By Rhonda Mims
The notion of giving back to the communities WellCare serves is intrinsically embedded in the very fabric of our company. Our associates are not only encouraged to volunteer, but the company fosters that spirit by supporting their contributions and creating opportunities to give back through the WellCare Associate Volunteer Efforts (WAVE) program.
A fixture of WellCare’s culture, WAVE helps our associates to gain an even deeper appreciation of the needs and critical issues our members face and contribute to the communities in which they live. At the same time, WellCare recognizes that participating in volunteer opportunities will also enrich and inspire the lives of our associates and connect them to others.
Through WAVE, WellCare associates get more involved with lower income, underserved, disabled and senior populations. Events are company-driven and serve pre-approved, nonprofit organizations. In 2018, more than 7,200 associates, along with their families and friends, spent nearly 39,000 hours at hundreds of volunteer events across the country. WellCare’s corporate volunteer rate was 76%—more than double the national average.
For the second consecutive year, WellCare associates participated in April Days of Service Month, in conjunction with National Volunteer Month. My colleagues and I eagerly anticipate this annual event that brings so many of us together to help make a difference. This year, more than 2,200 associates at WellCare offices across the country, volunteered 7,157 hours with 116 nonprofit organizations – just in the month of April.
But volunteerism isn’t just the right thing to do. Some studies also show that volunteering provides many positive effects on both mental and physical health. The Mayo Clinic Health System has listed some of those benefits to include decreasing the risk of depression, helping to stay physically and mentally active, reducing stress levels, and increasing life expectancy, among others.
I am extremely proud to be part of an organization that is rooted in the community and includes associate volunteerism as one of the many ways we can help our members live healthier, better lives. I encourage you, your family and friends to consider giving back to your own community. It will not only help someone else, but it could improve your overall quality of life as well.
Rhonda Mims is the Executive Vice President and Chief Public Affairs Officer for WellCare Health Plans, Inc.