Photo courtesy of UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealth Group subsidiary UnitedHealthcare is donating $11 million in grants through its Empowering Health program across 11 states to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health, focusing on uninsured people in underserved communities.
The organization cited the social and economic challenges wrought by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic as its primary motivators. These challenges continue to exacerbate health disparities in many communities, UHC said; more than a third of members screened by UnitedHealthcare for social-related needs experience at least one social determinant of health, company data showed.
The states included in the program are California, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, New York, Virginia and Washington. The grants are intended to help those struggling with food insecurity, social isolation, behavioral health issues and health literacy efforts.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
The grants include:
- $300,000 to Mama’s Kitchen in San Diego County, California, to expand the home-delivered meal service program, which provides medically tailored meals for low-income individuals recently discharged from the hospital with a primary diagnosis of HIV, cancer, congestive heart failure or Type 2 diabetes;
- $250,000 to Boys and Girls Clubs in Benton Harbor, Michigan, to help expand the Triple Play program, which addresses physical activity, good nutrition and healthy relationships for children ages 6-18;
- $150,000 to American Indian Health Center, Goodheart Behavioral Health in Spokane, Washington, to hire a mental health clinician who specializes in therapeutic interventions for the Native American community and increase the number of community members served;
- $150,000 to Sowega Council on Aging in South Georgia to deploy social isolation solutions through the Senior Center Without Walls program;
- $90,000 to On Our Own of Maryland to conduct facilitator training to start and expand recognized, evidence-based peer support programs such as Whole Health Action Management and Wellness Recovery Action Plan at five peer-run Wellness and Recovery Centers;
- $65,000 to the Resource Council of WNY in Buffalo, New York, to establish the R-Kids Cupboard children’s food pantry – with refrigerators, freezers, shelving units and nutritious food – and a demonstration kitchen to offer healthy cooking classes for the community.
THE LARGER TREND
Since launching Empowering Health in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $51 million in grants, reaching more than 8 million people, through partnerships with community-based organizations in 30 states and Washington, D.C.
In June, the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group, made a $100 million commitment over 10 years to advance health equity, furthering its efforts to eliminate health disparities. This was the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation.