COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio has awarded $240,000 in maternal health grants to five community organizations aimed at improving maternal health outcomes, reducing disparities and expanding access to care.
“The rate of preterm births and low birth weight infants continues to rise, and in Ohio disproportionately impacts Black women,” said Mike Roaldi, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio. “UnitedHealthcare has been working to address these issues through multiple avenues. We know that we must look beyond what happens in the doctor’s office to address all needs of a mother and her babies. We know we cannot do this alone, so we are committed to supporting organizations that share our goal to improve the health of women and children and are grateful for all they do.”
The five grant recipients include:
- Black Lactation Circle-Central Ohio – Serving Greater Columbus; $28,000 to expand current breastfeeding support programs and provide resources to address social determinants of health.
- Breastfeeding Outreach for Our Beautiful Sisters – Serving Cincinnati; $42,000 to support a doula trained in breastfeeding, program expansion and overhead expenses.
- Cradle Cincinnati/Queens Village – Serving Cincinnati; $50,000 to continue to develop community led solutions for Black infant mortality by supporting personnel, operations, supplies, transportation and child care.
- Healthy Moms & Babes – Serving Cincinnati; $45,000 to support the outreach mobile health van that includes health care and community health workers providing pregnancy, glucose, mental health and blood pressure testing.
- Restoring Our Own Through Transformation – Serving the state of Ohio; $75,000 to support a perinatal support doula, operational costs, and expansion of their current model of care.
“We are beyond grateful for the support we received from UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio. With the support from UnitedHealthcare we will be able to offer duration support for the breastfeeding mothers and babies in the community,” said Dr. Janelle McClain, CEO/executive director, Breastfeeding Outreach to Our Beautiful Sisters.
"We are so grateful that partners like UnitedHealthcare recognize that eliminating racial disparities in infant mortality is one of our society's most urgent concerns," said Ryan Adcock, executive director of Cradle Cincinnati. "Our team will use these funds to fuel additional community leadership so that the solutions are developed by families most impacted by the problem."
“Healthy Moms & Babes has partnered with UnitedHealthcare to serve our women and children. We cannot work without each other. Our missions make it possible to serve women and their children for a healthy community in our future,” said Sister Tricia Cruise, president and CEO of Healthy Moms & Babes.
Infants born preterm or with low birth weight are at an increased risk for experiencing physical disabilities and developmental impairments throughout their lives. According to America’s Health Rankings, Ohio’s rate of low birth weight infants (defined as less than 5 pounds 8 ounces) is 8.9% of births, leaving the state ranked in the bottom half of 50 states. Additionally, preterm birth rates in the state have increased over to 10.5%, and Black women have a 48% higher rate than all other women, according to March of Dimes, which fights for the health of all moms and babies.
These grants are part of several initiatives that UnitedHealthcare, along with its parent company UnitedHealth Group, is launching to address maternal health outcomes throughout the United States, including over $5 million in recent philanthropic grants to support maternal health and $2.85 million in support to March of Dimes for a public-private partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services that aims to reduce the Black-White disparity gap and improve maternal health outcomes.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.9 million people in Ohio enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare and Medicaid benefit plans, with a network of 208 hospitals, and nearly 89,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.
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.