As part of an ongoing effort to address vital social determinants of health across New Mexico, UnitedHealthcare has awarded three New Mexico-based organizations $188,000 in community grants to address behavioral and maternal health in local communities.
“A community-based approach which addresses the unique needs of community members is critical to reducing health disparities and achieving health equity in underserved populations,” said Drew Peterson, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community & State of New Mexico. “UnitedHealthcare is committed to supporting local organizations through grants which address social determinants of health and foster improved health outcomes for the people of New Mexico.”
The grant recipients include:
New Mexico Doula Association — $50,000 to provide access to doula care for women and other pregnant people with financial need, promoting expanded maternal care in rural and frontier communities and a reduction in the maternal mortality rate.
New Mexico Perinatal Collaborative — $40,000 to support and expand a statewide initiative with 27 birthing facilities. The initiative helps improve the health of and outcomes for pregnant families and their infants by promoting safe birthing best practices through a focus on quality improvement strategies and training for facilities, doctors, nurses, midwives and other perinatal care providers.
National Latino Behavioral Health Association — $98,000 to launch trainings for behavioral health bilingual language interpreters, and two eight-week youth cohort groups focused on reducing risk factors in the onset of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.
"Resourcing New Mexico's communities by directly supporting prevention services and the state's behavioral health workforce are excellent strategies in building capacity of the behavioral health system in New Mexico,” said Fredrick Sandoval, executive director, National Latino Behavioral Health Association. “With the funding received from UnitedHealthcare, we are able to enhance current evidence-based prevention programs to help reduce the onset of substance use and other stressors among New Mexico youth.”
According to the New Mexico Human Services Department, New Mexico experiences a higher maternal mortality rate of 21.5 deaths per 100,000 live births compared to the national average of 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. Increased access to necessary maternal and doula care can help identify and solve for the most common challenges facing women and other pregnant people, infants and birthing families, including mental health conditions, cardiac conditions, embolism and hemorrhage.
“The funding from UnitedHealthcare for New Mexico Perinatal Collaborative supports perinatal health care providers across New Mexico – particularly those in rural areas who have limited access to critical training and continuing education – by helping them improve outcomes for families in their local communities,” said Jennifer Mastripolito, executive director, New Mexico Perinatal Collaborative.
“Through this opportunity, we are able to mobilize a doula workforce which is an essential part of the birth team that improves both maternal health outcomes and helps families thrive,” said Melissa Marie Lopez, executive director, New Mexico Doula Association.
UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to addressing social determinants of health by supporting community-based initiatives is a continuing priority. In 2021, UnitedHealthcare provided $2.85 million to the March of Dimes to fund hospital quality improvement initiatives as part of a public-private partnership to address Black maternal health. Additionally, the company’s Empowering Health grants have invested $40 million to expand access to care through partnerships with local communities in 29 states since 2018.
In New Mexico alone, UnitedHealthcare has provided several grants to local organizations including those addressing affordable housing, food insecurity and nutrition assistance in underserved communities, bringing the company’s investment in the state to more than $380,000.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 205,000 members enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual and Medicare and retirement plans in New Mexico, with a network of 41 hospitals, and over 11,000 physicians and other care providers statewide. For more information on how UnitedHealthcare is working to build healthier communities across New Mexico, visit www.uhccs.com/NewMexico.
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 1.5 million physicians and care professionals, and more than 6,700 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.