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Aflac gifts $100,000 CareGrant to Community HealthNet Health Centers

Photo caption: COMMUNITY HEALTHNET CEO Janet Seabrook is flanked by AFLAC President Virgil Miller (far left) and Gary Deputy Mayor Trent McCain. They are holding the $100,000 grant check presented by AFLAC.

The president of Aflac, Virgil Miller, was in Gary Tuesday morning May 16, 2023 to present a $100,000 CareGrant to Community HealthNet CEO Janet Seabrook.

American Family Life Assurance Company, Aflac, the company that pays when an illness or injury puts people out of work is dedicating its philanthropic efforts to provide relief for medical debt to individuals and communities.

Aflac’s CareGrants were first announced in October 2021, promising $1,000,000 to individuals and non-profits suffering from or highly exposed to medical debt. Just like many individual Americans are not meeting their medical needs because of costs, entire communities in the country face the same problems.

At the award ceremony, held at Lake Etta Park, Miller said Aflac “was doubling down on its commitment by contributing another $1 million throughout 2023.”

“Providing support to organizations like Community HealthNet helps insure people get the care they need when they need it. We know that Community HealthNet will use the CareGrant to create better outcomes for under-resourced communities right here in Gary,” Miller said.

“When I started Community HealthNet in my third year of residency, Gary was the neediest city in the U.S. without a health center program. I can’t tell you how proud this recognition makes me feel,” Dr. Seabrook said. “To my staff, board members, on behalf of Community HealthNet, we accept the $100,000. This has been an honor, working and serving in this community for over 26 years.”

Community HealthNet will put the grant towards developing a community farm to support the organization’s diabetes and nutrition programs, supporting Community HealthNet’s oral health services, purchasing vaccines and medications, and enabling new hires to build and maintain patient relationships.

Community HealthNet provides medical care to patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Indiana is among 11 states in the country, identified in an Aflac survey of 6,500 insured respondents, as having the most medical debt exposure due to a lack of savings.

For Indiana respondents, 31% have no retirement savings, college education account, savings account, stocks/bonds or investment real estate property (compared to 23% of all survey respondents). Thirty-one percent have no emergency or rainy-day fund.

Thirty-six percent of Indiana respondents have had a parent or grandparent suffer from a heart attack or heart disease, the most common and costly diseases impacting Americans.

Overall, 46% of the total respondents don’t have enough in savings to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses – the costs for care not covered by their health insurance.

Aflac also presented a bench to Lake Etta Park. Miller described it as one of his company’s symbols. “The bench will serve as a public place for rest and relaxation. For residents who have been affected by medical and financial challenges, may they find peace and comfort.”

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