Feb 2 2013
Meridian Health Plan is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to change lives through improving health and strengthening communities in Chicago's southern suburbs.
Meridian staff will provide health education at Habitat for Humanity events while volunteering their time and resources to build homes for low-income families.
Habitat for Humanity helps low-income families become homeowners by offering "hand-ups," not "hand-outs." Meridian, while focused on health care, is committed to improving the overall health and quality of lives in underprivileged communities.
"Partnering with Habitat for Humanity seemed like a natural fit for our organization because of our similar missions and dedication to those in low-resource areas," Mike Cotton , Illinois President/COO of Meridian said. "This partnership will give us another avenue to educate our members on the importance of healthy homes and healthy lifestyles."
Meridian's first Habitat for Humanity event was on Jan. 26. Meridian's Medical Director, Dr. Derek Lanier , presented on health hazards that can occur from poor conditions in the home.
"Homeownership and health are intertwined," Lanier said. "When people live in stable, clean homes, their health outcomes are generally better than those who live in constant flux."
About 45 people who qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home attended the event.
"We look forward to attending more successful events and being a key resource in strengthening communities and improving health," Lanier said.
Meridian Health Plan is a physician-owned, physician-operated health plan with extensive experience in its subsidiary operations in Michigan, Illinois and Iowa and will begin operation in New Hampshire in 2013. Meridian's affiliates include Medicaid and Medicare health plans and MeridianRx, a Pharmacy Benefit Management company. Meridian Health Plan currently serves over 300,000 Medicaid members.