UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California today announced a $1.5 million investment in community-based programs aimed to reduce health disparities and improve health equity in San Diego. The funding will support initiatives from 17 San Diego organizations, including community- and faith-based organizations, educational institutions, federally qualified health centers and nonprofits, to address specific health needs of underserved members of the community and gaps in access to health care.
The funding will provide support to Interfaith Community Services; Champions for Health; Chicano Federation of San Diego County; San Diego County Promotores Coalition; San Diego Youth Services; Family Health Centers of San Diego; Neighborhood Healthcare; South Bay Community Services; HealthCorps; SAY San Diego; La Maestra Community Health Centers; Cajon Valley Union School District; Oceanside Unified School District; San Diego Rescue Mission; TrueCare; San Ysidro Health; and Father Joe's Villages.
“The challenges facing San Diego and the state disproportionately impact communities of color, and the path to sustainable solutions is best achieved through building community relationships with outstanding organizations whose missions closely align with ours,” said Kevin Kandalaft, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California. "We are proud to collaborate with passionate and driven organizations toward the expansion and delivery of accessible health care."
According to America's Health Rankings, a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis compiled by the United Health Foundation, California ranks 48th nationally in access to primary care providers and 49th for severe housing problems (including lack of working facilities and overcrowding).
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California will collaborate with the local organizations to target specific population health issues including housing insecurity and homelessness, access to primary care services, health equity training, youth-specific services, school-based services and mental health supports, and mobile care capabilities.
“Addressing health equity requires intentional actions by government, nonprofits and the private sector, and I am excited UnitedHealthcare has committed to using its resources to support 17 entities who are on the frontlines of behavioral health, helping the unsheltered and uplifting our youth,” said Nathan Fletcher, chair, County of San Diego Board of Supervisors.
Family Health Centers of San Diego, a federally qualified health center that cared for more than 285,200 patients through nearly 1 million visits last year, is the largest provider of safety-net health care in San Diego County. It received funding for the purchase of two electric mobile unit "Tiger Teams" that will provide basic primary care, vaccinations and other mobile-capable services in underserved communities, targeting populations unable to leave their home to access care.
"We are grateful for UnitedHealthcare's support of our Tiger Team Project. With this funding, our mobile health care team will bring critical care to vulnerable, low-income San Diegans in their own homes, ensuring they maintain optimal health," said Fran Butler-Cohen, CEO, Family Health Centers of San Diego.
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California will also support Chicano Federation's mission to invest in under-resourced communities with programming aimed at building resiliency and promoting self-sufficiency, including addressing critical needs like care for infants and toddlers, early childhood education and housing. The funding will provide for the development of a community service center in collaboration with a Latinx community-based organization.
"Chicano Federation has a long history of responding to our diverse community’s concerns. To advance our mission of promoting self-sufficiency, we have partnered with UnitedHealthcare to launch the Chicano Federation Community Resource Center to ensure that our community has a safe space to get the support they need," said Nancy Maldonado, president and CEO, Chicano Federation of San Diego County. "We are excited to be working alongside UnitedHealthcare to continue to advance health equity for San Diego in a meaningful and holistic manner."
This initiative is one part of UnitedHealthcare’s ongoing efforts to address health equity, promote positive health outcomes and expand access to all. The company, which is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group, is also investing in programs and partnerships focused on food, transportation and social isolation, including $80 million to fight the pandemic and support vulnerable minority populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In October 2020, UnitedHealth Group also awarded $4 million to University of California San Diego to expand the state's mental health workforce.
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.