Improving access to care, one community at a time

UnitedHealthcare is working with community-based organizations across 12 states to help improve the health of employees and families living in underserved communities.

Providing health insurance to employees can be a great way to ensure they have access to the health care they need when they need it. But a number of other nonmedical factors influence an employee’s health as well, including access to affordable housing or nutritious food.

To help communities address challenges related to what are commonly referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH), UnitedHealthcare has awarded $11.1M in grants to 66 nonprofits across 12 states as part of its Empowering Health program and larger commitment to building healthier communities.

These grants aim to support uninsured people in underserved communities who are struggling with food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health, among other issues. When communities are healthier, everyone benefits — including employers.1 Grants like these are an investment in employers' current and future workforces.

"UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to addressing social and economic factors that impact people's ability to achieve and maintain good health. As a health care company, we see significant and ongoing inequities that exist in various communities across the country, particularly along racial lines."

— Olivia Jefferson, Vice President of Social Responsibility at UnitedHealthcare

Addressing SDOH at the community level

Since launching its Empowering Health commitment in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $62M in Empowering Health grants, reaching more than 11M people through partnerships with community-based organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

Here are a few of the most recent grants:

In Massachusetts, a $300K grant was given Community Servings to research, design, pilot and test a Step-Down Program that will support clients as they transition off a medically tailored meals program.

In Georgia, a $300K grant was given to CHRIS 180 to support trauma-informed mental and behavioral health and social services through a community health worker program for low-income residents on the westside of Atlanta.

In Minnesota, a $200K grant was given to Trellis to reduce social isolation among people living with memory loss and their caregivers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In Washington, $200K was given to Consejo Counseling and Referral Service to support the addition of culturally relevant wellness programming to support all aspects of mental and physical well-being for youth and families across Pierce County and rural areas.

In New York, $165K was given to Upstate Foundation to support the Upstate Medical University's "She/We Matter Program" — a peer-to-peer community outreach program designed to reduce health disparities by making health screenings, particularly mammograms, a priority among low-income Black and Latinx women.

In Rhode Island, $165K was given to The Providence Center to strengthen community-based mental health services by expanding the specialized "Emergency Services Program" for children.

"It's imperative to collaborate with organizations, and the Empowering Health grants allows us drive positive change for the people we call friends, family and neighbors across the communities we serve," Jefferson says. "Our ultimate goal is to help people live healthier, happier lives."

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