UnitedHealthcare introduces community collaboration to improve health outcomes and equity


Photo credit: Hugh Sitton / Getty Images

UnitedHealthcare announced this week a community initiative called Community Catalyst that brings together a wide range of community stakeholders to identify and address the specific health needs of community members and residents of public housing, people who are often difficult to reach and serve. .

This expands UnitedHealthcare’s long-term collaboration with the Council of Major Public Housing Authorities. This collaboration aims to engage public housing agencies, federally qualified health centers and community organizations in a mutual commitment to serve as a catalyst to close care gaps, address health equity challenges and encourage greater positive impact on health in local communities.

The initiative works by combining clinical data with first-hand information from community members to identify health issues. The goal is to bring together local partners to develop a collaborative community plan to meet needs and monitor progress and results.


UnitedHealthcare and its partners will analyze complaints, healthcare utilization and local data to identify communities with large racial and health disparities and challenges. These partners will then develop common goals and collaborative interventions that will allow each organization to leverage its capacities to meet the local health challenge.

These interventions will be tailored to the community and may include food insecurity and diabetes management programs that may include training in trauma-informed care, telehealth and virtual care services, multilingual educational materials, and training. full support for social services.

Current priorities include food insecurity, health disparities – such as health literacy and maternal and female health – behavioral and mental health, homelessness, access to health care health and chronic disease and diabetes management.

UnitedHealthcare and the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities announced the first cohort of public housing authorities with programs planned to address the challenges identified in Akron and Columbus, Ohio; Austin and Houston, Texas; and Seattle / King County, Washington. A second cohort of public housing authorities now joining the initiative include the Atlanta Housing Authority, the Detroit Housing Commission, the Indianapolis Housing Authority, the Memphis Housing Authority and the New Orleans Housing Authority.

UnitedHealthcare also plans to launch similar initiatives to partner with health centers and community organizations to meet community health needs in Phoenix; Maui, Hawaii; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Montgomery County, Maryland; Detroit; Jackson and Clay Counties, Missouri; Hinds, Copiah and Warren, Mississippi; Chester, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Buffalo, New York; Las Vegas; and Providence and Newport, Rhode Island.


Research shows that 80% of an individual’s health is determined by what happens outside of a doctor’s office. There are specific underlying local causes that operate in a community and create complex health issues and barriers for individuals and communities, such as lack of safe and affordable housing, healthy diets, and financial stability.

In the United States, there are more than 2 million people in social housing. Across the country, children living in subsidized housing have the lowest kindergarten enrollment rate.

The FQHCs are rooted in local communities and aim to bridge access gaps. In fact, 29 million Americans receive care at an FQHC each year, including one in 12 people and one in five people on Medicaid, according to UnitedHealthcare. The FQHC serve approximately 23% of members of the UnitedHealthcare and state community in more than 1,300 clinics across the country.

UnitedHealthcare 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 affected by COVID-19.

Twitter: @JELagasse
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