UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $1 million in Empowering Health grants to four community-based organizations in Nebraska to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.
In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating $12.3 million through Empowering Health grants across 21 states. UnitedHealthcare launched its Empowering Health commitment in 2018.
More than half of the Empowering Health grants will help organizations increase their capacity to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities. These grants will assist individuals and families experiencing challenges from social distancing, food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health issues, which are among the most urgent needs resulting from the pandemic.
Grant recipients in Nebraska include:
- Together, Omaha — $355,000 to increase capacity in the Choice Food Pantry, which provides healthy food, health and wellness screenings, nutrition education, support services, etc. The funds will support the purchase of a large walk-in freezer, food and capacity-building to maintain staffing levels, outreach efforts and nutritional education.
- Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, Omaha — $300,000 to purchase a refrigerated truck and a van, hire a field manager, and support capacity-building initiatives.
- Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, statewide — $250,000 to support the Ambassador Program and the Nebraska Behavioral Health Education Partnership to develop the pipeline of students going into behavioral health careers.
- Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), Omaha — $95,000 to help the VNA Shelter Nursing Program establish a stop-gap procedure to fill behavioral health prescriptions for shelter clients who are receiving direct services from VNA nurses in local homeless and domestic violence shelters.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Nebraska’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Rob Broomfield, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Nebraska. “Our support of these organizations in Nebraska through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in Nebraska that need it the most.”
Providing access to better health in high-risk and high-need local communities is a profound challenge. According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, nearly 80% of what influences a person’s health relates to nonmedical issues, such as food, housing, transportation and the financial means to pay for basic daily needs.
The Empowering Health grants bring to more than $100 million UnitedHealth Group’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and assist impacted communities by supporting vulnerable populations, protecting the health care workforce and advancing breakthrough innovations in testing and treatment.
In addition to UnitedHealthcare’s support in Nebraska, the company has launched similar community initiatives and public-private collaborations nationwide focused on addressing social determinants of health. UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $500 million in affordable-housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services, and last year joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.