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ARTICLE UnitedHealthcare Awards $5.2 Million in Grants to California Nonprofits


GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (April 3, 2013) – Two Northern California nonprofit hospitals have been awarded a total of $806,500 in grants from UnitedHealthcare to help improve health care services and wellness programs for local patients and community residents.


The grants are part of $5.2 million UnitedHealthcare is awarding to nine health care organizations to support nonprofit clinics and hospitals that improve health care services for underserved communities statewide.


Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation ($699,500) and Plumas District Hospital ($107,000) received the funding to support wellness and medical education programs and improve the delivery of health care services in Northern California.


The announcement was made at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley where community leaders participated in a check presentation and learned about how the funding will be used to expand the hospital's eClinical Works program, an initiative to expand electronic health records and health information technology systems.


The grant will help Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital serve rural clinics throughout the region, providing them access to health information exchange systems and advanced technology to better serve patients. The funding is in addition to a $334,268 grant the organization received from UnitedHealthcare in 2008 that helped the hospital start its health information technology program.


"This grant from UnitedHealthcare supports our investment in new technologies that is helping us serve rural community clinics throughout the region," said Kimberly Parker, executive director, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. "These funds are helping expand our eClinical Works program that enables us to deliver health care services to more people in our community, particularly people living in rural areas."


Plumas District Hospital in Plumas has received $107,000 to expand educational and outreach services for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the region. Plumas County has seen a significant increase in perinatal risk factors in the last eight years, the highest percentage of which are related to diabetes - either a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis prior to pregnancy or development of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. In 2011, 24 percent of Plumas District Hospital's obstetric patients were diagnosed with gestational diabetes and required referral or consultation. UnitedHealthcare's latest grant enables Plumas District Hospital to provide comprehensive services to the gestational diabetic population through a local diabetes education program. The funding is in addition to a $326,357 the organization received from UnitedHealthcare in 2008 to upgrade its telemedicine capabilities.


"We are grateful to receive this critical funding that will support our diabetes programs," said Douglas Lafferty, CEO, Plumas District Hospital. "Through this grant we will be able to provide education and outreach to patients who live in rural areas of this region to help diagnose, treat and prevent diabetes. Having these resources makes a big difference in our ability to make a positive impact in the health of our local residents."


"This is a great investment by UnitedHealthcare in helping hospitals and clinics that serve rural populations in our state have vital resources for improving the care they provide local patients," said Nate Beason, Nevada County supervisor. "We applaud your commitment and investment in these communities."


"These organizations are doing remarkable work to serve rural areas of our state and enhance the delivery of services to doctors and patients in those communities," said Brandon Cuevas, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of California. "UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to work together with them and help enhance health and quality of life for children, adults and families."


Since 2008, UnitedHealthcare has provided more than $30 million in grants to 53 nonprofits statewide. Thirteen of them are in Northern California, receiving $4.7 million.


In addition to these grants, UnitedHealthcare's California Health Care Investment Program has provided $269 million in total investments to 46 health care organizations throughout the state to help underserved, low-income and underinsured communities and populations. This includes $20 million ($3.1 million to Plumas county hospitals) in financing to help Critical Access Hospitals in rural communities throughout California improve health information technology systems, including the adoption of electronic health records.


UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, serves more than 2.4 million Californians with a care provider network of 320 hospitals and more than 57,000 physicians statewide.


About Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, founded in 1984, is located in Grass Valley, California. The Foundation's mission is "to nurture the spirit of generosity and volunteerism of the community, we focus our philanthropic efforts in fostering quality healthcare of the highest standards for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital."


About Plumas District Hospital
Plumas District Hospital (PDH) is located in Quincy, providing the residents of central Plumas County with inpatient services, general surgery, labor, delivery and postpartum care, outpatient surgery, endoscopy, emergency room services, a hospital-based ambulance service and dental clinic. PDH also serves the community with two rural health clinics, providing family practice physicians and care for patients in the region.


About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.