UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $850,000 in Empowering Health grants to four community-based organizations in Colorado to expand access to care and address social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.
In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating more than $11.1 million in grants through its Empowering Health program across 12 states. The grants will assist people experiencing challenges such as food access and nutrition, social isolation, and behavioral health issues, and support local health education efforts.
Grant recipients in Colorado include:
We Don’t Waste, Denver – $300,000 to expand mobile food markets in food deserts and purchase a refrigerated truck to increase food distribution for a new facility expansion.
WellPower, Denver metro area – $300,000 to expand youth and teen mental health first aid training through a partnership with Denver Public Schools.
Denver Area Youth Services, Denver metro area – $150,000 to expand home-based behavioral health services addressing children’s mental health challenges, supporting their caregivers, and supporting therapist training in evidence-based therapies.
Focus Points Family Resource Center, Denver – $100,000 to support low-income families, immigrants and refugees through nutrition education, a pay-what-you-can farmer’s market and an urban farming program that uses a workforce development model to train individuals in agriculture and entrepreneurship.
“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in Colorado,” said Marc Neely, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Colorado. “Social and economic factors continue to have a significant impact on achieving and maintaining good health. These grants enable us to work closely with our community partners and to be there for what matters in addressing social determinants of health for their residents.”
According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately 80% of what influences a person’s health relates to nonmedical issues, such as food, housing, transportation and the financial means to pay for basic daily needs.
Identifying and addressing social determinants of health needs is a core aspect of how UnitedHealthcare serves its members. Last year, UnitedHealthcare screened 4.9 million members, made 2.4 million referrals to community resources, and ultimately closed the loop and confirmed that 84% of members had at least one of their social needs met.
Since launching its Empowering Health commitment in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has now invested more than $62 million in Empowering Health grants, reaching nearly 11 million people through partnerships with community-based organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare and Optum, and its affiliated companies, is dedicated to advancing health equity and building healthier communities by supporting programs to improve access to care and address key determinants of health. In Colorado, this includes almost $36 million in contributions over the last three years representing its businesses, foundations and employees, including a $25 million contribution in 2021 to the Rocky Mountain Health Foundation to fund STEM education among young women and people of color, as well as other programs across the Western Slope.
Additionally, UnitedHealth Group has invested more than $800 million in affordable housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services, and in 2019 joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans. In June 2022, the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group, made a $100 million commitment over 10 years to advance health equity, furthering its efforts to eliminate health disparities. This was the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation.
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 1.6 million physicians and care professionals, and 8,000 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.