UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $1.5 million in Empowering Health grants to six community-based organizations in Georgia 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 Georgia include:
CHRIS 180, West Atlanta – $300,000 to support trauma-informed mental and behavioral health and social services through a community health worker program for low-income residents of Atlanta’s Westside.
Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, Rabun County – $300,000 to improve food access by expanding Teaching Kitchen programs, and to purchase and outfit a multipurpose vehicle providing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program education and enrollment for isolated communities with transportation barriers.
Wholesome Wave Georgia, Athens-Clarke County – $300,000 to expand into Athens-Clarke County with the Wholesome Wave Georgia Food For Health program, a produce prescription, evidence-based intervention program for chronic diet-related illnesses in underserved communities.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany, Albany, Calhoun and Lee counties – $215,000 to support a health literacy campaign to reduce the prevalence of health risks linked to obesity in children and people of color, and increase overall health literacy in underserved communities through mobile events and activities focused on healthy eating habits, diabetes awareness and access to mental health counseling.
HealthMPowers, statewide – $205,000 to expand the Girls Empowering Movement program and improve the health and well-being of middle school girls in school and community-based settings.
America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia – $180,000 to purchase healthy shelf-stable foods for the Mobile Food Pantry, which serves 21 rural counties in the coastal Georgia region.
“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in Georgia,” said Michael Minor, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Georgia. “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 Georgia, this includes more than $10.5 million in contributions over the last three years representing its businesses, foundations and employees, including a $750,000 grant in 2020 to the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia to improve access to health care and health outcomes.
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.