ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding nearly $1.1 million in Empowering Health grants to eight community-based organizations in Florida 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 Florida include:
- Feeding Northeast Florida — $270,000 to expand the receiving and delivery of healthy food throughout the food bank’s eight-county service area through two refrigerated box trucks, a crew cab to transport a mobile market trailer delivering food directly to food desert neighborhoods and support for the hire of an additional truck driver.
- Pace Center for Girls in West Palm Beach and Broward — $250,000 to provide individual and group behavioral and mental health support for girls with challenging home/school backgrounds and their families in the Palm Beach and Broward programs.
- Latino Leadership in Orlando — $150,000 to provide tele-behavioral health services to the uninsured Latino population through a collaborative care model including primary care, care management and psychiatric consultation.
- Seniors in Service in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties — $150,000 to expand a program addressing loneliness and social isolation among homebound seniors with low incomes by engaging them with telephone check-ins and assurance.
- UCP Downtown/BETA Center in Orlando — $150,000 to provide a comprehensive behavior and mental health support program to address the needs of students and parents at the UCP Downtown campus and teen mothers at the BETA Center Teen Connection campus.
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando — $62,500 to repurpose food intended for a food packing volunteer project with the Orlando Magic to meet the immediate hunger needs of food-insecure people with low incomes.
- Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay — $30,000 to expand access to its physical activity-based, positive youth development program for 10 new teams of girls in underserved Tampa Bay communities for the 2020-2021 school year.
- WellMed Charitable Foundation throughout Florida — $30,000 for meal distribution for vulnerable seniors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Florida’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Michael Lawton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Florida. “Our support of these organizations in Florida through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in Florida 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 $1 million in contributions from the United Health Foundation to Feeding Florida and the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida announced in April.
In addition to UnitedHealthcare’s support in Florida, 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.
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.