February 20, 2018
Response Recognizes Growing Health Challenges of Opioid Abuse in Kentucky
By Kerri Richardson
LOUISVILLE, Ky. and TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2018) — In the face of a growing opioid abuse epidemic, WellCare of Kentucky is donating $35,000 to support addiction recovery programs in Louisville and eastern Kentucky.
WellCare of Kentucky, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), is donating $10,000 to The Healing Place in Louisville and $25,000 to Addiction Recovery Care, (ARC) which operates seven residential facilities throughout eastern Kentucky.
“Our interest is in saving lives and improving the health of people in Kentucky,” said Bill Jones, president of WellCare of Kentucky. “Opioid abuse is life-threatening – that’s obvious. But it, and other addictions, also prevents entire families from living healthy lives and meeting their full potential.”
According to data from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, emergency departments in Kentucky saw a 266 percent increase in heroin overdoses between 2013 and 2016. As the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the state, WellCare is concerned about both the direct and indirect health implications of addiction.
WellCare announced ARC’s funding today at Karen’s Place Maternity Center in Louisa, which serves pregnant women and new mothers with substance abuse addictions. “When someone is suffering from addiction, their family may be in a perpetual crisis – and that potentially affects the health of each family member,” Jones said. “When a family member is struggling, it makes it harder for others to seek regular preventive care and treatment. It may even be impossible for them to stay in their home or keep the fridge full. Addiction has ripple effects throughout the community that can be nearly impossible to measure.”
“Even in the depths of this crisis, we continue to hear stories of hope and recovery, and we are fortunate to have partners in the private sector like WellCare stepping up to help save lives,” said Van Ingram, director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. “Overcoming this epidemic is going to require collaboration on a broad scale, and we appreciate WellCare’s leadership on this front.”
The Healing Place has served metro Louisville and surrounding areas since 1989 with a nationally recognized, innovative social model recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. More than 5,000 clients have completed their program, which is one of the most effective long-term social model recovery programs in the nation with a 75 percent success rate.
“It’s heart-wrenching to turn people away from our services because we’re at capacity. Our programs can radically change lives; we want even more people to have access to that transformative experience,” said Karyn Hascal, president of The Healing Place. “We are grateful to WellCare for providing additional funding to support our addiction treatment programs. Each donation helps us connect with more people who desperately want a fresh start.”
Addiction Recovery Care, LLC (ARC) operates a network of state-licensed residential and outpatient drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers in Kentucky. The network includes residential and outpatient centers in Boyd, Fayette, Fleming, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Lawrence,
and Montgomery counties. With more than 70 of their 200 employees being program graduates, Addiction Recovery Care has emerged as a state leader in holistic addiction treatment – utilizing medical, clinical, spiritual and vocational programs. Clients who complete ARC’s Peer Support Specialist Academy (PSSA) job training program have an 85 percent success rate.
“The drug epidemic in our state is Kentucky’s top public health concern. We appreciate Wellcare investing in successful programs and Addiction Recovery Care is looking forward to serving their members with world-class drug and alcohol treatment,” said Tim Robinson, president of Addiction Recovery Care.
“The epidemic of substance use disorder has impacted nearly every family in Kentucky in some way, shape, or form. The response we desire and results those in treatment deserve come from collaborations such as this. We are proud of the work happening in Appalachia Kentucky to combat the drug epidemic, and organizations like Addiction Recovery Care have demonstrated best practices that are leading to life-long recovery.”
“So many people with addictions continue to suffer not because they aren’t ready to quit, but because they can’t get the help they need – our state is woefully short on effective treatment options,” said Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers of Manchester. “I applaud WellCare’s efforts to support these treatment centers. Their donations will help more families get a fresh start, creating more stable communities.”
“Our communities are in need of additional support to combat the strains of addiction, and WellCare’s donation to The Healing Place will help provide the services needed to address the growing problem in Kentucky,” said Senator Julie Raque Adams of Louisville. “We are grateful for The Healing Place’s work in providing treatment to people fighting addiction. The donation from WellCare will open new doors of opportunities to families in our community.”
“No one is immune from the tragedy that is addiction. It affects family, friends and our communities. The Healing Place offers hope and help to those battling addiction. This donation will assist The Healing Place to continue that noble cause of helping save and rebuild lives,” said Senator Denise Harper Angel of Louisville.
“ARC is recognized as an outstanding treatment option for people in the grip of addiction,” said Senator Brandon Smith of Hazard. “It’s not surprising that their services are in high demand. I commend WellCare on their active support to the organizations programming.”
As of Sept. 30, 2017, WellCare serves approximately 446,000 Medicaid members, 9,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 23,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Kentucky. To learn more about how we care for Kentuckians, watch Brandi’s 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 4.3 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 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.