UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding more than $1.3 million in Empowering Health grants to 14 community-based organizations in the state of New York 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 New York include:
- Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling, Nassau County — $400,000 to contribute to the organization’s role as part of a multi-agency initiative to build a comprehensive system of care for Nassau County's homeless and indigent populations. The funds will support the hiring of licensed clinicians and peer specialists to be placed on-site at emergency shelters, soup kitchens and other locations that provide social services to the community.
- Power of Two at the Fund for the City of New York, South Bronx — $300,000 to support delivery of the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) parent coaching intervention to improve parental sensitivity and children's attachment relationships to their primary caregiver.
- Lifespan of Greater Rochester — $150,000 to support the Community Care Connections integrated care model for older adults and assess the effectiveness of interventions to address older adults’ social isolation and loneliness.
- Food Bank of Central New York in Syracuse — $60,000 for emergency food boxes for people experiencing food insecurity in response to COVID-19.
- Veterans One-stop Center of WNY in Buffalo — $60,000 to support veteran peer-to-peer programs and classes that address isolation and reduce veteran suicide.
- Docs for Tots — $50,000 to support Help Me Grow Long Island in screening for and addressing children’s social-emotional health.
- R.A.I.N. in the Bronx — $45,000 to purchase food and support the cost of a driver for additional deliveries through the Cucina Dolores Mobile Food Kitchen.
- Postpartum Resource Center of New York — $52,500 to support two community coalitions to address perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, as well as the bilingual statewide helpline.
- Comfort Food Community, Washington County — $35,000 to purchase and outfit a cargo van to support “food as medicine” programs.
- Children’s Institute — $30,000 to support Help Me Grow Rochester in screening for and addressing children’s social-emotional health.
- Community Connections in Buffalo — $30,000 to support activities to screen for and address children’s social-emotional health.
- Dominican Women’s Development Center, Washington Heights — $30,000 to enhance existing efforts to support the nutrition of children and their families enrolled in the Early Head Start program.
- Early Childhood Alliance — $30,000 to support Help Me Grow Onondaga in screening for and addressing children’s social-emotional health.
- Long Island Cares in Nassau and Suffolk Counties — $30,000 to purchase emergency food for hunger relief.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by New York’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Kathy Pizzano, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New York. “Our support of these organizations in New York through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in New York 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. This includes $1 million in contributions from the United Health Foundation to the Food Bank for New York City and Care for the Homeless in New York City announced in April.
In addition to UnitedHealthcare’s support in New York, 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.