New partnerships aimed at addressing state’s largest health challenges
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), including the United Health Foundation and UnitedHealthcare, is donating a total of $4.5 million to increase access to health care, improve health outcomes and support communities across Oklahoma.
The United Health Foundation is providing a three-year, $1.8 million grant to the Health Alliance for the Uninsured to provide integrated services for people with diabetes and a three-year, $1.8 million grant to the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa to provide comprehensive geriatric care for Native Americans. An additional $750,000 from UnitedHealthcare will support five nonprofit organizations that are focused on meeting the needs of older adults and people experiencing trauma, food insecurity and/or social isolation.
“It has been and remains my goal to improve health outcomes in the state, especially among our most vulnerable populations,” said Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt. “I’m grateful for UnitedHealth Group’s generous contributions to the Oklahoma-based organizations focused on these efforts. The projects and programs supported today will make a big difference in the lives of thousands of Oklahomans and help the state’s residents achieve better health and wellness.”
The collective investments will meet urgent health needs across the state by focusing on the biggest areas of opportunity to address health disparities. Oklahoma ranks 42nd in the United States in access to primary care providers, 43rd in multiple chronic conditions and 49th in fruit and vegetable consumption, according to the most recent America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. In addition, high rates of health disparities exist for Native Americans across the country, including in Oklahoma, where 15.4% of Native American adults experience multiple chronic conditions, compared with 12.8% of all Oklahoma adults.
"UnitedHealth Group is grateful for the opportunity to support organizations dedicated to helping Oklahomans live healthier lives,” said Timothy Spilker, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community & State. “These partnerships have been created to advance health equity, and to make a real and immediate impact.”
The seven community organizations that have been awarded grants are:
Indian Health Care Resource Center — based in Tulsa; $1.8 million from the United Health Foundation for the development of a comprehensive, culturally competent program that provides medical and behavioral health care, physical activity, medical social work, and health education for older Native American adults and their caregivers.
Health Alliance for the Uninsured — based in Oklahoma City; $1.8 million from the United Health Foundation to integrate new behavioral health assessments, monitoring, interventions, and staff training that are designed to improve health outcomes for uninsured and underinsured individuals with diabetes at 20 free/charitable clinics across the state.
Life Senior Services — based in Tulsa; $200,000 from UnitedHealthcare to help fund the organization’s “Active Senior Center” programming that will include virtual and in-person fitness and nutrition classes and a variety of social activities such as walking groups.
The University of Oklahoma Foundation/Hope Research Center — based in Tulsa; $120,000 from UnitedHealthcare to expand the center’s evidence-based training program to several health organizations across the state that educate trainees on how to respond to the needs of trauma survivors.
Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma — based in Tulsa; $140,000 from UnitedHealthcare to expand the food bank’s campus and school-based pantry program to 10 additional schools and colleges in rural, underserved communities so food insecure students and their families will have regular access to healthy food.
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma — based in Oklahoma City; $180,000 from UnitedHealthcare to support the expansion of the “Healthy Living Pantry Box” program at 10 hospitals and clinics. The program aims to reduce hospitalizations by providing a box of healthy food to patients being discharged who are screened as food insecure. Funds will also support staffing for a coordinator to handle increased demand for the organization’s “Food for Seniors” programs and services.
Meals on Wheels OKC — based in Oklahoma City; $110,000 from UnitedHealthcare to provide daily meals to homebound older adults who are experiencing food insecurity and social isolation and to support the purchase of food-storage refrigeration.
“Oklahoma now has the fourth-highest death rate from diabetes in the United States,” said Jeanean Yanish, executive director, Health Alliance for the Uninsured. “We’re proud to partner with UnitedHealth Group to improve access to primary and behavioral health care for diabetic patients at rural and urban clinics throughout the state.”
Committed to a long-standing belief that all individuals should have access to high-quality, affordable health care that meets their unique health needs, UnitedHealth Group is dedicated to advancing health equity by addressing health disparities and social determinants of health. The commitment in Oklahoma is one of many ways UnitedHealth Group is working to build healthier communities by leveraging expertise, experience and resources to improve outcomes and help create a modern, high-performing health system. To learn more, please visit the company’s sustainability website at sustainability.uhg.com.
“Our generous grant from UnitedHealth Group will be instrumental in helping us provide much-needed culturally competent care to Native Americans ages 65 and above who live in and around Tulsa,” said Carmelita Skeeter, CEO, Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa.
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 www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.