Every child and family deserves access to health care, but according to America’s Health Rankings’ Health of Women and Children Data 2020 Update, nearly 60% of Arizona’s children do not have a primary care provider, and access to behavioral health care for many communities is limited. To help close this critical gap in care, the United Health Foundation is providing a $3 million grant over three years to Valle del Sol Community Health, a federally qualified health center in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
“This grant will help Arizona kids and families access consistent care that is critical to their development and well-being,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. “I’m grateful to the United Health Foundation for its continued support for families and its efforts to address the health care needs of underserved communities.”
The program, which will officially launch in July, is expected to serve nearly 11,000 children over three years.
“This is a game-changer; we are grateful to the United Health Foundation for its support to help us expand our reach to many more children and families in the Phoenix area,” said Carmen Heredia, CEO of Valle del Sol Community Health. “Better meeting children’s critical health care needs means better school attendance, hopefully a reduction in mental health symptoms, and a better start toward a healthy life.”
The grant will support Valle del Sol’s purchase of three mobile medical units and fund three mobile care teams comprised of a primary care provider, adolescent behavioral health specialist, medical assistant and community health worker to serve middle- and high-school-aged children in school settings when appropriate, or via telehealth.
“In partnership with Valle del Sol Community Health, we will reach thousands of young people in their communities with the coordinated primary and behavioral health care they need to live happier, healthier lives,” said Dr. Wyatt Decker, CEO of OptumHealth, a UnitedHealth Group company. “UnitedHealth Group is committed to improving and expanding access to health care for families in Arizona and we are honored to support this important effort.”