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Humana awards $100,000 Chicago Benefits grant to Misericordia Heart of Mercy Center

Nonprofit recognized for services to persons with developmental disabilities

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Thursday, September 11, 2008 2:28 pm EDT

Dateline:

CHICAGO

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
HUM

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Misericordia Home, a community of care in Chicago for more than 550 children and adults with developmental disabilities, has received a $100,000 grant in the sixth Chicago Benefits program funded by Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM). Misericordia emphasized the transformative value of technology in its educational programs to secure the grant from Humana, one of Chicagos largest providers of health insurance and related benefits.

We are all thrilled to receive this recognition through the 2008 Chicago Benefits grant. The $100,000 award will help us accelerate a key component of our Developmental Training Departments strategic plan the addition of a Technology Enabled Learning Center, said Sister Rosemary Connelly, executive director of Misericordia since 1969. We believe it is imperative for us to enhance our programs, which are already some of the best in the country, to meet the changing needs of our residents through the use of technology. For individuals who are already challenged by delayed opportunities, this is truly a gift of significance.

The mission of Misericordias Technology Enabled Learning Center is to provide developmental learning opportunities for residents using computer-based technology with core educational concepts including reading, writing, math and money skills. A second area of emphasis will be computer skills training, to include using software and accessing e-mail and the Internet. There have been many new developments in the use of PCs and software to help individuals with developmental disabilities increase their literacy, cognitive skills and socialization. There are also many ways to assist in their employment goals through resume creation, job searches and job applications. The Humana grant will give Misericordias instructors and service providers access to the latest and most effective resources. In addition, adaptive technology will allow individuals with complex physical limitations to access and manipulate the software.

A panel of local judges, comprised of community leaders, public officials and business representatives, worked with Humana to select Misericordia as the recipient of the $100,000 Chicago Benefits grant, awarded at a celebratory gala on August 7, 2008, at the River East Art Center. The two other Chicago Benefits finalists also received funding. Lifelink was awarded $15,000 as first runner-up, and Pro Se Services was granted $5,000 as Chicago Benefits second runner-up.

This program is designed to help organizations who share the principles of improving mind, body and spirit, said Mike Kasper, market president of Humana Illinois and Chicago Benefits co-chair. Our three finalists each represent a key attribute. Misericordia sharpens the mind of those with disabilities. Lifelink nourishes the body by promoting healthy lifestyles, and Pro Se Services raises the spirit of troubled youth. Together, these contribute to a positive, healthy community.

Six years ago, Humanas Chicago office decided to develop a charitable program that would make a transformational difference to a nonprofit thats benefiting the community, explained Deborah Gracey, president of Medicare operations in Humanas Great Lakes region. Over the years, weve received nearly 500 grant applications from Chicago area nonprofits. Each is doing their part to make our city better.

About Chicago Benefits

Chicago Benefits is designed to give local nonprofit, 501(c)(3), charitable organizations the opportunity to receive a one-time grant to create new programs or enhance ongoing activities. Chicago Benefits supports nonprofit organizations located in the Chicago metropolitan area that address one of three areas:

  • Mind: Projects or institutions that seek to improve the educational landscape, resulting in higher levels of achievement
  • Body: Projects or human service agencies engaged in the promotion of healthy bodies and lifestyles
  • Spirit: Projects or civic and cultural development organizations that seek to inspire communities and enliven the human spirit

The Chicago Benefits 2007 $100,000 award recipient, Reading In Motion, created an innovative kindergarten to third grade reading program currently used in a number of Chicago Public Schools. A study has shown 88 percent of kindergarten students in classrooms with Reading In Motion-trained teachers met the grade level reading benchmark, compared to 17 percent of student in matched comparison schools.

Chicago Benefits is celebrating its sixth year anniversary in 2008, with a legacy of more than $700,000 awarded since its inception. Chicago Benefits is the flagship program of Our Communities Benefit, Humanas community giving program, currently active in nine areas: Atlanta, Greater Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Louisiana, Arizona, Tampa Bay and Utah.

Visit www.chicagobenefits.org for more information.

About the 2008 Chicago Benefits finalists

  • Lifelink is a 114-year-old human service organization, providing culturally competent, bilingual and bicultural programs and services for the Latino community throughout Illinois, as well as additional social service programs for older adults through affordable housing and at-home care. Lifelink will use the grant to launch an intergenerational prevention/intervention nutrition and exercise project. The projects focus is to reduce and prevent obesity and diabetes within the organizations predominantly Hispanic client base. Both health risks are considered at epidemic proportions among Hispanic populations. www.lifelink.org
  • Misericordia Heart of Mercy Center is one of the nations leading communities for children and adults with developmental disabilities, providing full-time residential and programmatic support for 550 children and adults with disabilities ranging from moderate to severe and profound, who come from diverse racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. www.misericordia.org
  • Pro Se Services originated in 2005 as a volunteer-based organization, providing emergency services to victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita, who had relocated in Chicago. Pro Se assisted over 55 individuals and families displaced by the storms. The organization continues its outreach with the Alms Deeds poverty program and Hope for the Hood anti-gang program. Future plans include a housing facility, an organic food pantry and a childcare facility in the Chicago area. www.proseservices.org

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is one of the nations largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11.5 million medical members, including more than 450,000 in Illinois. Humana is a full-service benefits solutions company, offering a wide array of health and supplementary benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals.

Over its 47-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the companys web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
  • Corporate Governance Information.

Contact:

Humana Inc.
Corporate Communications:
Amanda Dvorchak Harris, 312-441-5361
advorchak@humana.com
www.chicagobenefits.org
or
Misericordia Home
Tiana Benway, 773-273-2732
tianab@misericordia.com
www.misericordia.org