Easterseals Southwest Florida one of 10 affiliates nationwide to receive grants
SARASOTA, Fla., May 9, 2023 – Easterseals Southwest Florida announced today it will receive a grant of $30,000 to support educational services at its Easterseals Academy for children with intellectual and physical disabilities. The grant is part of a national $2.55 million donation CareSource, a nationally recognized leader in managed care.
Funding from the grant to Easterseals Southwest Florida will support Easterseals Academy, a specialized educational option for children in grades K-12 living with intellectual and physical disabilities. Therapy integrated into the school day allows students to stay in school and to make positive progression toward their education and therapy goals.
“We are honored to be among the many Easterseals Affiliates benefiting from CareSource’s support,” said Nicole Murby, Vice President of Programs of Easterseals Southwest Florida. “This gift will allow us to blend a curriculum designed to meet the need of children with disabilities with physical, occupational, speech and behavioral therapies to ensure that each child has the support needed to stay in school and learn.”
For more than 30 years, CareSource enterprise has built trusted relationships with the mission of transforming health care with innovative programs and a family-centered model of care that address the social determinants of health, health equity, prevention and access to care. CareSource and its family of brands have been a part of improving quality of services offered to Floridians since 2019. The nonprofit, nationally recognized managed care organization serves over 2.3 million members and administers one of the largest Medicaid managed care plans in the U.S. The organization offers health insurance, including Medicaid, Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicare products.
CareSource also recently expanded its national footprint and ability to serve more members with complex needs by acquiring The Columbus Organization, which partners with health care agencies and provider organizations in 12 states to support individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges through its staffing, quality improvement and care coordination services.
Annual CareSource grants of $725,000 will support the work of select Easterseals Affiliates nationwide, the work of Easterseals’ national office, and the organization’s Project on Education and Community Health Equity, an initiative focused on addressing the educational and health care needs of children with disabilities, including children with disabilities of color, so they are kindergarten ready and can reach their full potential.
“CareSource is proud to support the unique and innovative work of Easterseals affiliates across the country to improve the lives of the people they serve and strengthen the communities around them,” said Erhardt Preitauer, CareSource president and chief executive officer and a member of the Easterseals national board of directors. “As mission-driven nonprofits, Easterseals and CareSource share a goal of empowering these local affiliates to provide exceptional services to meet the needs of millions living with disabilities as well as veterans, and seniors, all while improving health equity.”
Another round of funding for Easterseals affiliates’ programs and services will be announced in late 2023.
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About Easterseals Southwest Florida Easterseals Southwest Florida has been part of the community for nearly 75 years and offers the highest quality of care and services to children, youth, and adults with disabilities so that they can enjoy access, opportunities, and increased life choices. Easterseals Southwest Florida is committed to remaining a leader in special needs services and an organization to which individuals and their families can turn for resources and support with a continuum of care throughout their lives.
About Easterseals Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to health care, education, and employment opportunities. And we won’t rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted. Through our national network of Affiliates, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 1.5 million people each year – from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, veterans’ services, and more. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together, we’re empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society. To learn more, visit www.easterseals.com.