Grant to Children’s Minnesota aims to help reduce pediatric disparities

Addressing health disparities

The United Health Foundation and Children’s Minnesota are taking aim at pediatric health disparities in the Twin Cities around asthma, vaccinations and mental health through a three-year, $3 million grant partnership.

The partnership will support programming by Children’s Minnesota, a nonprofit and the largest pediatric provider in the state, to provide culturally responsive health interventions with existing community partners — as well as local public school districts — in order to bring them to local children and families in need.

The programming will be developed with Children’s Minnesota’s Collective for Community Health — which is focused on improving community health and advancing health equity — through collaboration between The Kid Experts™ from Children’s Minnesota and community partners.

“Together with Children’s Minnesota and other community partners, the United Health Foundation is committed to reducing health disparities, increasing access to care and improving outcomes for underserved children and their families,” said Victor Fields, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Minnesota.

Since 2018, Children’s Minnesota has been tracking health equity metrics in a unique pediatric health equity dashboard to identify and respond to disparities in processes and patient outcomes.

Data from the dashboard show that Black children who live in underserved neighborhoods in the Twin Cities experience significant health disparities and are less likely to achieve well-controlled asthma and complete routine childhood vaccines. This population also have significantly lower rates of adolescent mental health screenings.

“We are grateful for the United Health Foundation’s investment and partnership in our commitment as the kid experts to address the health disparities impacting thousands of kids and families in our community,” said Jennifer Soderholm, senior vice president, chief development officer and president of the Children’s Minnesota Foundation. “Partnerships like this one are critical to our efforts to improve access to vital health care services and champion the needs of all children and families.”

The United Health Foundation and the employees from UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare and Optum have together given $50 million in support of the Twin Cities community since 2020.

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