UnitedHealthcare Awards $39,000 in Grants to Improve Care Coordination in Washington State

July 13, 2017
  • Grants awarded to community-based organizations that help seniors with chronic illnesses and disabilities by increasing access to health specialists

UnitedHealthcare is donating $39,000 to help Chelan Valley Hope and Lake Chelan Lutheran Church (LCLC) implement innovative programs that deliver coordinated, whole-person care for seniors in rural Washington communities.

The grants are part of UnitedHealthcare's efforts to identify and support organizations in Washington that help seniors, individuals with disabilities and disadvantaged people live healthier lives. Washington state ranks 42nd in the nation for community support for seniors, according to the 2017 America's Health Rankings Senior Report, and less than half of adults age 65 and older reported their health was very good or excellent.

"These grants will help two of our community partners expand critical face-to-face health assistance and improve care coordination for underserved seniors in rural areas that often lack transportation and access to doctors," said Doug Bowes, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington.

Chelan Valley Hope will receive a $15,500 grant to initiate its Tender Loving Care for Seniors Program, which aims to improve seniors' health through the support of a trained "friend" volunteer. The funds will enable 30 in-home volunteers to assist seniors.

"Many seniors are reluctant to seek help for essential needs and would benefit from a home-based 'friend' program in Chelan Valley," said Sharon Lukacs,executive director of Chelan Valley Hope. "This grant from UnitedHealthcare helps address multiple barriers for seniors who experience complex conditions and geographic and social isolation."

Lake Chelan Lutheran Church (LCLC) is receiving a $23,500 grant to fund a home visit program for adults with limited mobility. During these home visits, registered nurses will review their access to health services and provide an assessment of their medications. The program aims to identify older adults at risk for high blood pressure via monthly screenings and other preventive services.

"We thank UnitedHealthcare for this grant that will enable us to enhance our program and reach individuals on a one-to-one basis," said Rev. Paul Palumbo, pastor of Lake Chelan Lutheran Church.  "In a small community such as ours, it is important to reach out to those most isolated by age, infirmity and health disorders to better assess, educate and show compassion."

UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.1 million people in Washington state enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare and Medicaid health plans with a network of 97 hospitals and more than 38,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.

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About Chelan Valley Hope

Chelan Valley Hope is a hub for compassionate community connections and resources. Our purpose is two-fold: helping individuals and families in crisis access basic needs like food, transportation, utilities, rent, clothing, emergency shelter, and other social and health services; and empowering people to improve their lives through enrichment programs, family advocacy programs, and educational opportunities.

About Lake Chelan Lutheran Church

Lake Chelan Lutheran (LCLC) is a small congregation located in Chelan, WA, an agricultural/tourist town of 3200 located in the north central part of the state. LCLC is well experienced in services not only to the congregation, but also to the community as a whole. Active LCLC programs include: Honorable Welcome Home, a special weekend for veterans; Rural Ministry Support, involving exchange of pastors and member attendance at other rural ministries for support; active involvement in establishment and operation of Chelan Food Bank and ongoing volunteer support; active Visitation Choir to accompany the dying and the creation of "Peace at the Last" a liturgy for the dying now published by Augsburg Press.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.