SPOKANE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company (NYSE: UNH), is awarding $1 million in Empowering Health grants to four Washington state community organizations to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for the uninsured and underserved communities.
In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating $11 million in grants through its Empowering Health program in 11 states. Grants will help individuals and families facing issues of food insecurity, social isolation, and behavioral health issues, and support local health promotion and health literacy efforts.
Grant recipients in Washington include:
University of Washington Center for Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) in partnership with Richland and Medical Lake School Districts – $600,000 to strengthen a data-driven, comprehensive school mental health model convincing. This interconnected approach will increase the participation and active engagement of community partners, educators, families and youth, with a focus on suicide prevention, supporting the mental health strengths and needs of over 15,500 students in both school districts.
The American Indian Community Center, Goodheart Behavioral Health, Spokane – $150,000 to hire a mental health clinician specializing in therapeutic interventions for the Native American community and increase the number of community members served.
Perinatal Support Washington, statewide – $162,500 to train and employ more interns and therapists from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to address gaps in perinatal mental health care for Medicaid-eligible and pro bono clients who have difficulty finding service providers.
National Alliance on Mental Illness Yakima, Yakima, Wapato and Toppenish – $87,500 to expand the “Ending the Silence” mental health awareness program and ensure it is culturally relevant and appropriate for Native American high school students and students from school districts on the Yakama reservation.
“Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health,” said Genevieve Caruncho-Simpson, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington. “Through our Empowering Health grants and local UnitedHealthcare outreach efforts, we work with local organizations across the state to provide Washington residents with an interconnected system of clinical and social services that can produce better health outcomes. and make the health system work better for everyone.”
According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately 80% of what influences a person’s health is related to non-medical issues, such as food, housing, transportation and the financial means to meet the daily needs of base. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional social and economic challenges that continue to affect healthy behaviors and exacerbate health disparities.
More than one-third of members screened by UnitedHealthcare for social needs experience at least one social determinant of health. UnitedHealthcare leverages company data to identify health disparities based on race, ethnicity, gender, geography and education level.
Since launching its Empowering Health pledge in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $51 million in Empowering Health grants that reach more than 8 million people through partnerships with community organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare and Optum, and its affiliates, is dedicated to advancing health equity and building healthier communities by supporting programs to improve access to care and address key determinants of health. In Washington, this includes more than $5.8 million in contributions from 2019-2021 representing its companies, foundations and employees, including a $3.3 million grant in 2021 to the North Olympic Healthcare Network to improve behavioral health care in the Olympic Peninsula.
Additionally, UnitedHealth Group has invested more than $800 million in affordable housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal delivery services, and in 2019 joined the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans. In June, the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of the UnitedHealth Group, pledged $100 million over 10 years to advance health equity, continuing its efforts to eliminate health disparities . This is the largest philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the healthcare system work better for all by simplifying the healthcare experience, meeting the health and wellness needs of consumers and maintaining trusting relationships with providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full range of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.5 million physicians and healthcare professionals. , and more than 6,700 hospitals and other healthcare facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and provides care to people through health care facilities owned and operated in South America. UnitedHealthcare is a business of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified healthcare company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.