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Lexington, VA Winners

Lexington, VA

Rockbridge Area Health Center was awarded a $100,000 Aflac Community CareGrant to reduce the risk of medical debt exposure and help fund school-based wellness education and multidisciplinary programs in Lexington, Virginia. An Aflac Park Bench was installed in Kids Playce Park, a symbol of the Lexington-Rockbridge community, which features picnic tables and water fountains.

Lexington, VA Winners

Harlan, KY

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) received a $100,000 Aflac Community CareGrant to help reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Harlan County, Kentucky. The grant was used to help ARH expand its educational outreach program, as well as purchase cardiovascular screening supplies and equipment, mannequins for use in community CPR education, and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for the community’s emergency management personnel. An Aflac Park Bench was installed in Dressen Park, a central public space used by many Harlan residents for rest and relaxation.

Lexigton, VA Winners

Columbia, SC

Aflac awarded a $100,000 CareGrant to Good Samaritan Clinic in Columbia, South Carolina, to help the organization develop a healthcare e-portal to reduce patients’ barriers to care, expand its point of care capacity, enable new hires and fund resources to help existing staff build and maintain patient relationships. An Aflac Park Bench was installed in Riverfront Park at the entrance to the beloved Columbia Canal and its many outdoor walking paths.

Lexington, VA Winners

Orlando, FL

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation received a $100,000 Aflac Community CareGrant to increase access to breast health services, such as diagnostic testing (mammograms) and biopsies for underserved and underinsured individuals in Orlando, Florida. An Aflac Park Bench was installed on the grounds of the organization, where patients and survivors can go to relax and reflect.

Lexington, VA Winners

Houston, TX

Aflac awarded its first $200,000 Community CareGrant to Texas Southern University’s (TSU) Center for Biomedical and Minority Health Research to help advance health equity for diseases that disproportionately impact underrepresented communities. The grant was split between community support, education and health-related research. An Aflac Park Bench was installed in the heart of TSU’s campus, where TSU students, faculty, staff and supporters can find peace and comfort for years to come.

Gary, IN Winners

Gary, IN

Community HealthNet received a $100,000 Aflac Community CareGrant to help develop a community farm, provide oral health services for the uninsured, purchase life-saving vaccines and medications for underserved populations, and hire new staff to build and maintain patient relationships. An Aflac Park Bench was installed in Lake Etta County Park, a 112-acre park with access to the Little Calumet River, as well as playgrounds, fishing, and a beach area for swimming.

Charleston, WV Winners

Charleston, WV

West Virginia Health Right received a $100,000 Aflac Community CareGrant to advance grassroots initiatives such as purchasing medication for low-income adults in the area, purchasing medical supplies and consumables, and offsetting salaries for the organization’s part-time in-house registered dietician and RN health educator. An Aflac Park bench was installed in Magic Island Park, a five-acre riverside park that is cherished by the local community and offers a walking trail, beach volleyball courts and a splash pad.

Cleveland, OH Winners

Cleveland, OH

Aflac awarded a $100,000 CareGrant to Care Alliance Health Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to advance its mission of providing high-quality, comprehensive medical and dental care, patient advocacy and related services to people who need them most. The grant helped the organization reach an additional 10,000 Cleveland residents by supporting its expansion as a federally qualified health center to serve more vulnerable individuals. It also supported other work focused on community public health needs to address the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. An Aflac park bench was also installed at Lincoln Park, an eight-acre public green space that hosts community get-togethers, team sports and recreational activities.

New York, NY Winners

New York, NY

Hip Hop Public Health, co-founded by hip-hop artist Doug E. Fresh, received a $100,000 Aflac CareGrant to advance health literacy in Harlem, New York. The organization will put the funds toward advancing its various programs including its Learning Studio that inspires positive changes in health behavior, the Health MC Educator Program, which offers curricular resources around health education and its speaker series, which explores public health issues. At the CareGrant celebration event, attendees participated in a community mural activity led by a local artist that reflected the lived experiences of the community in honor of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary.

Orangeburg, SC Winners

Orangeburg, SC

Aflac presented its largest CareGrant of 2023 to South Carolina State University (SC State), South Carolina’s only public historically black university, to advance its work to improve health outcomes and build the next generation of diverse community health workers. The $200,000 CareGrant was split between two centers – the Health Equity Research and Training Center and the South Carolina Cancer Disparities Research Center – to fund research and training programs for better health results and experiences for the South Carolina community. An Aflac park bench was installed on SC State’s campus in a central area where students and other university stakeholders can find rest and relaxation for years to come.

Lashandra Covington

When you think of turning 21, do you ever think about self-breast exams or breast cancer? Lashandra Covington didn’t. But in 2002, at the age of 21, she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. Lashandra had just given birth to her second child and breast cancer was the last thing on her mind. A year later, Lashandra was told she was cancer free. Unfortunately, seven years later her cancer came back, and more procedures ensued. Then, in April 2021, Lashandra was diagnosed with colon cancer. Throughout this journey, Lashandra didn’t have insurance, so most things were out-of- pocket, or she avoided the doctor all together. Then, Lashandra saw an ad for Aflac’s CareGrant – the $5,000 not only helped with her latest procedure but helped Lashandra get back on track and take a relaxing breathe for a moment.

John Shadock

John and Allison Shadock were married only a short time before he was diagnosed with glioblastoma at only 35 years old. The diagnosis changed the young couple’s life instantly. Allison and John and their two dogs had to relocate to be closer to John’s doctor which involved leaving jobs, undergoing astronomically expensive cancer treatments, MRIs and never-ending travel expenses. If this wasn’t enough, John had a fall a year ago that forced the Shadock family to seek round-the-clock care. They also have had to lean even more on family and friends for support. Their motto is "strong all along" and the $5,000 CareGrant they received from Aflac was extremely useful in helping keep the family on their feet so that the Shadocks could continually focus on John’s care, not their finances.

R. Mateo Magdaleno

One slip of paper can change the course of your life. That’s exactly what happened to Mateo Magdaleno. Mateo found himself in a place he never imagined – battling type II diabetes and drowning in medical debt. The diabetes began a ripple effect of other health problems including cognitive issues and higher cholesterol and the debt began to pile on. As Mateo says, “I thought having health insurance by itself would be enough, but the treatments that I needed were not covered and I was exceeding all my days off. It came to the point where I was choosing between groceries and paying for the medication that I needed to live.” Then, a friend forwarded Mateo an ad for an Aflac CareGrant and despite looking too good to be true, Mateo applied and later received funds he needed to help him focus on his recovery for the time being.

Amanda Blomberg

As excited first-time parents, Randy and Amanda Blomberg never expected the challenges that lay ahead. At 9 months old, their older son Lucas was declared legally blind with cataracts, requiring surgery, expensive eyeglasses and many medical appointments. A year later, doctors revealed another devastating diagnosis: Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a rare, cancer-like condition that required a year of chemotherapy. Recently, Lucas was diagnosed with autism, ADHD and dyslexia. Randy and Amanda’s youngest son, Logan, has also had his own fair share of challenges. He was born premature, endured pneumonia, underwent hernia surgery and is beginning to display similar behavioral symptoms as his brother. Amanda and her husband struggled to hold on financially when she was laid off during the pandemic. After seeing a post on social media announcing Aflac’s CareGrants, Amanda submitted their story. The $10,000 CareGrant arrived on their doorstep and has helped the family pay their medical debt and face their next medical hurdle.