UnitedHealthcare has awarded $2 million in grants to local organizations that are expanding social services to address some of Arizona’s key social determinants of health, like food security.
Grant recipients include:
• Association of Arizona Food Banks to increase access to fresh produce at local food banks statewide.
• Brighter Way Institute and VisionQuest 20/20 to work with school districts to offer dental screenings, dental-restorative procedures and vision screenings on-site or through new mobile clinics.
• The Arizona Partnership for Immunization to offer community-based immunization clinics.
UnitedHealthcare has long been a proponent of addressing barriers that prevent individuals and families from focusing on their health and wellness. Issues such as food insecurity, a lack of access to basic preventive health screenings, social isolation, financial instability and homelessness all play a role in health and wellness.
“For many people, it’s not just genetic code that plays a role in their health status; it’s a full range of social factors,” said Joseph Gaudio, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona. “It’s difficult for people to improve their health, build primary-care relationships and address preventive health care needs if they can’t feed their families or don’t have stable housing. We understand the vital need for communities to address the social determinants of health that affect people’s health and quality of life.”
In addition to UnitedHealthcare’s support in Arizona and related efforts in Wisconsin, Texas, Missouri and Louisiana, the company has launched community initiatives and participated in numerous public-private partnerships nationwide to address social determinants of health. Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $350 million to help finance and build 54 affordable-housing communities in Arizona and 13 other states, creating more than 2,700 new homes for individuals and families. The United Health Foundation has committed more than $2 million in philanthropic grants in Arizona since 2015.
In August, UnitedHealthcare will host a summit with Arizona-based political leaders, safety net providers, social service advocates and community partners that are focused on improving access to health and social services for the underserved and uninsured in Arizona. The purpose of the event is to exchange knowledge, explore new collaborations and unlock the possibility of developing innovative approaches to shared challenges.