Meridian Health Plan of Illinois Named Official Healthcare Plan Partner of Chicago Fire FC

Through a Multiyear Agreement, Meridian and Chicago Fire FC Will Partner to Provide Chicagoland Community Members Access to Healthcare Services and Support

CHICAGO, Aug. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago Fire FC (the Fire) and Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, Inc. (Meridian), a leading provider of government-sponsored managed care services in Illinois and a subsidiary of Centene Corporation, today announced a multiyear partnership agreement naming Meridian as the Exclusive Healthcare Plan Partner of Chicago Fire FC. Through the partnership, Meridian and Chicago Fire FC will work together to reduce health disparities and bring consistent awareness and programming benefitting Chicago Fire FC fans and communities throughout Chicagoland.

"The partnership with Chicago Fire FC is an important opportunity to drive meaningful change as we work together to improve health for Chicagoans," said Meridian Plan President and Chief Executive Officer, Cristal Gary. "From sports-based learning in elementary schools to providing vaccines city-wide, we are pleased to work with Chicago Fire FC and look forward to having a sustained and positive impact – creating a healthier community for years to come."

"Chicago Fire FC is excited to welcome Meridian as our Exclusive Healthcare Plan Partner," said Chicago Fire FC President of Business Operations, Dave Baldwin. "Off the pitch, our Club strives to create the greatest possible impact not just for our fans, but also to improve the lives of people in Illinois through our neighborhood initiatives. We're thrilled to partner with an incredible organization like Meridian, who shares this commitment. We look forward to working with them to develop new community programs across Chicago and the surrounding suburbs."

Through this multiyear partnership, Meridian and Chicago Fire FC will join forces to reach all 77 neighborhoods in Chicago through authentic programming, demonstrating a commitment to supporting the local community. Meridian will become the presenting partner of the Chicago Fire Foundation's P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth, Soccer) Program, designed to enhance the academic performance and development of key social and emotional skills of elementary school students through a sports-based curriculum. P.L.A.Y.S. serves more than 1,200 youth annually.  

The Fire and Meridian will work together to bring essential health services to students by providing opportunities and incentives for completing health screenings and utilizing Fire programs implemented at the North Austin Community Center. Other community initiatives include handing out health literacy information at local events and partnering with key community organizations to raise health awareness on topics such as immunizations, nutrition, and mental health, to name a few.

Meridian will also provide health and wellness information during in-stadium events to engage with the soccer club's diverse audience. This includes being the entitlement sponsor of the September 23 Hispanic Heritage Month match versus the New England Revolution. Meridian will be the presenting partner of The Chicago Fire Foundation's Kicks for Kids program, which provides economically or otherwise challenged youth in the Chicagoland area with an opportunity to enjoy a Chicago Fire FC match at no cost.

For more information about Chicago Fire FC and their commitment to the community, please visit

About Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, Inc.
Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, Inc. and its family of plans provide government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors, and individuals with complex medical needs. This includes Meridian's Medicaid and Medicaid-Medicare plans, and YouthCare HealthChoice Illinois. YouthCare is a specialized program designed to address the healthcare needs of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) youth in out-of-home placement and former foster youth. Meridian connects members to care and offers comprehensive services to support lifelong health and wellness. Learn more at

SOURCE Meridian of Illinois