TAMPA, Fla., March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) and the WellCare Community Foundation announced a donation of $35,000 to the American Diabetes Association's Southwest Florida chapter to serve as the presenting sponsor of Tampa Bay's 2017 Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. This is the fourth year WellCare will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Association's largest annual fundraiser and community event in the Tampa Bay area.
According to the Association, diabetes affects nearly 30 million Americans, and as many as 86 million Americans have prediabetes, meaning they are at risk for developing the disease. In fact, nine out of 10 Americans most at risk for Type 2 diabetes don't know it. For that reason, March 28 has been designated American Diabetes Association Alert Day®, a one-day, "wake-up call" to urge people to take a one-minute test, which asks simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks, to assess risk for developing the disease.
Today, more than half of physicians do not screen for prediabetes, and even fewer physicians refer those at risk to prevention programs. It's crucial for people to know their diabetes risk, so it can be reversed by adopting healthy food choices, weight loss, exercise and other lifestyle changes or medication.
"Every 23 seconds another American is diagnosed with diabetes, a public health crisis that is reaching epidemic proportions and disproportionately impacts WellCare's members and the communities we serve," said Dr. Traci Thompson Ferguson, WellCare's chief medical director of medical management. "That's why WellCare is proud to partner with the American Diabetes Association to help sponsor these efforts, which drive awareness, prevention and early detection of this serious disease."
"Thanks to WellCare's commitment, the American Diabetes Association is able to fund much-needed research and educational programs to support our local communities. We are honored to partner with WellCare for the 2017 Tampa Bay Step Out Walk and truly appreciate their continued generous support," said Chuck Tomaselli, director of development, Southwest Florida, American Diabetes Association.
You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free diabetes risk test (English or Spanish), as well as information about diabetes, by visiting diabetes.org/alert or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).
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.
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 3.9 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2016. 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 American Diabetes Association
More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and every 23 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETESS (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)
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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.