Inside and outside of the C-suite, Jernigan says he strives to serve those most in need, especially children. “Protecting children is a passion for me,” Jernigan said. “I've centered my career around improved access to healthcare for children, and I love working with pediatricians and organizations that support children's health issues.”
Since 1996, Jernigan has been a member of the Exchange Club of Charleston, which supports efforts to prevent child abuse and promotes youth achievement. Funds raised through the club's operation of the annual Coastal Carolina Fair, called the largest all-volunteer fair in America, have benefited a variety of organizations centered on children's services. They include Darkness to Light, which fights to prevent child abuse, the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, which supports children and families dealing with abuse, and the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston. In 2013, the 10-day fair raised more than $800,000 to support more than 90 organizations. Since its launch in 1957, the fair has raised more than $6 million.
“All of these organizations that provide social benefits to our communities need funds to operate, and it's great to help those organizations connect with funding sources,” Jernigan said.
In all, Jernigan said he spends more than 300 hours annually volunteering with various community organizations. “I believe to whom much is given, much is expected,” he said. “And as a leader for AmeriHealth Caritas, I set the example for others to take the opportunity to connect with our communities and to train the next generation of leaders to maintain that level of giving.”
Mike Mitka is a freelance writer based in River Forest, Ill. Reach him at [email protected]