Member workshops promote independence and community connections

The health and quality of life for Long-Term Care members is driven by more than just medical care. Social Drivers of Health (SDOH) like access to food, transportation, housing and employment opportunities have significant influence on an individual’s wellbeing and health outcomes. For individuals receiving Long-Term Care, meeting needs related to transportation and social activities are associated with improvements in members’ self-reported quality of life.1 This is particularly relevant for older Long-Term Care members and people of color, who are more likely to report lower quality of life.2

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona is committed to empowering Long-Term Care members to live the independent, safe and fulfilled lives they choose. That includes ensuring that members can access support to achieve their personal, social and vocational goals.

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona hosts an annual Member Empowerment Abilities Workshop to equip Long-Term Care members with tools to become more engaged with their peers and community resources. This past June, the event was hosted in Phoenix by the Long-Term Care Member Empowerment (me*) team and Member Advisory Council. The Member Advisory Council includes health plan members, family members and caregivers of members, and representatives from community and consumer advocacy groups. The group aims to build a member-centered culture and to foster conversations about helping members create the lives they want.

The Abilities Workshop covered a wide range of topics geared toward members and their families, including peer supports, community integration opportunities and employment services. The me* Team, a group of health plan team members focused on member empowerment, shared opportunities for members to volunteer alongside Case Managers to use their skills to become more integrated, connected members of the community. Case Managers also shared resources like Assurance Wireless Lifeline cell phones that can be used to keep in touch with loved ones, to contact Case Managers and to set reminders for medical appointments. The team also walked through the UHC App to explain features like searching for providers and accessing services. Other resources shared include monthly food boxes available through local community food banks.

Through events like this, the Member Advisory Council aims to further its mission of ensuring that UnitedHealthcare actively engages members, advocates and other key stakeholders. Hear from members of the Long-Term Care Member Advisory Council about the impact of Member Empowerment*:

William has been part of the Member Advisory Council for over five years. His involvement represents his commitment to improving healthcare and accessibility. William cites volunteering as a major source of motivation and encouragement. William is proud to use his skills to serve the local community, instilling a sense of purpose and belonging – which William says is instrumental in his health journey.

As an Army veteran, Paul takes pride in civic and community engagement. Paul uses his experiences as a wheelchair user to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities with empathy and compassion. Participating in the Member Advisory Council and Abilities Workshop enables him to hear from members, caregivers and stakeholders about their experiences, challenges and goals. Paul’s advocacy work includes speaking to legislators about the needs of people with disabilities and promoting inclusivity, empathy and equity.

Robert is a caregiver for his wife. According to Robert, it’s essential for caregivers to be actively involved and aware of the resources that are available to support their loved ones. The me* Abilities Workshop provides opportunities for Robert to build connections with members and other caregivers. The Member Advisory Council creates an open and understanding environment for members and families to feel valued and supported in their journeys.

*Names were changed to protect members' privacy

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