UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding more than $1 million in Empowering Health grants to eight community-based organizations in Texas 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 Texas include:
- Mental Health America of Greater Houston — $190,000 to expand their Center for School Behavioral Health programming through collaborative community stakeholder engagement with school districts and other child-serving organizations. The funds will also support mental health education and facilitation of a regional conference designed to showcase innovative ideas and research in the area of children's mental health.
- South Plains Food Bank, West Texas/Lubbock — $175,000 for delivering food to children experiencing food insecurity.
- BakerRipley, Houston — $150,000 to continue the agency’s Dementia Specific Case Management program, a client-centered solution for the complex challenges associated with living alone with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
- Heal the City Free Clinic, Panhandle/Amarillo — $150,000 for medically tailored food boxes for patients experiencing food insecurity amid the COVID-19 crisis.
- Houston Food Bank, Houston — $120,000 for emergency food boxes for seniors experiencing food insecurity amid the COVID-19 crisis.
- Proyecto Juan Diego, The Valley/Brownsville — $120,000 to provide isolated seniors and families with low incomes virtual programming that would normally be in person, as well as distribute food and other critical supplies.
- Lone Star Circle of Care, Central Texas/Houston — $95,000 to provide telehealth services to vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- WellMed Charitable Foundation, statewide — $30,000 for meal distribution to vulnerable seniors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Texas’ most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Don Langer, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas. “Our support of these organizations in Texas through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in Texas 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 Texas, 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.