ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UnitedHealthcare today announced an investment of over $1.1 million to organizations and initiatives focused on addressing social determinants of health by expanding health care access and improving health equity in New Mexico’s frontier and urban communities. This investment includes over $380,000 in grants previously announced supporting maternity care, food and housing security and behavioral health.
“Community solutions are critical to addressing social determinants of health and improving the health of all New Mexicans” said Drew Peterson, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community & State of New Mexico. “Through this investment, we can help community needs across the state, including behavioral health, food and housing security, and rural care.”
The following investments are addressing the state’s critical health disparities in five key areas:
1. Food and Housing Security ($337,585)
As much as 80% of a person’s health is based on factors outside the doctor’s office1. New Mexico ranks 7th in projected food insecurity rates among all states.
- Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico – subsidize rent for people with financial and housing needs.
- Roadrunner Food Bank – implement food assistance programs and expand programs that support people managing nutrition-related chronic health conditions.
- ABQ FaithWorks – hire staff to implement care coordination services.
- Economic Council Helping Others (ECHO) – provide emergency rental/mortgage assistance to families, and food nutrition boxes tailored to chronic conditions.
- Cuba CARES – purchase basic needs for homeless students in the Cuba Independent School District.
2. Education and Training ($279,500)
Education and training for current and future care providers is critical to addressing social determinants of health and eliminating health disparities in local communities.
- University of New Mexico – implement a social determinants of health public health curriculum and certification for university students.
- New Mexico Public Health Association – provide scholarships to public health students.
- New Mexico Primary Care Association – support an educational conference to empower member organizations such as federally qualified health centers to expand access to care.
- The Grief Center – launch staff training to support child and adult bereavement services.
3. Maternity Care ($227,500)
The state ranks 49th in adequate prenatal care and pregnant people in rural and frontier communities live in “maternity deserts” with limited access to obstetrics care.
- New Mexico Doula Association – provide access to doula care for pregnant people with financial need, promoting expanded maternal care in rural communities.
- New Mexico Perinatal Collaborative – expand a statewide initiative to improve the health of and outcomes for pregnant families by promoting safe birthing best practices and training for providers.
- New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force – continue education for breastfeeding training.
- Navajo Nation Breastfeeding Coalition – provide support for tools and materials for doulas and lactation support providers to expand their practice, including hosting virtual and in-person support circles and education.
4. Rural Care ($175,000)
Thirty of New Mexico’s 33 counties are designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas, and 60% of the population lives in rural communities.
- El Centro Family Health – provide remote monitoring/telehealth clinical visits to older adults and people with limited mobility in northern New Mexico.
- New Mexico Suicide Prevention Resource Center – organize behavioral health and suicide prevention training for first responders serving rural communities.
- Senior.One – provide a free online resource guide to help older adults and their families access care navigation services.
5. Behavioral Health ($110,000)
New Mexico ranks 47th for youth mental illness and approximately 1 in 5 of New Mexico’s youth experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, ranking 50th among all states and the District of Columbia.
- National Latino Behavioral Health Association – launch trainings for behavioral health bilingual language interpreters, and two eight-week youth cohort groups focused on reducing risk factors in the onset of drug use.
- San Juan Safe Communities Initiative – execute a community behavioral health awareness campaign.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 205,000 members enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual and Medicare plans in New Mexico, with a network of 41 hospitals, and over 11,000 physicians and other care providers statewide. For more information on how UnitedHealthcare is working to build healthier communities across New Mexico, visit www.uhccs.com/NewMexico.
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 1.5 million physicians and care professionals, and more than 6,700 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.