The United Health Foundation has committed a total of $5 million to the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief and the American Nurses Foundation to support the nation’s health care workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. The donation is part of UnitedHealth Group’s initial $60 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support heavily impacted populations, including health care workers, seniors, hard hit communities and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.

“Health care workers are on the leading edge of this pandemic, selflessly caring for patients in need while putting themselves in harm’s way day in and day out,” said Dr. Richard Migliori, chief medical officer, UnitedHealth Group. “Working with outstanding national partners like the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief and the American Nurses Foundation will help to ensure we are caring for those who care for us by meeting the clinical, emotional and mental health needs of these frontline heroes.”


The Partnerships

The CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster by forging partnerships between the CDC and others to fight threats to health and safety. The United Health Foundation’s $2 million pledge will support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hundreds of thousands of KN95 masks, more than 100,000 surgical masks and tens of thousands of surgical gowns, to disperse to hard-hit states across the nation.

  • “As we conclude another week fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded each day how this threat impacts our daily lives and especially health care workers who are making sacrifices for all of us,” said Judy Monroe, MD, president and chief executive officer, CDC Foundation. “We are grateful to the United Health Foundation for its generosity to help us increase the resources to fulfill priority response needs.”

Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. The United Health Foundation’s $2 million pledge will support the acquisition of PPE and supplies for frontline health care workers providing care at community health centers, free clinics and mobile clinics across the United States.

  • “The United Health Foundation’s donation will help us boost our support to frontline health care workers in states that have been disproportionately impacted,” said Thomas Tighe, president and chief executive officer, Direct Relief. “This is especially important for the clinical and support staff at safety-net health care facilities as we work to ensure they have the resources necessary to continue to provide lifesaving care during this time of crisis.”

American Nurses Foundation — the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association — supports research, education and scholarships that improve health, wellness and patient care. The United Health Foundation’s $1 million pledge will support the American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses to help build a virtual support system that promotes mental well-being and resilience and recognize nurses’ contributions to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic across the nation.

  • “The United Health Foundation’s generous support will allow us to leverage technology to expand our reach and support the mental health and well-being of the nation’s registered nurses on the front lines of the pandemic,” said Kate Judge, executive director, American Nurses Foundation.  


Taking Bold Actions to Help Combat COVID-19

UnitedHealth Group and its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses are leveraging their full capabilities to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities. Initiatives announced to date include:

  • Initially investing more than $60 million to help at-risk populations and protect the health care workforce.
  • Pioneering a non-invasive, self-administered COVID-19 test that streamlines testing, reduces PPE usage and increases safety of health care workers.
  • Accelerating payments to providers through the crisis, with an initial tranche of nearly $2 billion.
  • Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for U.S. members of UnitedHealthcare plans and simplifying access to care by reducing prior-authorization requirements.
  • Significantly expanding access to telehealth and virtual visits and redeploying 5,000 Optum clinicians to expand telehealth capabilities.
  • Providing a special enrollment period for fully insured customers to allow employees who did not opt in for coverage during the regular enrollment period to secure coverage.
  • Conducting proactive personal outreach to support seniors and the most vulnerable populations among our members.
  • Launching a free nationwide emotional support line to manage the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19.
  • Converting company cafeterias to provide more than 75,000 meals a week for people in need and keeping our café team at work.

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