United Health Foundation Partners with Florida State University to Establish Graduate-Level Concentration in Military Health

September 22, 2020 | 2 min Read
  • Three-year, $1.25 million partnership with FSU’s College of Nursing establishes tailored curriculum to improve care for service members, veterans and their families 

The United Health Foundation has committed $1.25 million to Florida State University (FSU) College of Nursing to help nurse practitioners better address the distinct health needs of individuals who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The three-year partnership will establish a graduate-level concentration in Military Health.

According to America’s Health Rankings’ latest Health of Those Who Have Served report, U.S. Armed Forces service members face distinct health challenges, such as higher rates of chronic disease and behavioral health concerns. The findings highlight a need for community-based providers to receive training in military cultural competency and evidence-based approaches for treating issues more commonly seen among those who have provided military service.

The three-year partnership with Florida State University College of Nursing will create a new graduate-level concentration in Military Health to train nurse practitioners to provide high-quality care for active-duty military service members, veterans, citizen soldiers and their families. To help expand the capacity of the existing workforce, the partnership will enable FSU to offer new continuing education units for practicing nurse practitioners on military cultures and evidence-based interventions to improve military and veteran health. Funding is also supporting the first annual Military and Veterans Mental Health Conference on September 25, hosted by the College of Nursing.

“Through research by the United Health Foundation and others, we know that those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces often have unique health needs connected to their service throughout their lives. And many of these health needs may go unrecognized in our health system,” said Patricia Horoho, chief executive officer of OptumServe — part of UnitedHealth Group. During her 33-year Army career, Horoho led the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and was the first nurse and woman appointed to serve as surgeon general of the U.S. Army and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command. “I am excited about this partnership with the Florida State College of Nursing to prepare a new generation of health care providers who are able to better recognize and treat the distinct health needs of service members, veterans and their families.”

“Equipping our future health care workforce with the understanding and skills necessary to address the health care needs of our military, veterans and their families is a top priority,” said Laurie Grubbs, interim dean of the FSU College of Nursing. “Thanks to the United Health Foundation, we can prepare a new generation of health care providers specialized in Military Health so they are better prepared to meet veterans’ needs across Florida and the nation.”

“We are so grateful to the United Health Foundation for its partnership and generous support of this important initiative,” said John Thrasher, president, Florida State University. “Together, we will better meet the critical health care needs of current members of the military and veterans who have given so much to our country.”

UnitedHealth Group — including UnitedHealthcare, Optum and the United Health Foundation — has a long-standing commitment to developing a health workforce that is best equipped to meet the customized needs of patients, including military service members, veterans and their families. UnitedHealth Group partners with organizations nationwide to promote education and career opportunities for veterans and their families. For example, UnitedHealth Group’s Military Internship Program, in partnership with the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, gives active-duty service members career skills training and workforce reintegration before they transition out of the military. The program has successfully converted 77% of interns into employees with 91% retention to date. UnitedHealth Group and OptumServe were also recently ranked Top Ten in the nation on the 2021 Military Friendly® Employers list for investing in programs to recruit, retain and advance veterans within their organizations.

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.