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Jennifer Candy: Investing in Florida's communities is investing in our future – Florida Politics

In my position because the chief of Aetna Higher Well being of Florida, a CVS Well being firm, I get to channel vitality to enhance the well-being of our communities, and I’m significantly excited in regards to the investments we’ve been making to deal with housing wants and meals insecurity.

I joined Aetna Higher Well being of Florida as CEO in 2020 as a result of I knew I’d have a particular alternative to help under-resourced native communities. Along with being a trusted accomplice to the state and an efficient steward of taxpayer {dollars}, we’ve got a primary mission to assist our Medicaid members lead more healthy lives.

We method that mission holistically, offering entry to high quality medical and behavioral well being care, and supporting the social care wants of communities.

For instance, since 2020, CVS Well being has invested $24.8 million in reasonably priced housing, throughout eight Florida counties, creating or restoring greater than 1,000 models.

I’m honored to have shared with fellow group leaders the joy of offering entry to new properties that supply vital help providers corresponding to on-site grownup literacy providers, employment help, monetary administration packages, in addition to growing Everlasting Supportive Housing (PSH) models with case administration and different particular person help.

We invested in Fairlawn Village in Orlando, which incorporates 116 household models, 20 of that are PSH models for folks experiencing homelessness, survivors of home violence, individuals with a incapacity, or youth growing old out of foster care.

A group accomplice will present providers for PSH models particularly designed for these experiencing persistent homelessness and alternatives for our members dealing with housing insecurity.

In Tampa, which was ranked final yr by Realtor.com as third within the nation for highest lease will increase year-over-year, we celebrated the groundbreaking for Uptown Sky, an funding that can present 61 reasonably priced models for households incomes under the world’s median earnings. Resident providers will embody well being care providers, resident actions, monetary counseling, laptop coaching, homeownership alternative packages, first-time homebuyer seminars, and welfare-to-work or self-sufficiency packages.

Our funding in Cocoa helped considerably renovate 183 low-income household models with upgrades that included new roofing, home windows, flooring, exterior and inside doorways, portray, kitchen counter and cupboards, and energy-saving home equipment. Of those, 47 PSH models are designated for survivors of home violence, individuals with disabilities, and youth growing old out of foster care.

As well as, a part-time household help coordinator will facilitate numerous actions and coaching to help grownup residents with bettering their self-sufficiency, employability, and well being care by tutoring, laptop coaching and different artistic and academic actions.

Addressing meals insecurity has been a ardour for our Aetna Higher Well being of Florida staff. Aetna offered $342,000 in monetary help to meals banks within the state final yr.

As well as, Aetna donated $135,000 final yr to Feeding South Florida® to assist roll out the Cell Meals FARMacy in Miami.

Combining the assets of the cell meals pantry and the Jesse Trice Well being Heart, my staff established a 12-month well being enchancment program for our members. Members obtain licensed dietary counseling, wholesome recipe playing cards and month-to-month checkups to watch their well being journey.

Following the success of this program, we’re investing an extra $135,000 with one other group in Jacksonville and can quickly announce a second unit for this space.

Our earlier work with Feeding South Florida included a donation of $125,000 to help its Feeding Futures College Pantry Program, which offers college students with entry to contemporary meals and shelf-stable objects.

Working in partnership with Feeding South Florida and the Florida Institute for Well being Innovation, this system addressed the influence of meals insecurity on college students’ well being, habits at school, and efficiency within the classroom by the gathering of knowledge. This system has reached 1000’s of South Florida households, selling more healthy outcomes and higher educational achievement for college kids, and supporting mother and father and caregivers coping with hardships and the stress related to not having enough entry to wholesome meals.

Heading into subsequent yr, Aetna Higher Well being of Florida is once more energized and able to construct on this legacy of funding in Housing and Meals Help. We’ll proceed to put money into under-resourced communities and focus our work on people and households that want essentially the most help.

Florida is our group. That is our future.


Jennifer Candy is CEO of Aetna Higher Well being of Florida, Inc., a Managed Care Plan with a Florida Medicaid Contract. The profit data offered is a short abstract, not a whole description of advantages. For extra data contact the Managed Care Plan. Limitations co-payments and/or restrictions might apply. Advantages, formulary, pharmacy community, premium and/or copayments/co-insurance might change.

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