Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan has awarded nearly $100,000 in Community Builder Grants to six community organizations aimed at improving access to health care services and addressing social determinants of health.
“Through the Community Builder Grant program, we are investing in community partnerships designed to break down barriers to health care services and improve quality of life among underserved populations,” said Dennis Mouras, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support these organizations and their community-based efforts.”
The six grant recipients include:
- Muskegon Community Health Project – Serving Muskegon, $25,000 to link clients to housing, employment, and education opportunities in an effort to build a more just community.
- Kids’ Health Connections – Serving Detroit, $25,000 to provide services that prevent childhood diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kids’ Health Connections was formerly known as Wayne Children’s Healthcare Access Program (also Wayne CHAP).
- Community Action Agency – Serving Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties, $12,500 will support a targeted mentorship component to the agency’s YouthBuild program, which provides men and women ages 16 to 24 the opportunity to earn their high school diploma or GED while also being trained in basic construction skills.
- Bronson Health Foundation – Serving Kalamazoo County, $10,000 for a collaborative effort by Bronson Healthcare Group with the Kalamazoo County Public Health Commission and Integrated Services of Kalamazoo to work with homeless individuals suffering chronic unmanaged pain and who are frequent users of emergency department services and community safety-net systems. The program is patterned after the national, evidence-based Frequent User System Engagement model (FUSE). It aims to improve the quality of life for participating individuals (as defined by the individual) and lessen reliance on safety-net programs and services.
- Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA) – $10,000 for Alpena-based Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency to provide gap funding for emergency needs among community members served in 11 northeast Michigan counties.
- Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency –Serving Greater Detroit, $10,000 will be used to support the Wayne Metro and UnitedHealthcare Food Distribution Initiative.
“NEMCSA is grateful for the generosity of UnitedHealthcare,” said Lisa Bolen, executive director and CEO, Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency. “This grant arrives at a critical time, and these funds will help individuals in the northeast Michigan community overcome struggles during this time of crisis.”
As part of the community partnerships built through the Community Builder Grant Program, UnitedHealthcare will discuss lessons learned and how to collect and measure data to share best practices that are able to help people lead healthier and fulfilling lifestyles.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 800,000 people in Michigan enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare and Medicaid benefit plans with a network of 149 hospitals, and nearly 45,000 physicians and other care providers statewide. Recently, the company also committed $2.5 million to the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) to establish a breast cancer genetic testing and screening pilot program for high-risk women, men and their families at five Michigan community health centers.