.  “By creating opportunities for students to complete their education, WellCare is both improving our workforce and making a long-term investment in community health.” 

The KCTCS scholarships are the second scholarship program WellCare has committed to citizens of Kentucky. Last month, WellCare in conjunction with the University of Kentucky Medical School and College of Nursing announced it is funding up to 30 scholarships valued at $180,000 for medical and nursing students to address the need for quality primary care in rural areas of the state. 

As of March 31, 2017, WellCare serves approximately 446,000 Medicaid members, 9,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 22,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Kentucky. To learn more about how WellCare cares for Kentuckians, watch Brandi Logan’s member story at http://youtu.be/YwOw5EgeSYo

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 4.1 million members nationwide as of March 31, 2017. 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. 

About the WellCare Community Foundation
The WellCare Community Foundation was established in 2010 and is a nonprofit, private foundation. Its mission is to foster and promote the health, well-being and quality of life for the poor, distressed and other medically under-served populations – including those who are elderly, young and indigent – and the communities in which they live. The WellCare Community Foundation carries out this mission by supporting work that helps people live healthy, safe and productive lives, and by assisting groups with serious and neglected health needs. Underscoring this mission is the WellCare Community Foundation's goal to serve as a national resource that fosters an environment where there is a continuum of education, access and quality health care, all of which improve the overall health, well-being and quality of life of targeted beneficiaries.