The Pikes Peak region of Colorado is home to one of the highest summits in the Rocky Mountains, and it is also home to one of the highest concentrations of service members in the nation. With a major Army base, three Air Force installations and a leading service academy, it is estimated that one in four residents in the Pikes Peak area is a current or former member of the military.

To help serve the community, UnitedHealth Group is developing partnerships with organizations that are dedicated to meeting the distinct health care needs of service members, veterans and their families. One such partnership is between United Health Foundation (UHF) and Peak Military Care Network (PMCN). The partnership, which was announced on May 6, will focus on strengthening community alliances and supporting networks for service members, veterans and their families in the Colorado Springs community. The partnership is funded by a three-year, $800,000 grant from United Health Foundation.

The United Health Foundation grant will enhance PMCN's growing network of partners, raise awareness and access to vital programs and resources, expand case management assistance, and help proactively meet the needs of individuals and families before a crisis situation emerges.

While there are many military assistance programs available, the process to determine which are the right fit and how they are best utilized can be overwhelming, particularly for families of wounded service members or those struggling to assimilate into civilian life. PMCN helps navigate this process, connecting people with information and services through a collaborative network of military, veteran and community-based organizations focused on advocacy, behavioral health, child welfare, crisis intervention, education, workforce readiness, medical and physical health, social services, transition and reintegration to support individuals and families.

The grant was announced on Military Spouse Appreciation Day at an event for spouses and families of service members who have recently returned from overseas deployment. United Health Foundation was honored that service men and women and their families, veterans, employees from PMCN, and local elected officials attended the event. Volunteers distributed 250 "Family Movie Night" gift baskets to service members' families that were made by UnitedHealth Group. 

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(L-R) El Paso Commissioner Sallie Clark, Tom Wiffler, chief operating officer, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans and U.S. Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) help hand out 250 "Family Movie Night" gift baskets. (PHOTO: Teresa Lee)
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UnitedHealthcare and Optum employees Cheryl Kusemka, Sharon Elbert-Holmes and Sherry Howell work together to assemble "Family Movie Night" gift baskets for military families as part of Military Spouse Appreciation Day in Colorado Springs, CO. (PHOTO: Teresa Lee)
Tags: United Health FoundationStory, Military, Social Responsibility