UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $1 million in Empowering Health grants to six community-based organizations in Michigan 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 Michigan include:
Community Action House, Holland and Zeeland – $305,000 to purchase a vehicle and launch a new Food Club “Fresh Express” Mobile Market program to increase access to fresh produce, cooking demonstrations and other resources for neighbors without transportation and in rural areas.
Feeding America West Michigan – $200,000 to support distributing nutritious food through mobile pantries and providing a nutrition education program, which includes nutrition educational resources, recipes and video food demonstrations at mobile food pantries throughout the northwest lower peninsula.
Ruth Ellis Center, Highland Park – $200,000 to support the art therapy program and key pieces of behavioral health programming for LGBTQIA+ youth.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan – $150,000 to expand mental health programming and services at clubs across southeastern Michigan, including increasing behavioral health staff to oversee family support services and a preventive mental health curriculum, and to build out space for behavioral health offerings.
American Heart Association Kalamazoo – $115,000 to identify individuals who would benefit from nutrition education services and work alongside partners to expand nutrition education information, cooking classes and healthy food access.
Foster Families Navigation & Resource Center, Bay City – $30,000 to host community events with foster parents and youth, promoting connection, resource sharing and behavioral health information.
“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in Michigan,” said Dennis Mouras, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan. “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 Michigan, this includes more than $5.3 million in contributions over the last three years representing its businesses, foundations and employees, including a $2.5 million grant in 2020 to Michigan Primary Care Association to support increased breast cancer screening and genetic testing for high-risk women, men and their families.
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.