United Health Foundation Partners with Family First Health of Pennsylvania to Improve Access to Care for Children and Families

October 22, 2020 | 2 min Read
  • Three-year, $2 million grant will support Family First Health’s Federally Qualified Health Center at Hannah Penn K-8 school, home to a significantly underserved population

The United Health Foundation is partnering with Family First Health, a federally qualified health center, on an innovative program to improve access to health care for children and their families while widening the reach to serve vulnerable populations in the Keystone State.

United Health Foundation’s three-year, $2 million grant to Family First Health will enhance services at Family First Health’s York, Pennsylvania location, a school-based health center housed at Hannah Penn K-8 school, home to a significantly underserved population. The grant will help the school’s health center connect students, families and school staff to expanded primary care services as well as offer new behavioral health and wellness resources to the school’s students. The program will also deploy “Health Connectors,” health care professionals who will provide in-home support to families, such as helping individuals manage chronic conditions. Health Connectors will also connect families to the providers at the Hannah Penn Center and help those eligible enroll in health insurance.

“Family First Health is connecting students to primary care, as well as additional services that help them to be healthy and ready to learn. This is incredibly needed and important during these historic times,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “On behalf of York and the entire state, I want to thank the United Health Foundation for its support of this innovative health model and its commitment to children and families at their most foundational times.”

“The United Health Foundation is committed to improving and expanding access to health care in Pennsylvania,” said Marynell Benson, a regional president of Optum Complex Care Management, a UnitedHealth Group business. “Together with Family First Health, this partnership will support underserved families with expanded primary care services as well as behavioral health and wellness resources.”

Hannah Penn K-8’s school district ranks among the highest in the state for acute poverty. The socioeconomic challenges in the district translate into a high transiency rate, with a roughly 23% student turnover during the 2018 school year.

“Family First Health is committed to providing primary medical and dental care, integrated behavioral health and substance misuse treatment services to Pennsylvania residents regardless of their ability to pay,” said Family First Health CEO Jenny Englerth. “This generous grant from the United Health Foundation is especially critical during this unprecedented time because it will allow Family First Health to help underserved populations obtain the care they might not have otherwise received during school closure and stay-at-home orders.”

While this grant partnership was initiated prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is a timely partnership during the pandemic because it is helping connect people with needed care. Overall, UnitedHealth Group has contributed more than $100 million to fight COVID-19, support impacted communities and address emerging health care issues related to the pandemic.

Family First Health is a federally qualified health center that is accessible and community minded. Family First Health Center makes a difference in the health and quality of life of the people and communities it serves by providing quality, compassionate primary medical and dental care and social services to those who need them most; coordinating care and working with other providers to provide the full range of services patients need; promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles; collaborating with others to improve access and break down the barriers of affordability, language and culture; and advocating for patients and the medically underserved.

About the United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, the United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. The United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, the United Health Foundation has committed more than $500 million to programs and communities around the world. To learn more, visit