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Iowa Total Care and the Centene Foundation Announce $2.55 Million Commitment

Iowa Total Care and the Centene Foundation Announce $2.55 Million Commitment


to Central Iowa Shelter & Services

Funding to support development of Housing Command Center and mobile app to reduce homelessness in Des Moines, Grinnell and Ottumwa, and direct individuals and families to resources in real time

ITC-Giving-Tuesday-GroupPhoto Cropped

Pictured left to right:
1. Jon Dinesman, Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Centene Corporation
2. Kelly Garcia, Director of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
3. Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds
4. Mitch Wasden, Iowa Total Care Plan President & CEO
5. Liz Matney, Medicaid Director, Chief Operations Officer of the Iowa Dept. of Health and Human Services
6. Melissa O’Neil, Central Iowa Shelter and Services CEO
7. Bill Jones, Senior VP, Markets of Centene Corporation

Des Moines, IA (Nov. 21, 2023) – Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS) today announced a partnership with Iowa Total Care, a provider of Medicaid healthcare coverage in Iowa and a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), to create an on-the-ground Housing Command Center (HCC) and a mobile application designed to address certain challenges people and communities face as a result of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). The HCC is expected to launch in spring of 2025 and will house and support unsheltered individuals in downtown Des Moines, part of CISS’ recovery housing complex, with two additional locations in Grinnell and Ottumwa. The app, which is slated to launch in spring of 2024, will offer real-time, action-oriented, person-centered information such as directions to housing, food, medical care, and other resources. By creating a more real-time match of individual and family needs with resources, the app will serve to help address the barriers to health and healthcare for more Iowans.

“In communities across the nation, HCCs have seen great success in providing critical information and key resources in times of need. By adopting the same concept here, we plan to respond to and prevent even more Iowans from becoming unsheltered,” said CISS CEO Melissa O’Neil.

Centene Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Centene Corporation, and Iowa Total Care are funding these initiatives and will invest $2.55 million over the course of two years.

“Iowa Total Care and the Centene Foundation know by addressing the critical link between healthcare and other factors like housing, we can leverage technology, partnerships, and local services to create and implement sustainable solutions for vulnerable populations, while fostering healthier communities. We are proud to support and partner with organizations like CISS that share our mission and commitment to innovative solutions to address the needs of Iowans,” said Iowa Total Care Plan President & CEO, Mitch Wasden.

HCCs are centralized emergency operation management systems designed to streamline the processes required to secure housing and other resources for unsheltered individuals in the community. Utilizing technology and natural disaster response tactics, each center serves as an investment in the prioritization of homelessness prevention throughout the state – especially in rural communities. The Institute for Community Alliances identifies 47,598 Iowans that experience homelessness over the course of a year.

The mobile app will enable CISS advocates and Iowa Total Care case managers to connect people more effectively to SDOH services. The app will use geolocators to direct people to housing, food, medical care and other resources that deploy the right services in a timely manner.

Central Iowa Shelter & Services

About Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS)

Central Iowa Shelter & Services is the largest low-barrier shelter in Iowa. Its mission is to provide shelter, meals and support services to adults experiencing homelessness and to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency. CISS also provides housing services to a 15-county region through its Rolling Hills Coalition. Learn more at

About Iowa Total Care (ITC)

Iowa Total Care provides Medicaid healthcare coverage to eligible individuals in Iowa. Established in 2019, Iowa Total Care exists to improve the health of its members through focused, compassionate, and coordinated care. Iowa Total Care is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives.

About the Centene Foundation

The Centene Foundation (the "Foundation"), a private nonprofit focused on investing in economically challenged communities, is the philanthropic arm of Centene Corporation ("Centene"). The Foundation supports projects and initiatives strategically aligned with Centene's mission-driven culture and enhances the work Centene is doing to remove the barriers to wellness underserved and low-income populations face. The Foundation is committed to addressing social determinants of health and improving health equity in three distinct areas of focus: healthcare access, social services and education. To learn more, visit the Centene Foundation's website.