United Health Foundation Announces $2 Million Grant to Native American Connections to Establish Mobile Health Initiative

April 24, 2024 | 5 min Read
  • Three-year commitment will help reduce health disparities by providing culturally competent, integrated behavioral health and primary care through the NAC Mobile Health Initiative 

The United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), yesterday announced a three-year, $2 million grant partnership with Native American Connections (NAC). The grant will help increase access to behavioral and primary health care for Native Americans and underserved individuals and families throughout the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area.

“Native American Connections is focused on instituting best practices in integrated care by building a culture of collaboration within the organization and utilizing a cooperative approach to care delivery,” said Trula Breuninger, President and CEO, Native American Connections. “Through the generous support of the United Health Foundation, we are taking our first step towards expanding access to integrated care for those who need it most. With the new Mobile Health Initiative, we are breaking down barriers and bridging gaps, ensuring that every person receives the comprehensive care they deserve.”

“I applaud the partnership between Native American Connections and the United Health Foundation,” said Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs. “This Mobile Health Initiative will greatly benefit our Phoenix community by addressing critical health care needs and directly connecting individuals with behavioral health care. Together, we are working toward a healthier and more resilient Arizona, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and receive the care they deserve.”

The 2023 America’s Health Rankings® Mental and Behavioral Health Brief revealed American Indian/Alaska Native adults and youth face persistent disparities in mental and behavioral health. This is consistent with findings of previous America’s Health Rankings reports, which found that American Indian/Alaska Native populations experienced disproportionately higher and increasing rates of drug death and teen suicide compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, according to data from the Indian Health Service (IHS), American Indian/Alaska Natives born today have the lowest life expectancy compared to all other racial groups in the U.S. (73.0 years to 78.5 years, respectively).

Through the grant partnership, NAC will be able to establish its Mobile Health Initiative, which brings together primary care services (such as wellness visits and immunizations) with universal screenings for depression and substance use. These integrated health care services will be provided directly to the thousands of people residing in NACs’ 24 properties. NAC properties include housing for homeless individuals, veterans and seniors; affordable housing for families; and outpatient behavioral health centers and residential treatment centers.

“We are honored to partner with Native American Connections to support the development of their Mobile Health Initiative. This partnership underscores our unwavering commitment to advancing health equity and closing gaps in care. By working together, we are making a difference in the lives of the communities we serve, and we are excited to see the impact this Mobile Health Initiative will have on improving health outcomes,” said Anne Yau, President, United Health Foundation.

This latest announcement builds on the United Health Foundation’s longstanding dedication to increasing access to care for underserved populations, including those in Arizona. For example, in 2021, the United Health Foundation announced a $3 million grant to Valle del Sol Community Health to fund mobile units and mobile medical teams to help improve access to integrated health care in underserved communities. Through the Valle del Sol grant, more than 750 students in the Latino community are currently receiving health services, such as immunizations, health screenings and behavioral health treatment.



About the United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, the United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. The United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, the United Health Foundation has committed nearly $800 million to programs and communities around the world, including a $100 million commitment to help diversify the health workforce. To learn more, visit


About Native American Connections

Native American Connections (NAC) improves the lives of individuals and families through Native American culturally competent behavioral health, affordable housing and community development services. Beginning with its first alcohol rehabilitation residence serving 16 Native American men in 1972, NAC has grown to own/operate 24 sites that include 1,286 apartments for homeless or low-income individuals and families, two homeless youth shelters, two residential substance use treatment centers, and an integrated health clinic providing family centered treatment. NAC is nationally known for its innovative approach with families, proactively addressing Social Determinants of Health. NAC understands the complex structural and societal factors that are responsible for most health inequities and poor health outcomes, housing being a prominent factor. Stable housing affirms human dignity, promotes social equity in marginalized communities, reduces crime and victimization, reduces public costs and contributes to community stability.