GREENSBORO, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $500,000 in Empowering Health grants to four community-based organizations in North Carolina 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 North Carolina include:
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC – $200,000 to purchase and outfit a multipurpose vehicle to expand the reach of the Mobile Food Pantry and Teaching Kitchen programs to communities that are more isolated or have transportation barriers.
- General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina – $180,000 to implement a healthy food distribution program with faith-based organizations across the state that increases access for low-wealth individuals and families to healthy food and fresh produce from Black-owned farms.
- American Heart Association – $100,000 to develop and execute a “Food Security Summit” to give community-based hunger relief organizations the opportunity to share best practices and create strategies to reduce food insecurity; and to purchase cold-storage infrastructure for communities with low access to healthy food and fresh produce.
- YWCA Lower Cape Fear – $20,000 to support a health literacy campaign focused on reducing the prevalence of health risks linked to obesity for women, Black and Indigenous communities, and people of color, and increasing overall health literacy in underserved communities.
“Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health,” said Anita Bachmann, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina. “Through Empowering Health grants, we’re working with local organizations to provide North Carolinians 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 North Carolina, this includes more than $8.9 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.