By Mark Leenay, M.D.
This month, WellCare earned a top score of 100% in the 2019 Disability Equality Index (DEI®). This highly respected recognition is based on an annual national survey that scores businesses on their disability inclusion policies and practices and distinguishes WellCare as a “Best Place to Work for Disability InclusionTM” by the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
Focusing on disability inclusion for our associates and our members is a business imperative and an important part of our comprehensive diversity and inclusion efforts. According to the DEI, companies that improve disability inclusion over time outperform their peers, and leading companies report 28% higher revenue, double the net income and 30% higher economic profit margins.
But disability inclusion is not only part of our business strategy; we also believe in fostering a supportive work environment for our associates with disabilities and those who are caregivers. That’s why I’m incredibly proud to serve as the Executive Sponsor of WellCare’s Persons with Disabilities and Caregivers (PWD&C) Associate Resource Group (ARG) which works to make WellCare an easier, more accommodating and welcoming workplace for persons with disabilities and/or caregivers.
WellCare offers a number of resources to promote a more supportive and inclusive workplace including:
- WellCare’s Community Connections Help Line, which is staffed by Peer Coaches, many of whom have experienced a disability or been caregivers themselves. Peer Coaches connect callers to a database of more than 300,000 social services available across the country. This free resource is open to the general public and is available from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. local time.
- American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter service is available onsite to associates, as needed.
- Video relay phone service is available to associates at their desks, allowing them to connect to a live interpreter for phone conversations with another person who is in a separate physical location.
- Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART), a speech-to-text interpreting service for anyone who needs communication access, is available for associates who are not ASL fluent.
- All company buildings have dedicated parking for those with disabilities, and automatic door openers are available at many entrances and restrooms and continue to be installed at all locations to accommodate individual needs.
In April, WellCare also scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), making us a “Best Places to Work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Equality.”
While we’re proud of these accomplishments, this is just the beginning of our journey to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace — today and in the future.
Dr. Mark Leenay is WellCare’s Chief Medical Officer and Executive Sponsor of the company’s Persons with Disabilities and Caregivers (PWD&C) Associate Resource Group (ARG).