For millions of Americans, hunger is a constant reminder of food insecurity and the challenges they face from it on a daily basis. To win the war on hunger, food banks and their partners understand that one way to solve it is to ease the stigma associated with food assistance programs.
To fight back against this stigma, Aetna Better Health® of Florida (ABHFL), a Medicaid Managed Care Plan, in partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, recently sponsored their annual Partnership Networking Conference in the city of Orlando with a $10,000 donation. The conference brought together over 300 partner agencies and local organizations whose main mission is to distribute healthy foods to needy families in Central Florida. These agencies distribute food at the neighborhood level and partnering with them is a great way to meet Medicaid members where they are. ABHFL was the first Medicaid health plan ever invited to attend this annual conference.
During the conference, there were several speakers addressing the issue of food insecurity and community outreach, including RJ Briscione, senior director, Aetna Medicaid Business Development. RJ discussed Aetna’s work on social determinants of health and food insecurity at the local level, including how the health plan serves Medicaid members in Central Florida.
According to RJ, “With the help of dedicated partners like Second Harvest, Aetna Better Health aims to raise awareness and understanding of the complex issues related to food insecurity, and to develop effective strategies to combat hunger and the health effects that come with it.”
“The conference also provided the health plan a unique opportunity to network with food pantry providers and distribute ABHFL promotional items,” said Carl Lee, ABHFL manager of Community Development and Outreach. “We were able to hand out ABHFL branded posters for attendees to display at their agency locations. Participants praised our presence at the conference and complemented us for being good stewards to the community.”
About Aetna Better Health of Florida
Aetna Better Health of Florida uses an integrated physical and behavioral health approach to the administration of benefits for the Medicaid Managed Care, Florida Healthy Kids, and Managed Long Term Services and Supports populations. The health plan works with members and their families, caregivers, providers, advocates, peer and family organizations and community groups to help them achieve better health outcomes.