UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, is awarding $105,000 in Empowering Health grants to three community-based organizations in Arizona 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 Arizona include:
• Pima Council on Aging, Tucson — $50,000 to purchase and deliver meals to homebound seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
• Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, Phoenix — $45,000 for operating expenses to keep clubs open that are providing full-day child care for health care providers, other essential workers and parents with low incomes who cannot do their jobs from home.
• Preeclampsia Foundation, Navajo County — $10,000 to provide blood pressure cuffs enabling telehealth care to homebound pregnant and postpartum women in the Navajo Nation. This is part of a larger, $80,000 grant to the Preeclampsia Foundation from UnitedHealthcare.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Arizona’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Heather Kane, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “Our support of these organizations in Arizona through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in Arizona 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. This includes a recent $500,000 contribution from the United Health Foundation to the Arizona Food Bank Network to address food insecurity across the state.
In addition to UnitedHealthcare’s support in Arizona, 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.