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July 22, 2021
Funding is part of UnitedHealthcare’s $11.4 million in Empowering Health grants focused on expanding access to care and addressing the social determinants of health for people in underserved communities
UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $300,000 in Empowering Health grants to four community-based organizations in South 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 South Carolina include:
• Senior Resources – $120,000 to implement a post-discharge nutrition pilot program with Prisma Health that will provide seniors recently discharged from the hospital with nutritionally balanced meals to help prevent readmission and support long-term health goals.
• Ruth’s Gleanings – $70,000 to purchase a refrigerated truck to expand distribution of healthy fresh food to more rural communities.
• Harvest Hope Food Bank – $60,000 to expand the diabetic food pantry program to provide more clients with diabetic-appropriate food boxes and diabetes management information.
• American Diabetes Association – $50,000 to implement Project Power, a free after-school diabetes prevention program for youth at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health,” said Wanda Coley, vice president of strategy, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement of South Carolina. “Through Empowering Health grants, we’re working with local organizations to provide of South 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 South Carolina, this includes more than $2.6 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.
About Senior Resources
Senior Resources is a non-profit organization that coordinates services, provides resources and encourages the personal choices that allow Columbia’s senior citizens to remain independent. All activities, services and programs of the agency are geared toward promoting independent living, with the goal of helping seniors remain in their homes as long as possible through the support of staff and volunteers, and delaying or preventing institutionalization.
Since 1967, Senior Resources has served Columbia’s frail and elderly residents in three areas:
1) In-home services, including Meals on Wheels, home care, respite care, senior companion services, and case management;
2) Community-based services, including congregate meals, wellness centers, transportation, and physical fitness;
3) Volunteer services, including the Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs.
With local, state and federal government funding, as well as contributions from United Way, personal donations and fundraising activities, Senior Resources offers a variety of programs so that our clients can select the assistance they need to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle. With the support of our staff and volunteers, our services touch the lives of more than 4,000 Midlands residents.
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