To reduce health disparities, Medline launches nationwide community impact program
Medline CARES collaborating with organizations across the country to address key social determinants of health
By Medline Newsroom Staff | August 17, 2020
Medline today announced the launch of Medline CARES, a program dedicated to stimulating health equity and improving population health in the communities where employees live and work. The term CARES—which stands for Community, Action, Resources, Education and Solutions—was chosen to represent how the company and its employees can be stakeholders in improving the health of a community.
Medline CARES works by investing crucial financial and human resources to address social determinants of health (SDOHs)—social and environmental conditions that have the power to impact people’s health and well-being. Since the launch of the program in March 2020, Medline has donated $370,000 to non-profit organizations and employees have volunteered several hours of their time.
“In addition to providing crucial resources to the communities where we operate, we are empowering our employees to participate through volunteerism so they too can be part of the solution,” said Medline Senior Philanthropy Manager Karen Frey.
There are five SDOH areas identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on which Medline CARES will focus:
- economic stability
- neighborhood and the built environment
- social and community context
- health and healthcare
“Today, the immediate challenges pertain to COVID-19,” said Frey. “As a result of the pandemic, health outcomes for underserved and under-resourced communities are at even greater risk. We’re collaborating with community experts to understand the challenges and how we can help alleviate them.”
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, more than 37 million people in the U.S. struggled with hunger. Today, more than 54.3 million people may experience food insecurity, including 18 million children. Medline CARES is addressing this immediate need by donating to food banks and pantries across the country. The program has so far donated $40,000 to eight organizations delivering meals to families in need.
The program is also addressing economic stability by investing resources into organizations that provide emergency relief and safety net programs to communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. In addition to monetary donations, Medline has provided much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to communities hardest hit by COVID-19. The company and its employees have come together to:
- Donate $250,000 to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund as a founding member
- Distribute 100,000 reusable masks across Chicago neighborhoods
- Give away 50,000 facemasks and hand sanitizers to communities in Lake County, Illinois
- Donate $10,000 to purchase 40 boxes of cleaning supplies and PPE for nonprofits in Florida
Medline CARES also supports early childhood education and development, victims of domestic violence and access to care for underserved people.
“We have long legacy of serving our communities and Medline CARES is the latest example of how we’re giving back,” Frey said. “Our local giving efforts will continue to mirror the growth of the company in communities throughout the country.”
Medline is also strengthening communities by supporting local organizations through its annual Community Impact Grant Program, which is now accepting applications. Learn more about the program and other ways Medline helps the communities in which we live and work.