Social determinants of health (SDOH) define the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.
UnitedHealthcare Grant Recipients:
- Association of Arizona Food Banks to increase access to fresh produce at local food banks statewide.
- Brighter Way Institute and VisionQuest 20/20 to work with school districts to offer dental screenings, dental restorative procedures and vision screenings on-site or through new mobile clinics.
- The Arizona Partnership for Immunization to offer community-based immunization clinics.
The UHC grants will help address barriers that prevent individuals and families from focusing on their health and wellness in Arizona. Issues such as food insecurity, a lack of access to basic preventive health screenings, social isolation, financial instability and homelessness all play a role in health and wellness. Joseph Gaudio, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona commented on the grant,
For many people, it’s not just genetic code that plays a role in their health status; it’s a full range of social factors. It’s difficult for people to improve their health, build primary-care relationships and address preventive healthcare needs if they can’t feed their families or don’t have stable housing. We understand the vital need for communities to address the social determinants of health that affect people’s health and quality of life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), poverty limits access to healthy foods and safe neighborhoods and that more education is a predictor of better health. We also know that differences in health are striking in communities with poor SDOH such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education. CDC states,
By applying what we know about SDOH, we can not only improve individual and population health but also advance health equity.
Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $350 million to help finance and build 54 affordable-housing communities in Arizona and 13 other states, creating more than 2,700 new homes for individuals and families. The United Health Foundation has committed more than $2 million in philanthropic grants in Arizona since 2015.
In August, UnitedHealthcare will host a summit with Arizona-based political leaders, safety net providers, social service advocates and community partners that are focused on improving access to health and social services for the underserved and uninsured in Arizona. The purpose of the event is to exchange knowledge, explore new collaborations and unlock the possibility of developing innovative approaches to shared challenges.