UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $1 million in Empowering Health grants to six community-based organizations in North Carolina 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 North Carolina include:
- YMCA of the Triangle — $250,000 to distribute food and critical supplies to seniors, children and individuals with disabilities in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
- Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC — $200,000 to expand access to healthy food by improving nutritional offerings at partner agency sites, providing medically tailored meals to adults and children suffering from chronic conditions, and reaching rural and homebound populations.
- American Heart Association — $155,000 to distribute healthy food to vulnerable communities most impacted by COVID-19 in Charlotte and Greensboro.
- Meals on Wheels Association of North Carolina — $150,000 to coordinate home-delivered meals to seniors statewide.
- Granville-Vance Public Health — $125,000 to assist Granville County Public Schools with distributing meals to homebound students.
- Mental Health America of Central Carolinas — $120,000 to promote good mental health through evidence-based trainings, expansion of a volunteer-driven friendship program and support groups for parents and caregivers in the Greater Charlotte region.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by North Carolina’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Anita Bachmann, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina. “Our support of these organizations in North Carolina through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in North Carolina 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 North Carolina, 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.