The United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), is making a $100 million commitment over 10 years to advance health equity, furthering its efforts to eliminate health disparities. The new commitment was announced today at the Social Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C., by Patricia L. Lewis, chief sustainability officer, UnitedHealth Group.
This new commitment, the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation, will focus specifically on helping build a racially and ethnically diverse health workforce. Through philanthropic programs and partnerships, the funding will provide scholarships and support to 10,000 underrepresented future clinicians and upskilling health professionals to help in obtaining academic degrees or other professional credentials for clinical careers in medicine, nursing, midwifery, mental health and other specialties.
“Today, there are far too many barriers to good health that are disproportionately experienced by people of color, historically marginalized groups, and those with lower incomes,” Lewis said. “We are committed to leading the way, along with our partner organizations, in deploying tools, talent and resources to actively break down barriers, broaden access to care and make it easier for people to live healthier.”
UnitedHealth Group has a long-standing commitment to advancing a more diverse health workforce. Some of the initiatives UnitedHealth Group and its partners have launched include:
- Training underrepresented students in health care technology fields. Black, Hispanic and Native American people account for only 7.1% of the employed biological/biomedical and life sciences workforce, according to the National Science Foundation. UnitedHealth Group has invested $10 million to support data science training at historically Black colleges and universities since 2017.
- Developing the next generation health care workforce. Since 2007, the United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative has partnered with nine organizations to provide over 3,000 scholarships to diverse students across the U.S. The initiative has helped to increase the number of primary care providers ready to deliver personalized, culturally competent care, particularly in underserved communities.
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 in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. Including the investment announced today, the United Health Foundation has committed more than $700 million to programs and communities around the world. To learn more, visit UnitedHealthFoundation.org.