UnitedHealthcare has awarded $500,000 in Empowering Health Grants to nonprofit organizations focused on addressing social drivers of health and improving access to care in Kansas. Social drivers of health (SDOH) are environmental conditions that impact a person’s health, including socioeconomic factors and access to nutritious food. Disparities in SDOH contribute to inequitable health outcomes. These grants aim to improve population health across the state, including for Native American tribes in Kansas. It also reaffirms UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas’ commitment to transforming access to behavioral health resources through local Mental Health First Aid trainings.
Four organizations in Kansas have received Empowering Health grants:
- Community Behavioral Health, a subsidiary of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas received $100,000 to bring Mental Health First Aid to youth and adults statewide. The organization will also train educators in Spanish-language versions of Mental Health First Aid, increasing the impact to even more individuals and communities.
- Horizons Mental Health Center received $75,000 to expand Mental Health First Aid trainings for students at schools in Barber, Harper, Kingman, Pratt and Reno counties.
- Harvesters received $50,000 to address root causes of hunger in northeast Kansas. The organization aims to support needs related to health, employment and transportation and to increase access to fresh, healthy food in underserved communities.
- American Heart Association received $275,000 to expand food access and nutrition programs serving the four Native American tribes in Kansas. Supports include culturally-relevant programming, hosting an annual tribal meeting, and piloting a new program focused on using food as medicine.
UnitedHealthcare launched its Empowering Health commitment in 2018, focusing on expanding access to care and addressing the social determinants of health for people in underserved communities. Over the last three years, UnitedHealth Group has contributed a total of over $3.7 million in support of building a healthier Kansas. The latest Empowering Health grants represent a lasting commitment to advancing health equity, improving access to care and supporting local community partnerships.