UnitedHealthcare donates $500,000 to Mississippi charities

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2023

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $500,000 in Empowering Health grants to three community-based organizations in Mississippi to expand access to care and address social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.

In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating more than $11.1 million in grants through its Empowering Health program across 12 states. The grants will assist people experiencing challenges such as food access and nutrition, social isolation, and behavioral health issues, and support local health education efforts.

Grant recipients in Mississippi include:

  • University of Mississippi Medical Center: Child Access to Mental Health and Psychiatry (CHAMP), statewide – $300,000 to create CHAMP for Moms, a program to work alongside OB-GYN practices to promote services addressing perinatal and postnatal mental health challenges in expectant and new mothers.
  • Extra Table, statewide – $100,000 to purchase infrastructure and equipment for the “OnePotWonder” project focused on increasing the availability of healthy, ready-to-make meals at food pantries.
  • Partnership for a Healthier America, the Delta – $100,000 to support youth engagement experiences complementing the Good Food for All program, including programming around community gardens, cooking classes and nutrition education.

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“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in Mississippi,” said Michael Parnell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi. “Social and economic factors continue to have a significant impact on achieving and maintaining good health. These grants enable us to work closely with our community partners and to be there for what matters in addressing social determinants of health for their residents.”

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately 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.

Identifying and addressing social determinants of health needs is a core aspect of how UnitedHealthcare serves its members. Last year, UnitedHealthcare screened 4.9 million members, made 2.4 million referrals to community resources, and ultimately closed the loop and confirmed that 84% of members had at least one of their social needs met.

Since launching its Empowering Health commitment in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has now invested more than $62 million in Empowering Health grants, reaching nearly 11 million people through partnerships with community-based organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare and Optum, and its affiliated companies, is dedicated to advancing health equity and building healthier communities by supporting programs to improve access to care and address key determinants of health. In Mississippi, this includes more than $2.4 million in contributions over the last three years representing its businesses, foundations and employees.

Additionally, UnitedHealth Group has invested more than $800 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. In June 2022, the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group, made a $100 million commitment over 10 years to advance health equity, furthering its efforts to eliminate health disparities. This was the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation.