UnitedHealthcare Awards $10,000 to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for Innovative Project to Improve Health and Wellness in Greater Richmond

October 18, 2017
  • New idea for mobile urban gardens, “GrowBoxes,” designed to increase access to healthy fruits and vegetables

Today UnitedHealthcare awarded $10,000 to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, a small business that has an innovative idea for enhancing community health and wellness in greater Richmond.

The project, “GrowBox,” is designed to help provide access to fresh vegetables for people living in “food deserts” without nearby grocery stores. The project will be implemented in partnership with Envirable Grow, a local organization that produces specialty garden equipment.

The prize-winning idea was presented at a pitch competition Tuesday by Duron Chavis, community engagement coordinator for Lewis Ginter. The $10,000 award will be used to equip the GrowBox – a kind of mobile vegetable garden – that can be moved around among neighborhoods in the area.

Dozens of applications for this year’s Community Care Award were submitted in August and September, and were narrowed down to five finalists earlier this month. The finalists were invited to present their project ideas to a panel of business leaders and health care experts at Simply Ballroom, the winner of last year’s award. Along with Lewis Ginter, the finalists included:

“We are grateful for the opportunity to present the second annual Community Care Award to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden,” said Christopher Mullins, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic. “Their innovative idea to improve access to nutritious foods empowers greater Richmond to make measurable progress toward improving community health and wellness.”

UnitedHealthcare partnered with BizWorks Enterprise Center and UnBoundRVA to promote the 2017 Community Care Award.

“Richmond is a thriving community for entrepreneurs, and we were excited to partner with UnitedHealthcare to propel the city’s entrepreneurs like Lewis Ginter to improve health and wellness,” said Tanner Collins, assistant director of BizWorks.

“With the support of UnitedHealthcare’s Community Care Award, Lewis Ginter’s idea for mobile urban gardens will help the community of Richmond immensely,” said Megan Murray, program advancement manager at UnBoundRVA. “I can’t wait to see Richmond residents benefiting from this program.”

The panel of judges included:

  • Veronica Nugent, owner of Simply Ballroom dance studio
  • Beth Bortz, president and CEO of the Virginia Center for Innovation
  • Doug Gray, executive director, Virginia Association of Health Plans
  • Jay Markiewicz, executive director of entrepreneurship programs, VCU School of Business
  • Marianne Randazzo, vice president, key accounts, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic

For more information about the UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award, visit

About BizWorks

BizWorks Enterprise Center is a nonprofit small business incubator supporting economic development along the Route 1 Corridor in Chesterfield County. They use a Business Builder Program to address the uncertainty of entrepreneurship and offer office and warehouse space as well as virtual and co-working options. The goal of the center is to work with “members” to create and execute sustainable business models that are scalable and repeatable.

About UnBoundRVA

UnBoundRVA aims to impact all of Richmond by empowering talented individuals from low-income communities with a path to entrepreneurship. They connect these individuals to the resources, training, and support needed to start their own business. Through a competitive six-month program, they look to identify five individuals who are ready to launch their business with the full support and partnership of UnBoundRVA. Their transformational partnership continues for an additional 12 months as they equip each business owner with the resources to create and build a sustainable business for themselves. To date, they have supported three classes and launched 12 businesses in the Richmond area.

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 @UHC on Twitter.