For Immediate Release

Easterseals Florida Receives CareSource Grant

Tampa, Florida, May 10, 2023

Media Contact:
Madison Schroeder

New funding from CareSource to support job training for people with disabilities


Easterseals Florida one of 10 affiliates nationwide to receive grant


TAMPA, Fla., May 10, 2023 – Easterseals Florida announced today it will receive a grant of $30,000 to support its STRIVE (Skills Training Results In Vocational Employment) Program to train people with disabilities, including veterans and older adults, for jobs in the hospitality industry.  Easterseals Florida also plans to further enhance the program to include jobs in the healthcare sector. The grant is part of a national $2.55 million donation CareSource, a nationally recognized leader in managed care, made to Easterseals in late 2022.

“We are honored to be among the many Easterseals Affiliates benefiting from CareSource’s support,” said Sue Ventura, President & CEO of Easterseals Florida. “This gift will allow us to expand career training options for individuals with disabilities.  Building on our successful STRIVE in Hospitality training and certification program, STRIVE in Healthcare will offer participants an opportunity to learn all the skills necessary to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. The financial assistance provided by CareSource will support the development of differentiated curriculum for learners with diverse abilities.”

For more than 30 years, CareSource enterprise has built trusted relationships with the mission of transforming health care with innovative programs and a family-centered model of care that address the social determinants of health, health equity, prevention, and access to care. CareSource and its family of brands have been a part of improving the quality of services offered to Floridians since 2019.  The nonprofit, nationally recognized managed care organization serves over 2.3 million members and administers one of the largest Medicaid managed care plans in the U.S. The organization offers health insurance, including Medicaid, Health Insurance Marketplace, and Medicare products.

CareSource also recently expanded its national footprint and ability to serve more members with complex needs by acquiring The Columbus Organization, which partners with healthcare agencies and provider organizations in 12 states to support individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges through its staffing, quality improvement, and care coordination services.

Annual CareSource grants of $725,000 will support the work of select Easterseals Affiliates nationwide, the work of Easterseals’ national office, and the organization’s Project on Education and Community Health Equity, an initiative focused on addressing the educational and healthcare needs of children with disabilities, including children with disabilities of color, so they are kindergarten ready and can reach their full potential. 

“CareSource is proud to support the unique and innovative work of Easterseals affiliates across the country to improve the lives of the people they serve and strengthen the communities around them,” said Erhardt Preitauer, CareSource president and chief executive officer and a member of the Easterseals national board of directors. “As mission-driven nonprofits, Easterseals and CareSource share a goal of empowering these local affiliates to provide exceptional services to meet the needs of millions living with disabilities as well as veterans, and seniors, all while improving health equity.”

Another round of funding for Easterseals Affiliates’ programs and services will be announced in late 2023.

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About Easterseals Florida

Easterseals Florida (ESF) has been serving 40 of the 67 counties in Florida since 1948. We offer life-changing programs, services, and on-the-ground support to children and adults with disabilities, families, and local communitiesServices include - early intervention, child development and education, medical rehabilitation, behavior therapy, autism services, life skills and work-readiness training and certification, disability navigation, camping and recreation, adult and senior services, and veterans services.  ESF continues to focus on enriching education, enhancing health, expanding employment, and elevating community so individuals of all abilities have limitless possibilities. To learn more, visit


About Easterseals
Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance the quality of life and expand local access to health care, education, and employment opportunities.  And we won’t rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted. Through our national network of Affiliates, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground support to more than 1.5 million people each year – from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, veterans’ services, and more. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together, we’re empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society. To learn more, visit


Media Contacts:

Susan Ventura, President & CEO, Easterseals Florida

Joe Carmean, CareSource

Sharon Watson, Easterseals

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