The United Health Foundation is donating $500,000 each to the Colorado Community Health Network and to University of Chicago Medicine as part of UnitedHealth Group’s initial $70 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities. The donations to the Colorado Community Health Network and UChicago Medicine build on UnitedHealth Group’s support for community partners in California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington state.
“During these unprecedented times, we’re working to address the needs of those most impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, seniors, people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, and hard-hit states,” said Tracy Malone, president of the United Health Foundation. “Our partnerships with University of Chicago Medicine and the Colorado Community Health Network will expand access to COVID-19 testing and health care services in underserved areas of Chicago and help address the mental and behavioral health impacts of this pandemic for residents of Colorado.”
The $500,000 donation to the Colorado Community Health Network will support its 21 member federally qualified Community Health Centers in Colorado, the state’s largest primary health care network. As significant providers of behavioral health services throughout Colorado, the Community Health Centers will conduct outreach to patients with ongoing mental health and substance use disorder conditions, care for patients with depression, anxiety and PTSD related to or exacerbated by COVID-19, and expand capabilities for behavioral health services via telephone and televideo.
“Mental and behavioral health impacts can outlast the physical health effects of COVID-19,” said Polly Anderson, vice president of strategy and financing, Colorado Community Health Network. “We are seeing an increase in behavioral health needs as the pandemic continues and the United Health Foundation’s support will enable our members to provide critical services to those in need.”
The $500,000 donation to University of Chicago Medicine will support expanded COVID-19 testing for underserved communities. The financial support will allow UChicago Medicine and the South Side Healthcare Collaborative community health partners to test up to 1,000 residents a day on the South Side of Chicago, one of the hardest hit areas in the city.
“We are grateful to the United Health Foundation for its support of our efforts to provide much needed care to communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 emergency,” said Brenda Battle, vice president of UChicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “The financial support will allow South Side health care providers to ramp up staff and supplies needed to make testing more widely available to those most at risk in the community, which is critical to our efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”