UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $595,000 in Empowering Health grants to seven community-based organizations in Ohio to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.
In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating $12.3 million through Empowering Health grants across 21 states. UnitedHealthcare launched its Empowering Health commitment in 2018.
More than half of the Empowering Health grants will help organizations increase their capacity to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities. These grants will assist individuals and families experiencing challenges from social distancing, food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health issues, which are among the most urgent needs resulting from the pandemic.
Grant recipients in Ohio include:
· Better Health Partnership in Northeast Ohio — $115,000 to standardize screenings and referrals to improve outcomes for vulnerable children experiencing challenging mental/behavioral health and social needs through a collaboration with pediatric health systems and Federally Qualified Health Centers.
· Ohio Children’s Alliance, statewide — $100,000 to supply nonprofit behavioral health providers and other agencies with equipment to deliver tele-behavioral health services to uninsured, underinsured and vulnerable youth.
· Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, statewide — $100,000 to provide virtual and in-person mental health first aid training and signs-of-suicide training for youth and staff at youth-serving organizations.
· Cleveland Foundation in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties — $95,000 to support the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund — an effort of more than 76 different corporate, civic and philanthropic partners. The funds will support local nonprofit organizations working on the front lines to address immediate needs of the most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted communities and populations due to the pandemic.
· Ohio Association of Foodbanks, statewide — $85,000 for emergency to-go food and food boxes for people experiencing food insecurity.
· Providence House in Cleveland — $75,000 to support a bus pass program for families served through its Crisis Nurseries and Community Education and Resiliency Program and provide case management, parent education and trauma services to parents served by community-based partners.
· Senior Citizens Resources in Cleveland — $25,000 to fund home-delivered meals and emergency food boxes for vulnerable seniors.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Ohio’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Mike Roaldi, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio. “Our support of these organizations in Ohio through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in Ohio that need it the most.”
Providing access to better health in high-risk and high-need local communities is a profound challenge. According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, nearly 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.
The Empowering Health grants bring to more than $100 million UnitedHealth Group’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and assist impacted communities by supporting vulnerable populations, protecting the health care workforce and advancing breakthrough innovations in testing and treatment.
In addition to UnitedHealthcare’s support in Ohio, the company has launched similar community initiatives and public-private collaborations nationwide focused on addressing social determinants of health. UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $500 million in affordable-housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services, and last year joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans.