Quartz knows that disparities in the health care system disproportionately have harmful results for our communities of color and other ethnicities. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those disparities are even more visible during a global pandemic. Economic and social conditions that exist among our underserved communities can isolate them from resources needed to prepare for and react to outbreaks like COVID-19. These communities tend to live in more populated areas. Their types of jobs are often considered essential, forcing them to work outside of their homes. To help members and our communities at greatest risk, Quartz decided to create Quartz Cares. This initiative supports the health of our communities, members, and employees by providing resources and helping many members. Here is a list of Quartz Cares efforts for our communities of color and other ethnicities:
- Calling Our Most At-Risk Members. Quartz team members are making more than 8,000 phone calls to members most at risk for complications due to COVID-19, not only to minority populations but also:
- Members with incomes between 100% and 150% of the Federal Poverty Levels. We provide tips about resources and benefits available to them through Quartz and community organizations.
- Members age 90 or older to make sure they have access to pharmacy items and supplies, needed help with food delivery, and to connect and let them know we’re here for them.
- Former members who lost their employer-sponsored health plan to help them find insurance coverage through other ways, including community-based programs
- BadgerCare Plus (BC+). The BadgerCare Plus outreach team supports our most at-risk members, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. They’ve been working hard to find creative solutions to serve our members. Here is a list of the outreach specialists’ work:
- Developed a plan to lower staff exposure while continuing to deliver vital items such as formula, diapers, and other baby items. They are focusing on outreach to members who need prenatal/postpartum care and Well Child Check-ups to age 15 months.
- Provide case management to members who have more stressors and barriers during this hard time due to complex health conditions or social needs. The BC+ Team stay informed about community resources that are available and how we can connect members to these resources.
- United Way HealthConnect. United Way HealthConnect is a program sponsored by UW Health and Quartz in partnership with United Way of Dane County, which helps local families pay for health plan premiums. This is important during this time of layoffs and financial struggles.
- Volunteer time. Quartz doubled the time made available for each employee to volunteer in their communities from eight hours per year to 16. That means this year Quartz and its employees could donate up to 13,000 hours to local communities and volunteer organizations.
- Quartz Cares Matching Program. This program helps local organizations and nonprofits that focus their work on racial and health disparities. Quartz employees donated $11,725 to help with budget shortfalls that people may experience due to COVID-19. Quartz matched those employee donations dollar-for-dollar and donated more than $23,000 to local nonprofits.
- Blood Donations. One specific way that you can help members and communities right now is by donating blood. If you are at low risk for the virus and would like to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org to search for an appointment in your area.