Grants ranging from $10,000 to $85,000 will support programs that address:
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Louisiana has awarded $275,000 in maternal health grants to seven community organizations aimed at improving maternal health outcomes, reducing disparities, and expanding access to care.
“UnitedHealthcare is committed to addressing Louisiana’s maternal health crisis and is dedicated to removing barriers that contribute to maternal mortality and morbidity,” said Karl Lirette, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Louisiana. “We cannot do this alone and are grateful for the opportunity to support organizations that are improving the health of women and their babies.”
The seven grant recipients include:
"The New Orleans Health Department's Healthy Start Program is excited to embark on this partnership with UnitedHealthcare to improve health for mothers and families in our city," said Chantell Reed, MS-HCM, deputy director, New Orleans Health Department.
Infants born preterm or with low birth weight are at an increased risk for experiencing physical disabilities and developmental impairments throughout their lives. According to America’s Health Rankings, the rate of low birth weight infants has been on the rise in Louisiana with 10.8% of births now less than 5 pounds 8 ounces, leaving the state ranked 49 out of 50 states. Preterm birth rates have been increasing for five years, currently at 13.1% of current births, with the state’s Black women having a 55% higher rate than all other women. Additionally, the risk of pregnancy-related deaths for Black women is 3 to 4 times higher than those of white women in the United States.
"Common Ground Community, Inc. wishes to express its sincere appreciation for the very generous grant to support our programs which assist moms, babies, and teen girls in north Louisiana. We are excited to be partnering with the wonderful team at UnitedHealthcare in Louisiana," said Lisa Conly Cronin, CEO, Common Ground Community, Inc.
"We are so grateful for the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Louisiana team. This generous grant funding will go a long way in supporting the mission of Saul's Light and, more importantly, the NICU and bereaved families we serve," said Kimberly Novod, MPA, founder/executive director, Saul's Light.
These grants are part of several initiatives that UnitedHealthcare, along with its parent company UnitedHealth Group, have launched to address maternal health outcomes throughout the United States. Initiatives include over $5 million in recent philanthropic grants to support maternal health and $2.85 million in support to March of Dimes for a public-private partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services that aims to reduce the Black-white disparity gap and improve maternal health outcomes. In 2018, the United Health Foundation announced a three-year, $1.2 million grant to the Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge to minimize the adverse effects of substance misuse during pregnancy.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 970,000 people in Louisiana enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare and Medicaid benefit plans, with a network of 147 hospitals, and nearly 25,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.
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.