PHOENIX and TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) and Care1st Health Plan Arizona, a WellCare company, announced today the WellCare Community Foundation has donated $230,000 to support a new Bayless Integrated Healthcare clinic located in the Avondale Elementary School District (AESD). The multi-specialty clinic will provide integrated healthcare services including family medicine, behavioral health and life skill services to students and families who reside in Maricopa County’s Southwest Valley – an area in great need of care and resources.

Nearly 1 in 4 children in Maricopa County are living at or below the poverty line, and many lack access to needed healthcare services. For example, studies show 70 percent of Arizona children with major depression do not receive needed mental health treatment. To help expand access to underserved children and families in Maricopa County, the new clinic will offer physical and behavioral health services to approximately 12,000 to 13,000 students in the Avondale Elementary School District including Avondale Middle School, Elíseo C. Félix School and Lattie Coor School.

The clinic will be based out of the original AESD school building located at 235 W. Western Avenue, Avondale, Arizona, 85323. The donation to the Arizona Therapeutics Learning Center (AZTLC) will help expand and renovate these offices so that physicians from Bayless Integrated Healthcare can provide vitally needed services to the community.

«We’re honored to work with AZTLC, Bayless Integrated Healthcare and the Avondale Elementary School District who share our commitment to giving back to those we serve,» said Rhonda Mims, senior vice president and chief public affairs officer, WellCare. «This donation will help support a convenient, one-stop shop clinic for students, families and community members in Avondale to help promote better health outcomes and a brighter future for Arizona’s next generation.»

«We greatly appreciate this generous donation,» said Dr. Kristen Ray, member, AZTLC board of directors. «These funds will be instrumental in ensuring we build a state-of-the-art health clinic that’ll support a healthier community in the Southwest Valley for years to come.»

«We’re excited to offer quality healthcare services to meet the physical and behavioral health needs of the Avondale Elementary School District and surrounding communities,» said Justin Bayless, CEO, Bayless Integrated Healthcare.

Many students in the Southwest Valley also face social and economic barriers to care such as lack of transportation, affordable housing and nutritious foods. In response, the Bayless Integrated Healthcare Clinic will collaborate with the Care1st Avondale Resource Center, a one-stop hub of community resources conveniently located across the street, to connect patients to social and human services. The center offers a variety of programs such as healthcare enrollment, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), financial literacy workshops, parenting classes, and more.

«Through our collaborative efforts, we’ll be able to improve the quality of life of our students and their families,» said Dr. Neil Stafford, AESD director of comprehensive health initiative. «By connecting them to social and human service, we’re working to enhance overall health and boost academic performance for our students most in need.»

As of June 30, 2018, Care1st Health Plan Arizona and WellCare Health Plans has more than 300 employees in the state and serves approximately 165,000 members through an office in Phoenix including approximately 144,000 Medicaid members, 2,000 Medicare Advantage members and 19,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) members.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. The company served approximately 4.4 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2018. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company’s website at

About Arizona Therapeutic Learning Center
The Arizona Therapeutic Learning Center is an Arizona-based, volunteer-driven nonprofit with a mission to create a place where youth, adolescents and adults can spend time developing therapeutic life skills. The Arizona Therapeutic Learning Center will have a defined group space at Bayless Integrated Healthcare’s Avondale Elementary School District Integrated Clinic, further aligning with Bayless’ core focus of integrating physical and mental healthcare while improving lives.

About Bayless Integrated Healthcare
Bayless Integrated Healthcare was founded in 1982 by our founder, Dr. Michael Brad Bayless, as a ground-breaking model for mental healthcare delivery utilizing a multi-disciplinary team approach. Beginning in 2010, Justin Bayless became the second generation owner and has transformed the company into a comprehensive healthcare provider utilizing a proprietary process of integration to improve the patient experience. As a comprehensive service provider for all ages and socio-economic classes, Bayless provides family medicine, emotional and behavioral health, addiction treatment, and social healthcare services. For more information, call (602) 230-7373 or visit

About the Avondale Elementary School District
The Avondale Elementary School District (AESD) offers elementary education to 10 schools in the West Valley of Maricopa County. They provide diverse academic programs for both students and staff including special area classes, before and aftercare, computer program K-8, athletic programs, full-day kindergarten and early literacy programming. While each school site is unique, there is a core, overarching mission that every student will grow as a thinker, problem solver and communicator to pursue a future without limits. To learn more about AESD, visit


(PRNewsfoto/WellCare Health Plans, Inc.)

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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.