COLUMBUS, Ohio – CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, announced today a $361,000 gift to Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition. The contribution will help fund and expand the Center’s Primary Care Obesity Network (PCON).
“CareSource understands the impact early interventions can have on reducing childhood obesity,” said Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market President. “We’re proud to support Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition and the Primary Care Obesity Network so children and their families can receive holistic treatment options that are close to home.”
PCON’s goal is to implement evidence-based and accessible obesity care by establishing a sustainable multi-sector collaboration between primary care practices, a tertiary obesity care center and community organizations. CareSource’s gift will help PCON enhance its training, support, and resources within the network. Through PCON training, participating physicians and staff are trained and empowered to confidently manage their patients with overweight and obesity diagnosis in their respective communities. PCON also provides support to all participating practices, focusing on three areas – clinical decision tools, patient resources, and creating resource maps.
“On behalf of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, I want to extend our appreciation to CareSource for not only recognizing the PCON program, but also providing a financial gift that will help the network fulfill its goals,” said Ihuoma Eneli, MD, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition.
There is a need for strong clinic to community linkages in managing childhood obesity, continued Eneli, who is also a professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. The defining feature of this model is that care is coordinated within the medical home, while integrating resources in the community, allowing for consistent messaging and care. Additionally, CareSource’s support will introduce the framework of the highly successful and well-recognized Project ECHO (Extension for Community Care Outcomes) to PCON.”
The benefits of community providers participating in PCON include improve outcomes of patients who are overweight, ongoing provider support and an opportunity to link patients to resources in the community to help families make healthier decisions.
PCON’s care structure has been highlighted by the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute of Childhood Weight and by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), a partnership of the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
CareSource is a nonprofit, multi-state health plan recognized as a national leader in managed care. Founded in 1989, CareSource administers one of the nation’s largest Medicaid managed care plans and offered a lifetime of access to care through health insurance, including Medicaid, Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare Advantage and dual-eligible programs. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, CareSource serves 2 million members in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. CareSource understands the challenges consumers face navigating the health system and is transforming health care with industry-leading programs that improve the health and well-being of our members. For more, visit www.caresource.com, follow @caresource on Twitter, or like CareSource on Facebook.
About the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition
The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition offers a comprehensive approach to weight management in children, including programs for both prevention and treatment. The Center’s mission is to empower children and families to establish a foundation for healthy lifestyles through clinical care, education, research, community engagement, and advocacy.
For children already overweight, the Center offers family-based Medical Weight Management Programs covering everyday diet and fitness education to re-establish a healthier weight. Ultimately, some children’s complications may necessitate a surgical approach and the Center offers three options for those who meet the criteria. More information is available at The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition.