United Health Foundation Launches $5 Million in National Partnerships to Support Frontline Health Care Workers During COVID-19 Emergency

April 17, 2020
  • Partnerships with the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief and American Nurses Foundation are part of UnitedHealth Group’s initial $60 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities

The United Health Foundation is partnering with the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief and the American Nurses Foundation to support the nation’s health care workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. The $5 million initiative is part of UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) initial $60 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted populations, including health care workers, seniors, hard-hit communities and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.

“Health care workers are on the leading edge of this pandemic, selflessly caring for patients in need while putting themselves in harm’s way day in and day out,” said Dr. Richard Migliori, chief medical officer, UnitedHealth Group. “Working with outstanding national partners like the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief and the American Nurses Foundation will help to ensure we are caring for those who care for us by meeting the clinical, emotional and mental health needs of these frontline heroes.”

The $5 million partnerships include:

  • $2 million to the CDC Foundation to support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hundreds of thousands of KN95 masks, more than 100,000 surgical masks and tens of thousands of surgical gowns, to disperse to hard-hit states across the nation.
  • $2 million to Direct Relief to support the acquisition of PPE and supplies for frontline health care workers providing care at community health centers, free clinics and mobile clinics across the country.
  • $1 million to the American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses to help build a virtual support system to promote mental well-being and resilience and recognize nurses’ contributions to fighting the pandemic across the nation.

“As we conclude another week fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded each day how this threat impacts our daily lives and especially health care workers who are making sacrifices for all of us,” said Judy Monroe, MD, president and chief executive officer, CDC Foundation. “We are grateful to the United Health Foundation for its generosity to help us increase the resources to fulfill priority response needs.”

“The United Health Foundation’s donation will help us boost our support to frontline health care workers in states that have been disproportionately impacted,” said Thomas Tighe, president and chief executive officer, Direct Relief. “This is especially important for the clinical and support staff at safety-net health care facilities as we work to ensure they have the resources necessary to continue to provide lifesaving care during this time of crisis.”

“The United Health Foundation’s generous support will allow us to leverage technology to expand our reach and support the mental health and well-being of the nation’s registered nurses on the front lines of the pandemic,” said Kate Judge, executive director, American Nurses Foundation.

UnitedHealth Group and its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses are leveraging their full capabilities to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities. Initiatives announced to date include:

  • Initially investing more than $60 million to help at-risk populations and protect the health care workforce.
  • Pioneering a non-invasive, self-administered COVID-19 test that streamlines testing, reduces PPE usage and increases safety of health care workers.
  • Accelerating payments to providers through the crisis, with an initial tranche of nearly $2 billion.
  • Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for U.S. members of UnitedHealthcare plans and simplifying access to care by reducing prior-authorization requirements.
  • Significantly expanding access to telehealth and virtual visits and redeploying 5,000 Optum clinicians to expand telehealth capabilities.
  • Providing a special enrollment period for fully insured customers to allow employees who did not opt in for coverage during the regular enrollment period to secure coverage.
  • Conducting proactive personal outreach to support seniors and the most vulnerable populations among our members.
  • Launching a free nationwide emotional support line to manage the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19.
  • Converting company cafeterias to provide more than 75,000 meals a week for people in need and keeping our café team at work.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.