UnitedHealth Group Invests Nearly $3.4 Million in Salud Para La Gente to Enhance Health Care Access in Monterey Bay Region

  • Investment is part of UnitedHealth Group’s 20-year, $200 million California Health Care Investment Program
  • Program helps health care organizations in California access capital
WATSONVILLE, Calif. — 

Salud Para La Gente, a Federally Qualified Health Center that offers wide-ranging health care services, received nearly $3.4 million in capital to help the organization deliver quality health care services to uninsured and underserved communities in the Monterey Bay area.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) purchased Salud Para La Gente’s tax-exempt revenue bonds through the California Health Care Investment Program, which gives California health care entities access to capital at rates that are highly competitive with those of conventional financing. Additionally, given the dollar size of the bond issue, Salud Para La Gente also qualified for a cost of issuance subsidy of about $300,000, which covered nearly the entire amount of the organization’s bond issuance costs. The cost of issuance was subsidized by UnitedHealth Group’s Capital Access Small Issuance Program.

UnitedHealth Group’s California Health Care Investment Program is a 20-year, $200 million commitment to health care organizations that provide services to underserved, low-income and underinsured communities and populations throughout the Golden State.

Salud Para La Gente will use the proceeds to complete the expansion of recently renovated clinic space. The funds will also be used to purchase additional medical equipment for the new clinic as well as for Salud Para La Gente’s main clinic.

Founded in 1978, Salud Para La Gente provides primary care health services for low-income families through its network of 12 clinics including seven school-based clinics in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. The nonprofit also operates an adult day health center, Elderday, in the city of Santa Cruz. The organization emphasizes prevention, offering comprehensive primary health care services including family medicine; pediatric and teen clinics; obstetric and gynecologic services; family planning; perinatal services; health education; diabetes diagnosis, treatment, management and education; and dental health and optometry services.

Salud Para La Gente employs 170 individuals including 15 physicians, 10 dentists, five nurse practitioners, and physician and dental assistants. The staff also includes more than 20 individuals at Elderday working as nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers. Salud Para La Gente personnel are bilingual in English and Spanish, and some also speak French, Tagalog and other languages. Last year, Salud Para La Gente served more than 23,000 patients who accounted for nearly 113,500 visits to its facilities. The community health center is part of a group of more than eight safety net clinics operating in Santa Cruz County.

“We are grateful for UnitedHealth Group’s investment in Salud Para La Gente,” said Sister Julie Hyer, O.P., Salud’s president and CEO. “The funds will help us in meeting our goal of providing quality health care services in communities that need our help the most.”

“I first want to thank UnitedHealth Group for their investment in Salud Para La Gente and their continued commitment to community clinics and health centers,” said Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president and CEO of the California Primary Care Association, a statewide organization that includes Salud Para La Gente as a member. “These funds will allow Salud Para La Gente to expand their clinic operations and serve more patients in need. These investments are essential to providing the capital necessary to help our clinics be prepared for the millions of new patients coming to our doors as a result of health care reform.”

“I am happy to hear that Salud Para La Gente will receive $3.4 million to enhance their health care services,” said Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, whose district includes Watsonville. “These funds will give the clinic the opportunity to serve more patients, make improvements to their newest facility and purchase additional medical equipment to provide patients with the best services. This is great news for the community of Watsonville.”

“We are pleased to be able to help Salud Para La Gente meet its community’s health care needs, and we believe it is essential that medically underserved residents in the Watsonville area continue to have this important health care resource in their community,” said Steve Nelson, CEO, Western Region of UnitedHealthcare.

UnitedHealth Group’s UnitedHealthcare business offers health benefits, including commercial and Medicare health plans, to more than 2.8 million Californians, and partners with about 50,000 physicians across the state.

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to making health care work better. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare, Ovations, AmeriChoice, OptumHealth, Ingenix, and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 70 million individuals nationwide. 

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UnitedHealth Group Invests Nearly $3.4 Million in Salud Para La Gente to Enhance Health Care Access in Monterey Bay Region