AUSTIN, Texas – As part of their mission to promote the well-being of individuals and families, RightCare from Scott & White Health Plan (RightCare) and FirstCare Health Plans (FirstCare) are working to help tackle food insecurity. Most recently, Feeding America identified several Texas counties as having 30% food insecurity or more.
RightCare and FirstCare, which are part of Baylor Scott & White Health, helped more than 240 families by sending boxes of packaged foods to their homes just in time for the 2021 holiday season.
"As a Texas-based organization, our members are our neighbors," said Liz Lopez Cepero, vice president of government programs, Baylor Scott & White Health Plan. "After the challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel fortunate to have made a small difference to our members who qualified this holiday season." RightCare and FirstCare also made monetary donations to several Texas food banks in 2021 and hope to offer another round of food shipments later this year to member families who qualify.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as of 2019 more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States are food insecure. Food insecurity is the disruption of food supply or eating patterns because of a lack of money or other resources. Adults who are food insecure may be at an increased risk for a variety of negative health outcomes and health disparities. For example, a study from the USDA found that food-insecure adults may be at an increased risk for obesity and higher rates of chronic disease. According to the same study, food-insecure children also face a higher risk of developmental problems compared those who are food secure.
"Adequate nourishment is critical to health and well-being," said S. Ramalingam, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer, Baylor Scott & White Health Plan. "A healthy diet can help boost immunity, support healthy pregnancies and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers."
Drawing upon the rich history of service and high-quality care provided by Baylor Scott & White, RightCare and FirstCare offer the services covered by STAR Medicaid, which covers low-income children, pregnant women, and families, plus additional benefits. These additional benefits include extra dental services for pregnant women, home visits for high-risk pregnant members, transportation for members, and assistance for members with asthma and vision services for adults. RightCare provides STAR Medicaid services across 31 counties in the Medicaid Rural Service Area – Central Texas. FirstCare provides STAR Medicaid services across 141 counties in the Medicaid Rural Service Area – West Texas and the Lubbock Service Area.
# # #
About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com