UnitedHealth Group Invests $10 Million in New Fund, Invest Appalachia, to Address Social Needs and Advance Economic Equity

UnitedHealth Group has committed $10 million as a lead investor in the first round of the Invest Appalachia (IA) Fund, a regional initiative launched to accelerate funding in community development across Appalachian counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The IA Fund specifically targets community health, including affordable housing, clean energy, community revitalization and food and agriculture. UnitedHealth Group’s investment will focus on creating affordable housing with wraparound services like health and social needs screenings, expanding access to health care in rural communities and strengthening efforts to reduce food insecurity in Appalachian communities.

“Advancing health equity and addressing social needs like housing and access to health care in rural and underserved areas is an integral part of making the health care system better for everyone,” said Andy McMahon, vice president, community engagement and investment at UnitedHealthcare Community & State, a UnitedHealth Group business. “We are fortunate to work with partners like Invest Appalachia, which really understands the rich culture of Appalachia and is creating new ways to address community needs to improve quality of life and health.”

The people of the Appalachian region face ongoing inequity, including poverty rates more than 1.5 times the national average, according to the ARC. Substance use disorders are also disproportionally prevalent across Appalachian states, which brings related challenges in reliable transportation, housing, access to care, education and employment.

“Invest Appalachia is a deeply collaborative investment model, rooted in place and designed to meet the needs of Appalachia’s underserved communities while providing a large-scale opportunity for national impact investors,” said Andrew Crosson, chief executive officer, Invest Appalachia. “While our investment dollars are important, I believe that IA’s values-based focus on inclusive economic development and ecosystem capacity is what will help create a more equitable and resilient future for the region.”