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Meridian To Help Populations Disproportionately Impacted By COVID-19 In Illinois

CHICAGO, April 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- MeridianHealth, a subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), today announced an initiative designed to support individuals residing in the State of Illinois that are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This is part of a broader set of initiatives targeted at providing immediate assistance and resources to communities disproportionality affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meridian has identified four organizations serving as either Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and/or Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) to receive $500 thousand in total funding to continue their work during the pandemic including providing shelter or secure housing for those who have been exposed to COVID-19 and must be quarantined or those who have tested positive, but do not need hospitalization. In addition to this funding, Meridian has recently provided 100,000 protective masks to the Westside Homeless COVID-19 Response Workgroup.

"Illinois is proof that when we come together we can win this fight against COVID-19," said Governor JB Pritzker. "I'm grateful to the Illinois businesses, like Meridian, that have stepped up to help health centers that are tirelessly working to ensure that Illinois residents, especially those who are most vulnerable, receive the adequate testing and treatment."

This is one of many initiatives the Company is undertaking to ensure the communities we serve and providers we partner with are equipped with the necessary resources to maintain good health during the pandemic.

"Meridian is grateful for the work of these outstanding organizations that are on the front lines of this effort every day. We are proud to partner with them as we serve Illinois' most vulnerable citizens." Karen Brach, CEO and Plan President, Meridian Health Plan

Meridian announced the following four organizations will receive $500 thousand in total funding to serve the needs of the homeless population exposed to COVID-19 in Illinois:

Chestnut Health

Chestnut Health is a leader in evidence-based research into effective addiction treatment and has grown and expanded to meet some of society's most challenging health care demands. Chestnut provides mental health counseling, primary health care, prevention education, housing, and credit counseling.

"People experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness lack protection from the environment, access to proper hygiene, and connections to critical primary health and behavioral health care. Combined with community spread of COVID-19 and a higher likelihood of underlying health issues, these factors mean a greater risk for this population of contracting the virus," said David A. Sharar, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Chestnut Health Systems. "Meridian is a valued partner in Chestnut's mission to deliver quality primary health and behavioral health care to all who need it. Meridian's generosity will help Chestnut to make a positive difference in the lives of an untold number of people."

Learn more about Chestnut Health:

Heartland Alliance Health

Heartland Alliance Health considers healthcare as more than just a doctor's visit. Whether it's a safe place to live, nutritious food, access to a dedicated medical team and medications, or personalized counseling, Heartland provides comprehensive services to meet each person's needs. Heartland delivers effective, responsive, primary, oral, and behavioral healthcare in its health centers, and it goes outside its health center doors, bringing healthcare to those who need it most – on the streets, in shelters, in its grocery centers and in our own housing facilities. Heartland Alliance Health is a grant recipient to assist with their efforts in the West Side Homeless COVID-19 Response Workgroup.

"It is hard to overstate how incredible it is that this group of academic hospitals, multiple city agencies and community-based organizations have come together to create an entirely new paradigm to meet the needs of people who are homeless—in the midst of a pandemic with no resources.  It is remarkable, and we are proud to be a part of it."  Ed Stellon, Executive Director, Heartland Alliance Health

Learn more about Heartland Alliance Health:

Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation

Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation (SIHF Healthcare) believes everyone should have access to quality care regardless of their ability to pay. SIHF Healthcare strives to be a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and to date serves more than 1000 patients each day with open arms and a dedication to provide compassionate, comprehensive and efficient care. SIHF Healthcare has fostered a dynamic approach to caring that includes shared staff, coordinated services and a joint approach to community problems.

"We are truly grateful to Meridian's engagement in assisting health care providers through their donations of equipment and supplies that have been a key life line for so many providers during this pandemic. Today's Meridian's announcement for their donation of $100,000 to SIHF Healthcare to support our work for the homeless is humbling and very timely for our testing and support services to care for this region's most vulnerable."  – Larry McCulley, President/CEO SIHF Healthcare

Learn more about Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation:

Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare

Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is a private not-for-profit behavioral healthcare organization with nearly 50 years of experience serving people with serious mental illness in the City of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Trilogy's mission is to support people in all communities in their recovery from mental illness by helping them discover and reclaim their capabilities, life direction and well-being

"Trilogy is very honored to receive this grant from Meridian in support of our homeless population.  The grant will help our most at-risk clients sustain their health and wellness at this very critical time for the community and our organization." – Samantha Handley, LCPC, CSADC, President/CEO Trilogy, Inc.

Learn more about Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare:

About Meridian & WellCare of Illinois

Meridian in Illinois and WellCare of Illinois provide government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs primarily through Medicaid (MeridianHealth), Medicare Advantage (WellCare), Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative (MeridianComplete), and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (WellCare) to approximately 861,000 members across the state. Meridian and WellCare are wholly owned subsidiaries of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information about Meridian, please visit For more information about WellCare, please visit


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SOURCE MeridianHealth

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