Initiative with AT&T, Connected Nation, Dell Technologies, Intel, and Home State Health helps ensure foster youth have access to the resources for remote learning and critical services
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Home State Health and its parent company, Centene Corporation, teamed up with AT&T, Connected Nation, Dell Technologies and Intel to bridge the Digital Divide for youth in foster care by enabling greater internet access. Home State Health deployed the K-12 Digital Divide Program in Missouri by donating technology to foster care agencies to distribute to youth in need.
Through the K-12 Digital Divide Program, Home State Health donated 500 laptops and 500 Wi-Fi hotspots to foster care agencies across Missouri to distribute to youth in need. These packages will help connect youth with the hardware to access the internet for schoolwork, online tutoring, job searches, telehealth and behavioral health services, and other daily activities – helping to bridge the Digital Divide. The following foster care agencies received devices:
"Even before the pandemic, students and foster care youth without computer equipment or internet access faced additional challenges in learning," said Nathan Landsbaum, President and CEO, Home State Health. "At Home State Health, we are proud to collaborate with AT&T, Connected Nation, Dell Technologies and Intel, who are removing technology barriers and helping our state's most vulnerable youth succeed."
The Digital Divide refers to the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those with internet access and those without. For foster children that may experience additional challenges in education, researchers suggest that online technology can be a tremendous advantage in this area. This Digital Divide was especially prevalent and impactful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as computers and internet access were required for everyday tasks from attending school to visiting the doctor, which could ultimately impact the youth's overall health and wellness.
"We are so grateful to Home State Health, Centene, AT&T, Connected Nation, Dell Technologies, and Intel for providing these devices for our children in need. Foster parents have big hearts but most do not have big wallets. Many of our families do not have a computer at home or they can't afford the high monthly cost for home Wi-Fi. These financial issues greatly diminished the quality of education that their kids were receiving," said Shelley Thomas-Benke, Director of FosterServe Volunteers at Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition.
Home State Health has been supporting Missouri residents since 2012 across its MO HealthNet, Allwell, and Ambetter plans. Their efforts to address the social determinants of health reinforce their long-standing commitment to supporting the whole health of their communities, one person at a time.
About Home State Health
Home State Health is a Care Management Organization that serves the needs of Missourians through a range of health insurance solutions. Home State Health serves the Medicaid population in partnership with MO HealthNet. The organization also focuses on under-insured and uninsured individuals by performing operations for Ambetter, a federal insurance marketplace product, underwritten by Celtic Insurance (an affiliated company). Additionally, Home State Health provides insurance for the Medicare population through a Medicare Advantage plan, Allwell. Home State Health exists to improve the health of its members through focused, compassionate and coordinated care. Home State Health is owned by a joint venture of Centene Corporation and Missouri Community Health Access. Centene Corporation, is a diversified, multi-national healthcare enterprise. For more information, visit www.homestatehealth.com.
SOURCE Home State Health