UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $1 million in Empowering Health grants to six community-based organizations in Mississippi to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.
In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating $11.4 million through Empowering Health grants across 18 states and the District of Columbia. The grants will assist individuals and families experiencing challenges from food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health issues, and support local health promotion and health literacy efforts.
Grant recipients in Mississippi include:
Community Health Center Association of Mississippi – $285,000 to implement a comprehensive health literacy initiative targeting communities with the lowest health literacy rates, develop culturally appropriate health literacy resources and a food insecurity screening tool for community health centers, and hire additional support staff.
American Diabetes Association – $200,000 to launch a Wellness and Resource Series targeting low-wealth individuals and families for diabetes prevention and education with access to on-demand virtual programming, an at-home wellness kit and connections to free or low-cost resources and services.
Mississippi Urban League – $175,000 to support the Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity, focused on reducing health risks linked to obesity in some of the most underserved communities in Jackson, including fitness and nutrition education classes and increased access to healthy foods.
Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi – $150,000 to expand the food access program to rural and low-wealth communities by adding four food distribution sites and purchasing a refrigerated mobile food truck.
Mississippi Food Network – $100,000 to provide students and their families facing food insecurity with regular access to nutritious food at five school-based pantries in the Jackson Public School District.
Families as Allies – $90,000 to implement a strong parent-to-parent peer support pilot program for parents with children in the juvenile court system, including resources to help their children, and court navigation assistance when system barriers are encountered.
“Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health,” said Steve Wilson, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Mississippi. “Through Empowering Health grants, we’re working with local organizations to provide Mississippians with greater access to essential resources in high-risk and high-need communities so they can live healthier lives.”
Good health encompasses more than simply visiting a doctor’s office. 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. And for so many, the global pandemic has caused additional social and economic challenges that continue to affect healthy behaviors and exacerbate health disparities.
Since launching its Empowering Health commitment in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has now invested more than $40 million in Empowering Health grants reaching more than 6 million people through partnerships with community-based organizations in 29 states.
Additionally, UnitedHealth Group has invested more than $500 million in affordable housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services, and in 2019 joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.
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