UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $1.5 million in Empowering Health grants to nine community-based organizations in New York 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 New York include:
- D'Youville University Health Professions Hub, Buffalo – $325,000 to develop and implement culturally relevant training for community health workers and health profession students that addresses food insecurity and provides community food preparedness interventions.
- God's Love We Deliver, New York City – $200,000 to expand medically tailored meal service into new geographic areas by hiring shipping personnel and growing operations at a new site supporting underserved populations, including migrants coming into local communities who may lack access to health care.
- Say Yes Buffalo – $200,000 to support school-based mental health clinics in the Buffalo Public School District and the Home Health Care Coordination program that focuses on improving overall physical and mental health of youth who are diagnosed with chronic medical, behavioral and developmental conditions.
- YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, Albany and Rensselaer counties – $185,000 to support mental health counseling for onsite residents, including single women and women with children, with diagnosed mental health conditions.
- Upstate Foundation, Syracuse – $165,000 to support the Upstate Medical University’s “She Matters/We Matter programs,” peer-to-peer community outreach programs designed to reduce health disparities by making health screenings, particularly mammograms, a priority among low-income Black and Latinx women.
- Food Bank of Central New York, Syracuse – $130,000 to implement an onsite food pantry and provide monthly produce distribution at the Upstate Nappi Wellness Institute for patients experiencing food insecurity.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo – $120,000 to support a youth mental health access program that promotes the social and emotional development of members in a safe, inclusive environment with licensed counselors and trained staff providing individual and small group counseling, prevention education, mindfulness and trauma-informed intervention activities.
- Refugee & Immigrant Self-Empowerment (RISE), Buffalo and Syracuse – $100,000 to support case managers who provide essential wraparound services, including health care assistance, workforce development, social services, translation services and mental health care for immigrants and refugees from 30 countries.
- University of Rochester Medical Center – $75,000 to increase the distribution of fresh and nutritious foods at the URMC Food Pantry serving food-insecure communities throughout a 10-county service area.
“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in New York,” said Junior Harewood, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New York. “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 New York, this includes more than $12 million in contributions over the last three years representing its businesses, foundations and employees, including a $3 million grant in 2021 to CAMBA, Inc., to help improve access to prenatal care for underserved and homeless women in Brooklyn.
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.