WICHITA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $300,000 in Empowering Health grants to two community-based organizations in Kansas 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 Kansas include:
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment – Bureau of Health Promotion/Bike Walk Wichita – $175,000 to implement a multifaceted health education campaign in the Wichita area promoting physical health through biking and walking, and addressing social determinants of health in four key populations.
- Mental Health America of South Central Kansas – $125,000 to promote three programs that address social isolation and behavioral health: a youth led program focused on peer-to-peer relationships; a program to provide companionship to isolated seniors and respite to caregivers; and a program to work with young men to encourage safe and healthy relationships, build resiliency and promote authentic diverse identities and capacities.
“Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health,” said Kevin Sparks, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas. “Through Empowering Health grants, we’re working with local organizations to provide Kansans 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.
UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare and Optum, and its affiliated companies, is committed to reducing health disparities and building healthier communities by supporting programs to improve access to care and address key determinants of health. In Kansas this includes more than $2.7 million in contributions from 2018-2020 representing its businesses, foundations and employees.
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.