Health Insurance Providers Actions Concerning SDOH

posted by AHIP

on June 1, 2021

  • AmeriHealth Caritas North Carolina announced it has made $7,500 in donations to support community agencies across the state in addressing the needs of families impacted by the current economic downturn. Donations were made in May to the following agencies: Welfare Reform Liaison Project (Guilford County); Central Piedmont Community Action (Chatham, Orange, Durham, Randolph counties); Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency (WAGES) Inc. (Wayne County); Better Health of Fayetteville (Cumberland County); and Men and Women United for Youth and Families (Bladen, Brunswick, and Columbus Counties).
  • Anthem- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri announced $450,000 support of Southeast Missouri Food Bank and Aging Ahead that will help acquire more food and organize more distribution events for the many families in southeast Missouri and the St. Louis area facing hunger. Nearly 1 in 6 Missouri residents lacks reliable access to healthy food – according to data available at “Close to Home,” a social driver of health information tool available through Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.By addressing both social isolation and food insecurity through their partnership with Aging Ahead, Anthem will help ensure individuals and their caregivers in St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin counties are not forgotten. The 3-year agreement will provide over 7,500 meals annually to homebound older adults, virtual and in-person programming, newsletter distribution, and social media outreach to thousands.
    • Anthem, Inc. has invested $87.9 million in affordable housing funds across the state of Indiana as part of its continuing efforts to improve lives and communities. The funds support the whole health needs of local individuals, families and communities providing 1,139 affordable housing apartment units, townhomes and single-family homes in Avon, Bloomington, Columbia City, Culver, Fort Wayne, Gary, Kokomo, Lawrenceburg, New Castle, Spencer, and Vincennes. Anthem has committed over $410 million to affordable housing in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. The multi-year effort will address and create a more stable housing environment for many vulnerable individuals, families and even those who are living with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Anthem will continue to be part of these developments and communities providing on-site health and support services to help residents monitor and promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
  • Blue Shield of CaliforniaA new series of five guides about youth mental health were introduced today by Blue Shield of California’s BlueSky program through a collaboration with the Child Mind Institute. Published on the BlueSky website, the collection covers a wide range of youth mental health issues, including trauma, racism, depression, LGBTQ+ issues, and anxiety. The guides provide tips on how to identify mental health challenges, as well as resources for taking action to address concerns and access professional help.
    • Blue Shield of California has made a $40-million contribution to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to support its efforts to end domestic violence and to make California the healthiest state. The nonprofit health plan has contributed more than $150 million to its foundation over the past four years.
    • Blue Shield of California Through their jointly-operated Community Resource Centers, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan and L.A. Care Health Plan are rolling out a series of the drive-thru and walk-up food pantry events across Los Angeles County in response to the growing food insecurity burdening nearly every community. The food distribution events, which will start February 20, 2021, and run throughout the year, are free and open to everyone. All safety guidelines recommended by public health officials will be followed.   The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank reports an estimated 1 in 4 people in Los Angeles County lives with food insecurity – the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the hunger problem that already existed. Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 people struggled with access to food.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois announced that an expanded pool of 175 non-profit organizations will each be receiving $20,000 in grants to address crucial needs for people across the state as a result of COVID-19. Last month, BCBSIL opened applications for this second round of quick-release funding as part of its COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund. The grant program is aimed at supporting community-based organizations doing work in five focus areas – access to care, hunger, shelter and behavioral health care, and COVID-19 health education and vaccine access. Originally announced in February as a $1.5M grant opportunity, BCBSIL more than doubled the amount of available funds by reinvesting payments from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for providing quality care to Medicaid members.
    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is providing new resources to help improve the health outcomes of pregnant women and their infants in underserved communities across Illinois.BCBSIL is announcing more than $350,000 in grant funding to six community-based organizations working to improve maternal health outcomes on Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods.
    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has opened an additional round of quick-release funding to support community-based organizations supporting five focus areas – access to care, hunger, shelter and behavioral health, and COVID-19 health education and vaccine access.  This grant cycle will again offer 75 grants of $20,000 and is open to prior recipients of BCBSIL’s COVID-19 Community Collaboration funding. However prior grantees are not guaranteed a second award. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois awarded $1.5 million to 75 organizations during the first round of the COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund in May 2020.
    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to working to help improve health outcomes by increasing access to nutritious food in communities across Illinois. According to Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, more than 1.2 million people in Illinois — or one out of eight residents — was facing hunger in 2020, and they project 10.9% of the state’s population will face food insecurity in 2021. BCBSIL has joined forces with Feeding America to award more than $150,000 in funding to four organizations committed to combatting food insecurity across Illinois:
      • Central Illinois Food Bank
      • Eastern Illinois Food Bank
      • Greater Chicago Food Depository
      • Northern Illinois Food Bank


    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced that the Blue Door Neighborhood CenterSM (BDNC) locations in Pullman, Morgan Park, and South Lawndale are now open for in-person wellness classes and services. Blue Door Neighborhood Centers offer no-cost programming focused on physical, mental and social health, and are open to everyone — both BCBSIL members and non-members alike. Overall, Blue Door Neighborhood Centers provided more than 700 virtual and outdoor opportunities since the start of the pandemic –continuing to engage community members on-line and through socially-distant, outdoor events, such as our recent vaccination events, produce-box giveaways, pop-up fitness classes and Earth Week plant distributions.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana working together, Blue Krewe, Drop Mobility, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Bike Easy, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the City of New Orleans have developed a path forward to launch a fleet of 500 e-assist bikes by Sept. 1, 2021. E-assist bikes make bicycling more accessible and available to a wide swath of people who may not otherwise choose to ride. “Blue Bikes promotes healthy exercise and brings more transportation options to residents and visitors alike, which has the potential to improve Louisiana’s historically poor health outcomes,” said Rod Teamer, Blue Cross director of Diversity Program Business Development. “More and more, we’re seeing the connection between addressing social factors, like transportation access, and people becoming healthier.”
    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has granted more than $4 million to 95 nonprofits across the state working to meet the needs of communities in response to COVID-19 since mid-March. Efforts supported through Foundation grant funding include:
      • Providing food to kids, financially insecure families, and seniors
      • Supporting healthcare needs, including securing critical supplies for providers, connecting individuals to care and mental health resources
      • Funding direct economic support, housing assistance, and keeping families financially stable
      • Sustaining essential services disproportionately affected by stay-at-home orders, such as sober housing, services for sexual assault victims, and a limited scope of education-related services
      • Supporting regional groups organizing disaster response in communities across Louisiana, and supporting nonprofits through community relief funds operated by local community foundations
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is providing an additional $400,000 in grants to nonprofits and regional funds across Massachusetts to support communities of color most impacted by COVID-19, address the ongoing food insecurity crisis, and provide support to teachers and students to aid in the safe reopening of schools. These recent donations bring Blue Cross’ total value of community COVID-19 support to $10.6 million.$270,000 will be distributed as part of Blue Cross’ COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants.  This second round of grants is awarding $10,000 to 27 organizations serving communities of color most impacted by COVID-19. The first round of grants, distributed in April, provided $240,000 in funding to 24 community organizations supporting essential and front-line organizations addressing food access, basic needs, and support to first responders, health care, and retail workers. Blue Cross is also contributing $125,000 to support teachers and students during school re-openings and remote learning. Funding will be awarded to the American Federation of Teachers and The Massachusetts Child, a charitable organization founded by Massachusetts Teachers Association members in 1996 to help students struggling with financial need. Through Blue Cross’ support, teachers will be able to access support to purchase supplies including personal protective equipment and technology to facilitate online learning as well as necessities for students in need like hygiene materials and warm winter clothing.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan– Michigan K-12 schools are invited to apply for Building Healthy Communities, a public-private initiative supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and designed to address mental health and well-being and prevent childhood obesity through school-based wellness programming along with raising attention to issues that have emerged due to the pandemic. Building Healthy Communities (BHC) is an evidence-based, comprehensive, school-wide initiative that supports children’s health by providing students, teachers and administrators with tools and resources to improve the health of students and staff while creating a healthier school environment.
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation donated $300,000 to six community-based nonprofits to support permanent house initiatives that can help improve racial and economic health equity. Supportive housing has been linked with intensive case management and voluntary life-improving services such as health care and child welfare.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Blue Plus (Blue Plus) announced a new program with Second Harvest Heartland and Project Well to study the impact of comprehensive dietary support on maternal and infant health outcomes.The research project will recruit pregnant Black and Indigenous Blue Plus members with indicators linked to high-risk pregnancy to participate and receive up to seven months of nutrition benefits and services. The program will also take into consideration the nutritional needs of the whole household, including other children. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Blue Plus donated $400,000 to six organizations to help with housing stability initiatives. Inadequate housing can contribute to health inequities and has been linked health problems such as chronic disease that can impact childhood development.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico has awarded nearly $350,000 in Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) grants to 15 community-based organizations statewide for 2021. The organizations were chosen through a competitive grant application process. The HKHF grant program is designed to encourage health education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments. The program works through investments and partnerships with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs that improve the lives of New Mexicans.
    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is accepting applications from 501(c)(3) organizations for its COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund from June 7 through June 21. BCBSNM created the COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund to address the immediate needs of New Mexicans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund will release 10 rapid-response grants of $10,000 each to 501(c)(3) organizations focused on access to health care, behavioral health, housing and shelter, child and senior care, and COVID-19 health literacy and vaccine outreach. The application is brief and intended to distribute funds quickly to organizations throughout the state responding to the COVID-19 health crisis.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Charlotte Motor Speedway and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, along with Speedway Children’s Charities, are teaming up to address childhood hunger in the Charlotte area with its “Drive Out Hunger” initiative. Through a series of events, the organizations will work together to drive out childhood hunger by encouraging both monetary and non-perishable food donations.A “Drive Out Hunger” campaign branded Pace Car will make its debut during the Coca Cola 600 race weekend and remain at the speedway for races and events throughout the year. This visual representation of the campaign aims to bring awareness to the initiative and encourage fans to donate to help “drive out hunger.”This collaboration builds on Blue Cross NC’s ongoing commitment to address critical non-medical drivers of health, specifically food security.
  • BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina is working with Benefits Data Trust, Manna Food Bank, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC to increase enrollment in Food and Nutrition Services and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The collaboration is designed to raise awareness of the program, destigmatize participation, reduce barriers to enrollment, and provide support through the enrollment process. A separate prescription-based food purchasing program, Eat Well, which is led by Durham-based Reinvestment Partners, provides eligible members with a monthly benefit stipend, which can be used to purchase fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar or salt.
    • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is teaming up with the athletic departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Duke University to deliver over 2,000 meals to those in need in the Triangle area. This collaboration is an extension of Blue Cross NC’s meal delivery efforts to address food security throughout North Carolina. With help from its partners, Blue Cross NC has delivered over 16,000 meals to the people who need them the most.
  • BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota Caring Foundation will provide a limited number of one-year grants annually of up to $50,000 to North Dakota communities and organizations undertaking efforts to support health and community-based wellness and prevention. With the addition of these CaringforCommunities SPARK (Strengthening People, Access, Resources, and Knowledge) Grants, the goal is to enhance collaborative efforts and community involvement that results in long-lasting change. As evidence continues to grow showing that where we live and what services and supports are available have a significant impact on our health, the Caring Foundation will be investing additional resources at the community level in 2021 to strengthen opportunities to build collaboratives that invest locally to enhance healthy lifestyles, address service gaps and promote health equities.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has directed the focus of its BlueAngel Community Health Grant program toward improving access to safe and affordable housing. Building on an initial grant of $500,000 in 2020, BCBSRI has now awarded an additional $500,000 in a second round of funding to nine local organizations aimed at closing the gap for Rhode Islanders whose health outcomes are directly tied to housing quality.
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee – The BlueCross Healthy Place at Highland Park has opened as a result of a $5 million investment from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation. The investment included $4.2 million to build out the space and $840,000 for a maintenance fund. It is the first BlueCross Healthy Place project in the Chattanooga area and the first to be completed on privately owned land, although it will be open to the public.Features in the new space include:
    • Accessible play areas for children ages 2-5 and 5-12 with ramp access, ground-level play, and a soft rubber safety surface
    • Challenge course with obstacles and a precision timing system
    • Fitness station with equipment for aerobic fitness, core fitness, and balance
    • Sports field with amphitheater seating for school soccer games and local community games
    • Tennis and basketball courts
    • Walking track
    • Pavilion with picnic tables for school and community gatherings
    • A $750,000 investment from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation has resulted in the opening of a BlueCross Healthy Place at Woodlawn Park. The new space includes a community pavilion, play areas for children, and fitness station. In addition to these projects, BlueCross Healthy Places are also underway in Nashville and Knoxville. Five are open in Chattanooga, Memphis, Huntland, Kingsport and at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill, Tenn. With the addition of the 10 new projects for 2021, the BlueCross Foundation has invested $31.7 million in community spaces across the state.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has joined forces with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to address the food insecurity crisis magnified across the nation and Texas by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® program, BCBSTX awarded $507,000 in nutrition grants to 16-member food banks that serve approximately 151 counties in Texas. The food banks will have the option to use funds for the purchase of nutritious and culturally appropriate foods for the communities they serve, as well as develop nutrition policies that address food insecurity, intercultural competence in nutrition, and structural health inequities.
  • Cambia – Through a grant from the Cambia Health Foundation, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare funded an innovative “reverse-integration” pilot program at their Prescott Terrace supportive housing program that provides housing and other support to individuals who have spent decades on the streets and suffer from significant physical and behavioral health challenges.
  • CareOregon, Columbia Pacific CCO, a part of the CareOregon, has made a $400,000 investment to support the Iron Tribe Network. The funding will help fill housing gaps in the Columbia County region. Specifically, this funding will go towards the purchase of property in Columbia County that will provide space for up to 11 families. The Iron Tribe Network offers peer support, housing, and family reunification services to individuals and families overcoming pressures and barriers while in transition to leading a life that reflects their values.
  • CareSource has launched a new program in partnership with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health that will provide mothers of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) babies with free baby scales in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The scales will be available for all CareSource Medicaid members across the state of Indiana.The COVID-19 pandemic caused new mothers and parents to face barriers to care. Weekly visits to a doctor’s office for a simple weigh-in became difficult and posed a threat to the health and safety of new parents and NICU babies of being exposed to COVID-19 in the doctor’s office. In response, CareSource has partnered with J&B Medical to provide these scales, typically not covered by health insurance.The scale will be the members to keep, eliminating the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the case of a rental. The scales are consumer grade, allowing for easy use for all families. J&B Medical has also committed to performing troubleshooting with customers if needed to ensure the ease of the launch of this program. It is then the provider’s responsibility to reinforce instructions for proper use.
    • CareSource has created a $5 million affordable housing investment fund, the CareSource Fund for Appalachia with the Ohio Capital Finance Corporation (OCFC). Additionally, CareSource is donating $1 million to the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation (OCIC) to promote digital equity in southeast Ohio’s Appalachian counties. The $1 million donation will be used to improve Appalachia residents’ access to digital resources, including the installation of building-wide internet service, individual unit Wi-Fi hotspots, dedicated space for telehealth services, and other supportive opportunities.Through CareSource Fund for Appalachia, the Ohio Capital Finance Corporation will leverage resources to assist Ohio’s Appalachian residents with access to the internet with goals of improving health and education outcomes. By providing low-cost bridge financing, the fund will generate additional equity and cost savings to support real estate improvements.
    • CareSource has announced $750,000 of funding to jump-start permanent supportive housing programming in Franklin County to address the risks of COVID-19 spread in congregate settings including the local jail and homeless shelter system. The support will fund the FreshStart project to identify, engage and house up to 30 CareSource members with elevated mortality risk for COVID-19 due to chronic behavioral and physical health needs who have had multiple interactions with jails and are experiencing housing instability. The program seeks to reduce reentry into congregate settings that place individuals and communities at risk for contraction and spread of COVID-19.
    • CareSource is providing the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio with $1 million to help support shelter and housing services this winter. Housing insecurity is one of the primary factors that increases an individual’s risk of contracting COVID-19.
    • Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative, in partnership with Ohio Capital Finance Corporation, the City of Columbus, the Center for Community Investment, CareSource and Partners For Kids, today announces the creation of the Linden Healthy Homes Fund, a $4.2 million effort to build and rehabilitate affordable, high-quality rental housing for the people of South Linden. The fund furthers the goals of the 614 For Linden collaborative, which launched in 2019 to have a positive impact on housing, business development, health care access and other challenges facing the neighborhood. Nationwide Children’s is a founding member of the collaborative, and the Linden Healthy Homes Fund brings in new investments and new partners to benefit Linden. The fund will focus on building 17 new affordable rental housing units and rehabilitating three others. All units will be located near the Linden Fresh Market located on Cleveland Avenue in South Linden that will open this summer. Rents will range from $725 for a 2-bedroom to $850 for a 3-bedroom home. Healthy Homes, the affordable housing arm of Nationwide Children’s Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families, will manage the new housing effort.
    • CareSource has invested $1 million towards a new partnership as part of its $6 million commitment in investments to affordable housing projects in Indiana. This commitment is part of the $50 million financial investment CareSource is making to housing projects across the U.S., focusing on underserved communities with high rates of poverty. The organization is investing with Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP), a 501(c)(3), certified nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides access to capital to promote development in low-and-moderate-income communities, and Terebinth Group, Indiana’s leading intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) housing provider, to create affordable, supportive housing solutions in Indiana. The investment will help support Terebinth’s growing portfolio of 99 housing units that serve over 300 individuals with disabilities throughout the state of Indiana.
  • Centene is working with Samsung Electronics America to expand access to telehealth for individuals living in rural and underserved communities. The initiative will supply providers with Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to disseminate to patients who would not otherwise have the ability to receive their health care virtually. Additionally, some providers will receive Samsung Galaxy tablets to use to conduct telehealth visits. With this initiative, Centene and Samsung will deploy 13,000 Galaxy A10e smartphones, with 90 days of free wireless service, to approximately 200 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), other providers, and community support organizations throughout Centene’s markets, with a particular focus on rural and underserved areas. The providers and organizations will then determine which of their patients need the devices and distribute them accordingly. Centene previously announced the creation of a Medicaid Telehealth Partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to help FQHCs quickly ramp-up their capacity to provide telehealth solutions to meet the needs created by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • CignaThe Cigna Foundation will begin accepting applications for its new Education and Workforce Development grant program later this month. This grant cycle is part of an ongoing focus to address social determinants of health and eliminate health disparities to achieve greater health outcomes overall.Education and workforce development grants will support students enrolled in Pre-K, grades K-8 and high school, as well as post-secondary and adult education. The Cigna Foundation will also provide support to nonprofits that provide programming to increase the cultural competency of health care professionals by helping them better understand and address health disparities among vulnerable populations.Nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for grants starting May 24. The grant application period will close June 18. Additional opportunities to apply for this grant program will be available in 2022.The Cigna Foundation has announced an open call for applications for its new Health and Well-Being grant program, part of an ongoing initiative to improve access to care and eliminate health disparities. In 2021, the Cigna Foundation plans to award over $3 million in grants to support non-profits and community organizations focused on addressing these challenges. Non-profit organizations are invited to apply for grants beginning March 22. The grant cycle will close on April 23. Additional opportunities to apply for this grant program will be available throughout the year. Grants will be awarded this July. Qualified non-profits must specifically address health and well-being with programs that focus on health navigation to improve overall access to care, treatment, and medications.
  • CVS Health has surpassed $200 million in affordable housing investments in California as part of an ongoing commitment to address housing insecurity throughout the country. Over the past years, the company and its subsidiaries have invested in over 130 affordable housing communities across California, facilitating the construction or rehabilitation of more than 12,500 affordable homes. This milestone was achieved with CVS Health’s recent closing of a $12.1 million investment to help finance LINC Housing’s new development in Los Angeles County’s Avocado Heights. Equal (named for LINC Housing’s dedication to equality, as well as the neighborhood’s equestrian history) will provide 80 homes for families with low incomes and individuals who have experienced homelessness. LINC Housing will provide a wide range of social and supportive services to help residents maintain housing stability.
    • CVS Health is investing $12.4 million to build 60 new units of affordable housing in south Phoenix, as well as to expand the company’s no-cost preventive health screening program in the greater Phoenix area. As the company works to address social determinants of health in the Phoenix area, it will also expand its national workforce initiatives program in Phoenix to help break the cycle of poverty by providing meaningful employment services and training to the community. This work will include expanding the company’s registered apprenticeship program and experience program to provide community members and job seekers with the tools they need to succeed in meaningful careers.
  • Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation has provided “smile bags” for Drive-Thru Dental Days in Phoenix, Mesa, and Yuma. The bags contain basic dental care necessities, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. The events, created by the Arizona Dental Foundation and the Arizona Mission of Mercy, are intended to help underserved communities by distributing oral hygiene kits and providing car side oral hygiene instruction.
  • Delta Dental of California – The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation made a $500,000 grant to Meals on Wheels San Francisco to improve the oral health of the Bay Area’s most vulnerable seniors. Meals on Wheels already provides special diets for clients with challenges chewing or swallowing, making them a natural partner to work on issues related to vulnerable older adults and oral health. The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation aims to find ways to understand the oral care challenges older adults face and works with partners on solutions to address and remove those barriers.Proper nutrition is essential to oral and overall health, and there are specific relationships between oral health and food insecurity that make this partnership especially relevant. Food insecurity is linked to an increased risk of dental caries, which causes tooth decay.
    • The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation has made $1.5 million in grants to food banks that touch every county in California. According to Feeding America, California is projected to have the second-highest rate of food insecurity in the country in 2021 with more than 4.7 million households affected.
  • EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care offers nutrition classes, diabetes education, and more to help with a healthy diet and lifestyle. All classes are free to EmblemHealth members and non-members alike. This program is expanding into areas that are considered food deserts, where access to affordable, healthy food is limited. The Health Hub in East New York offers free wellness programs and social support services to the community, as well as primary and specialty care.EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care partners with local farmers markets at its locations to provide community members with fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables
  • EmblemHealth announced the opening of its newest EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care center, located at 41-61 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355. The Flushing Neighborhood Care center is free and open to the entire community, with staff who speak multiple languages and are trained in delivering culturally competent services and support. Anyone who needs insurance can also get help onsite from team members who can guide them through the process of signing up for affordable coverage.

The new site is part of EmblemHealth’s ongoing community investment strategy to address social determinants of health, the social and economic conditions that disproportionately affect health risks and outcomes in diverse and underserved communities. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care Flushing is co-located with Advantage Care Physicians (ACPNY)—part of EmblemHealth’s family of companies—where community members can also access medical and specialty services at the recently expanded ACPNY medical office. With the opening of Neighborhood Care Flushing center, residents now have access to a one-stop shop for health care and community resources, where they can find doctors, free wellness classes, Customer Care Navigators who can answer questions about health benefits, and more.

The new location is in the heart of Flushing, Queens to accommodate and meet community members where they are. With multiple Customer Care Navigators who live in Flushing, the location is fully equipped to provide culturally competent services and digital literacy support. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care’s professionals offer support in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Neighborhood Care’s locations in other boroughs offer support in additional languages, including Spanish. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care Flushing center is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm.

With 13 locations across New York City and Long Island, EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care is open to the entire community and provides in-person and virtual customer service, offers health and wellness resources like yoga and meditation, and helps people access additional community resources to address barriers to their health like food insecurity, transportation and more.

  • Fallon Health has announced that applications for its Community Impact Grant program are being accepted. Fallon will award $100,000 in grants in 2021 to help fund innovative community-based programs that support areas or populations that are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis or that provide services to seniors that overcome or mitigate social isolation. The application period will close at 5 p.m., April 30, 2021, with grants announced and awarded in September 2021.
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation announced the 2-year impact of its Healthy Food Fund grant program. Based on an independent evaluation, the amount of healthy, local produce distributed free to low-income families in the region in 2020 increased 123% over 2019, with more than 7.5 million pounds of fresh produce distributed in 2 years, as a result of Harvard Pilgrim Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund contributions. That is the equivalent of nearly 30 million servings of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables reaching households in Conn., Maine, Mass., and N.H. over the past 2 years. Other important results include:
    • With increased rates of food insecurity due to the pandemic, there was a 40% increase in purchases made with SNAP and Healthy Incentive Program subsidies
    • A 76% increase from 2019 to 2020 in fresh local food sold via mobile farmers’ markets
    • A 61% increase in the number of communities reached from 2019 to 2020, with 568 produce distribution sites across 244 New England communities, with most in the highest rate of increased food insecurity.
    • A total of 27,280 adults had 5 servings of fruit/vegetables every day from June 1 through October 31, 2020
    • An additional investment of more than $7 million to address COVID-19 response and relief efforts across the region, including an extra $350,000 to Healthy Food Fund local programs.

    The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation is awarding $120,000 through its “Healthy Youth, Healthy Community” racial equity grants program.  Six organizations supporting and working with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) youth in Connecticut, Mass., Maine, and New Hampshire will each receive $20,000.  These grants will help BIPOC youth improve the overall health and racial equity of their community.

  • Health Alliance Plan donated $100,000 to Henry’s Groceries for Health to provide food and promote nutrition.  Henry’s Groceries, a collaboration between Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) and Gleaners Community Food Bank, is designed to mitigate food insecurity and improve health outcomes for vulnerable patients.
  • Healthfirst members enrolled in the Life Improvement Plan (LIP) and CompleteCare (CC) plan can use their over-the-counter/Healthy Foods and Produce dollars to purchase items at farmers markets in the GrowNYC network. LIP and CC members can spend $145 and $155 per month, respectively, of their OTC/Healthy Foods and Produce allowance at any GrowNYC Greenmarket, Farmstand, and Fresh Food Box location.
  • Health Net has announced a $26 million investment to improve the collection and reporting of patient encounter data — furthering its commitment and partnership with the state to reduce disparities and improve quality of care for vulnerable populations in California. With more than 13 million, or nearly one in three Californians, currently enrolled in Medi-Cal, this initiative is a key to understanding how underserved communities are navigating and accessing care statewide. Health Net has committed a total of $50 million to fund a multi-year, multi-phased Encounter Data Improvement Program. Envisioned and developed in collaboration with the Department of Managed Health Care, the program is designed to identify and overcome barriers to the timely submission of complete and accurate patient health data across business lines — with an initial focus on the state’s Medi-Cal providers.
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has announced an $18 million investment to launch the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health. The newly formed Fund is an extension of the health plan’s Foundation, supporting its mission to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in West Virginia. The Highmark WV Charitable Fund will award major grants to organizations and initiatives throughout the region that target and improve health outcomes in priority health areas, including community health; family health; access to care; service delivery systems; chronic disease and oral health. To support its overall strategy to address the social determinants of health, the Highmark WV Charitable Fund is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFPs) to organizations focused on health and social services or oral and dental health. The deadline for organizations to apply for funding is June 30, 2021, with funding decisions announced in Summer 2021.
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware has announced  its second quarter BluePrints for the Community grant awardees, which will collectively receive more than $959,000 in funding. BluePrints for the Community has already committed more than $2.2 million in 2021 through its standard and small grants programs. Grant recipients include:
    • Community Education Building, which was awarded a grant to support its Equitable Health Expansion program to provide health services, including an onsite behavioral health counselor.
    • Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing which was awarded a grant to support its Housing and Health for the Homeless program to improve health and help individuals find stable housing.
    • Friendship House, which was awarded a grant for Project Hope at the New Castle County Hope Center, which provides wraparound services to those seeking support at the Hope Center.
    • Philadelphia Arms Townhomes, which was awarded a grant to support programming for their mental health and substance use disorder residential center in Sussex County.
    • Year Up Wilmington, which was awarded a grant to continue providing its students health and wellness services as they seek gainful employment placement.
    • Exceptional Care for Children, which was awarded a grant for its future young adult center to provide specialized care for youth aging out of pediatric care.
    • University of Delaware, which was awarded a grant to launch a diversity in nursing scholarship program empowering underrepresented students to pursue nursing careers.
    • Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, which was awarded a grant to support its Healthy Homes program that provides home repairs for low-income homeowners.
    • YWCA Delaware, which was awarded a grant to hire a care coordinator as part of their care team pilot program to better address client needs and make referrals.
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware has contributed $1 million to help build Villa Maria, The Ministry of Caring’s newest senior housing project in Wilmington’s historic Brandywine Village neighborhood. Once completed, Villa Maria will provide 72 affordable one-bedroom apartments for qualifying low- and moderate-income seniors over the age of 62.Highmark Delaware has made this leadership gift to Villa Maria as part of a bold strategy to invest in community initiatives that reduce health inequities while dramatically improving the health of residents in the markets it serves.Knowing that health is impacted by a broad range of social determinants, including housing, Highmark Delaware has made a commitment to driving major positive change through these kinds of community investments.
    • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia announced today that as part of its 7th annual Ks for Kids program, the company will donate $5 to The Step by Step after-school program for every strikeout thrown by a West Virginia Power pitcher at Appalachian Power Park this season.The Step by Step after-school program offers children a safe environment where they can have fun, receive homework help, participate in activities such as art, music, games, physical activity and STEM experiments. Step by Step operates 13 sites in Logan, Lincoln and Kanawha Counties and offers children programs are not only interesting, but also provide constructive activities that channel youthful energy. This is the seventh year that Highmark West Virginia has partnered with the West Virginia Power as part of the Ks for Kids program. Since 2014, over $16,000 has been awarded through Ks for Kids to deserving local organizations.
  • HumanaHumana Healthy Horizons has announced a new partnership with No Kid Hungry, a national campaign dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America. Providing a $1.75 million investment, Humana Healthy Horizons will work with No Kid Hungry to sustain healthier communities through grants to schools and community organizations, along with food education and resources needed to address childhood hunger.Through this new “Family is More” initiative, Humana Healthy Horizons and No Kid Hungry will work with school districts to provide meals to kids and equip multi-generational families with food and nutrition education to support healthy eating and wellbeing.Humana – The Humana Foundation is investing $5.4 million in 8 communities across the southeastern United States to address social determinants of health on a local level, helping more people achieve health equity as part of its ongoing Strategic Community Investment Program.Through partnerships with local organizations and community members, The Humana Foundation’s Strategic Community Investment Program creates measurable results in some of the most common social determinants of health, including post-secondary attainment and sustaining employment, social connectedness, financial asset security, and food security.Humana Healthy Horizons announced a new partnership with No Kid Hungry, a national campaign dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America. Providing a $1.75 million investment, Humana Healthy Horizons will work with No Kid Hungry to sustain healthier communities through grants to schools and community organizations, along with food education and resources needed to address childhood hunger.Through this new “Family is More” initiative, Humana Healthy Horizons, and No Kid Hungry will work with school districts to provide meals to kids and equip multi-generational families with food and nutrition education to support healthy eating and wellbeing.
    • Humana Healthy Horizons, the Medicaid business of Humana, is partnering with GoNoodle®, an interactive mindfulness, and physical activity platform, to help more than two million K-6th grade kids, their parents, and teachers. The partnership will impact families across seven states along with thousands of participating schools and teachers. Those states include Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia. Humana and GoNoodle will engage users with custom, downloadable activities that align with Humana’s goal of improving the health of the communities it serves. The whole person health and wellness has always been a focus of both Humana and GoNoodle – and the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought it to the forefront for more educators and parents. As the world has been focused on critical physical health needs, educators and parents have also been struggling to keep the kids in their lives moving and active during heavily sedentary, online learning.
    • Humana has committed $1.5 million in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to address social determinants that can substantially impact the health of the nation’s youth, including food insecurity and access to healthy lifestyle information. Humana’s investment will also promote equity and inclusiveness to empower youth to reach their full potential. Humana will provide nationwide support to activate Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Healthy Habits curriculum across their 4,700 Club footprint and will co-sponsor 10 community gardens to be designed, built, and maintained by Club members with support from the local community as well as Humana’s members and employees.
    • The Humana Foundation is awarding $1.7 million to nonprofit organizations in Louisville as part of its ongoing Community Partners Program. The initiative began in 2018 and has since awarded more than $8 million to local nonprofits addressing social determinants of health and creating greater health equity in Humana’s corporate hometown. Initiatives funded by the 2021 Community Partners Program advance health equity by addressing social determinants of health in Louisville, focused on food security, shelter, education and lifelong learning, natural and built environment, family and community connections, access to care, cultural vitality and arts.
  • Independence Blue Cross is now offering members access to a program to help them reduce student loans and improve their financial well-being. Philadelphia-based GradFin is now available at no cost to Independence consumer plan members and commercial group customers. Independence is among the first health insurers to team up with GradFin and the first Blue plan to implement the program. The Independence GradFin program is unique in that its services are available to Independence members and those in their household, even if the household members are not enrolled in the insurer’s medical benefits. Similarly, for commercial group customers, GradFin is a value-added service, so even if an employee does not elect to receive their medical benefits through Independence, they and their family still have access to GradFin services.
  • Independent Health is teaming up with the Buffalo Bills for the Health & Wellness Challenge. The latest round of the community-wide initiative will be held from May 24 through July 4.The Health & Wellness Challenge was created as a way to help motivate Western New Yorkers to make simple, healthy choices by offering them opportunities to win prizes. The number of points earned throughout the 6-week Health & Wellness Challenge will determine the number of chances they have in the random prize drawings.Participants can earn points by achieving three main daily goals:
    1. Complete at least 20 minutes of physical activity
    2. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables
    3. Drink eight glasses of water

    By meeting daily goals and completing fun and healthy activities, participants in this spring/summer’s Health & Wellness Challenge will earn points and be eligible to win a variety of daily prizes, as well as the grand prize package which includes:

    • Pair of tickets and a parking pass to a TBD Bills home game
    • Bills autographed helmet
    • Bills Prize Pack (approximate value $150)
    • $500 Visa Gift Card
  • Free yoga, Pilates, Zumba®, kickboxing and other fitness classes presented by Independent Health and the YMCA have returned to 18 outdoor locations throughout Western New York and online through the Fitness in the Parks program. In all, more than 500 classes will be offered during this season’s Fitness in the Parks program, the largest and longest running outdoor fitness program in the region. Numerous classes will be offered every week at multiple locations throughout Western New York, including longtime favorites Wilkeson Pointe at Outer Harbor Buffalo, Delaware Park in the City of Buffalo and Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park! No registration is required.
  • Inland Empire Health Plan continues to partner with community organizations in Riverside and San Bernardino counties to fight for racial equality in the Inland Empire. To help strengthen Black-led and Black-empowering organizations, IEHP has also partnered with Inland Empire Community Foundation, the Black Equity Initiative, and the Inland Empire Funders Alliance providing a $50,000 sponsorship to the Inland Empire Black Equity Fund. The health plan is taking steps beyond financial support and sponsorship, working with local health and community organizations to host webinars on issues specifically affecting Black and Hispanic communities. In addition, IEHP is committed to supporting equity in all public policies by staying involved and compliant with the state’s upcoming California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal Initiative, known as CalAIM.The most recent activity includes a $2,000 sponsorship to the Center Against Racism and Trauma’s (CART) first I.E. Antiracist Summit. Held on March 17, this virtual event teaches IE residents about the Anti-racism Movement and how to actively fight against racism. Registration for this event can be found at
    • For the last five years, The Shower of Hope has provided unhoused residents in Southern California a sense of dignity through the health and cleanliness benefits of a shower. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization has partnered with Inland Empire Health Plan  and Path of Life Ministries to provide weekly showers for more than 200 I.E. residents. In addition to mobile showers, The Shower of Hope works closely with local community partners to provide access to meals, clothing, hygiene items and case management resources to help residents get back on their feet.
    • Inland Empire Health Plan is welcoming members and community residents back into their three Community Resource Centers on July 19 for walk-ins and appointments for benefit support, health resources and more. IEHP’s resource centers, located in Riverside, San Bernardino and Victorville, are scheduled to fully re-open to the public in September and plan to reinstate their complete schedule of fitness and wellness classes, along with some fun, new surprises.
  • L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan reopened their jointly-operated Community Resource Centers on May 3, 2021 after they were temporarily closed in early January due to a surge in COVID-19. For the safety of resource center visitors and staff, they will offer limited services by appointment only.Limited services at this time will include:
    • Member services support
    • Health care coverage enrollment assistance
    • Connection to social service assistance programs
    • Free Wi-Fi for telehealth services
    • Food pantry distributions

    L.A. Care Health Plan Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services Housing for Health Division, in partnership with L.A. Care Health Plan, has received a $19,958,664 ­­­­­grant from the state of California as part of the state’s Housing for a Healthy California Program. Through this grant, Housing for Health will be able to offer rental subsidies for five years to more than 250 L.A. Care Medi-Cal members experiencing homelessness in L.A. County. The grant was secured due to L.A. Care’s board-approved commitment of $7 million over the same period to Housing for Health, allowing that organization to provide intensive case management for each of the program members.Housing for a Healthy CA is an opportunity to expand Housing for Health’s current partnership with L.A. Care to address homelessness and expand housing resources in Los Angeles County. Individuals experiencing homelessness often require intensive case management, an approach that helps individuals maintain their housing and achieve optimum quality of life by addressing health and mental health needs while building social and community relations.

    This collaboration will allow eligible L.A. Care members to receive necessary health care and supportive services in the appropriate setting, which can reduce unnecessary emergency department visits, inpatient hospital stays, and nursing home care.

  • In preparation for the return to in-person classes this fall, the jointly-operated L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Community Resource Centers are hosting a series of back-to-school events where they will provide 25,000 FREE backpacks filled with school supplies to children ages four and older. The drive-thru and walk-up events are taking place throughout Los Angeles County from July 16 to August 14, and they are open to everyone. Both health plans, which serve primarily low-income populations in L.A. County, recognize that while the economy is rebounding, many families are still recovering from the financial hardships due the COVID-19 pandemic – and that gearing up for a new school year may put a strain on their finances.
  • L.A. Care Health Plan Through their jointly operated Community Resource Centers, L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan are rolling out a series of the drive-thru and walk-up food pantry events across Los Angeles County in response to the growing food insecurity burdening nearly every community. The food distribution events, which will start February 20, 2021, and run throughout the year, are free and open to everyone. All safety guidelines recommended by public health officials will be followed. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank <reports an estimated 1 in 4 people in Los Angeles County lives with food insecurity – the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the hunger problem that already existed. Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 people struggled with access to food.
  • Food insecurity has been severely exacerbated by the economic toll and isolation brought by COVID-19, and it places many at risk of poor health outcomes. To help ensure its members are receiving the proper nutrition, L.A. Care Health Plan has awarded Project Angel Food $150,000 to provide home-delivered, medically-tailored meals to more than 80 homebound members through the end of the year. These members are battling illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, uncontrolled diabetes, pulmonary disease, and cancer. The members have been selected in partnership with L.A. Care’s Social Services Department. Most are older than 60, have limited mobility, and are unable to prepare meals for themselves. Over the next six months, Project Angel Food will provide at least 15,000 meals to these vulnerable individuals.
  • Kaiser Permanente will donate grants totaling $500,000 to 4 nonprofit, community-based organizations in Washington to address systemic racism the state. The grants will focus on civic engagement and policy, health care, education, and business and cultural development. Together these grants aim to dismantle discriminatory policies, systems, and practices and will touch nearly 52,000 individuals across the state. Kaiser Permanente has donated $25 million to support Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing nonprofit. The funding will support up to 1,000 new permanent housing units for formerly homeless Californians.
  • MolinaThe MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Utah, donated $1,000 to Utah Partners for Health in support of the organization’s literacy program.Through the MolinaCares grant, community health workers, health educators, and outreach and enrollment workers will distribute books on nutrition and healthy eating to families that receive services from Utah Partners for Health. Books will be provided with vision screenings through the Mobile Vision Clinic at Title I schools and shelters around the Salt Lake Valley.
    • Molina – The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of New Mexico, donated $20,000 to the Community Pantry in support of the Whole Hearted Food Fund, which provides provisions and programs for those in need in McKinley and Cibola counties.The Wholehearted Food Fund supplies local meat protein sources to the pantry, while assisting local ranchers with a viable channel of distribution for their livestock.
    • Molina Healthcare of Texas contributed $20,000 to the North Texas Food Bank to help replenish necessary food supplies for area residents experiencing high levels of unemployment or reduced income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
    • The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Passport Health Plan by Molina Healthcare, donated $10,000 in support of the Neighborhood House Youth Development Program for students in west Louisville. The Youth Development Program provides year-round academic support, character development and life skills training, cultural and recreational activities, and college and career readiness support for children and teens in grades one through 12. The donation will help ensure that Jefferson County Public School students can continue benefiting from the academic and social-emotional support provided by the Neighborhood House Youth Development Program this summer. The program currently serves students between the ages of 5 and 17 who attend 20 different JCPS schools.
    • The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”), in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of California (“Molina”), recognized four Inland Empire residents for their dedication to addressing social determinants of health through the MolinaCares Champions program. Each honoree received a $5,000 grant to pay forward to the nonprofit organization of their choice.This year’s Inland Empire MolinaCares Champions are:Dr. Mona Salomo-Davies of Murrieta: Dr. Mona Salomo-Davies founded the Community Outreach Ministry to support at-risk children in Riverside County who are impacted by parental incarceration. With a goal of giving disadvantaged youth a second chance to thrive and succeed, she helps break the cycle of crime, incarceration, illiteracy, and poverty. Dr. Davies provides education through STEM mentorships and safe, healthy outlets through activities such as camping trips and holiday gatherings. Many children who have participated in these programs have become first-generation high school and college graduates. Her grant will be donated to Community Outreach Ministry. John Epps of Highland: In his role as a Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC) board member, John Epps advocates for fair treatment for all. He encourages his colleagues to use an equity-focused approach when interacting with clients and other employees. Epps is also a board member or founder of several groups, including Building Resilient Communities, We Are One United, Inc., Academy for Grassroots Organizations, and the Community Advisory Board for the Center of Health Disparities at UC Riverside. Through his expansive efforts, he is spearheading the charge to uplift communities by working to bring more diversity and inclusion to leadership in nonprofits and boards throughout the Inland Empire. Epps has selected Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC) as the recipient of his grant. Dr. Tom Dolan of San Bernardino: As executive director of Inland Congregations United for Change for the last 16 years, Dr. Tom Dolan leads a faith-based nonprofit devoted to creating equity advocates and teaching people from marginalized groups how to be agents of change. He has connected farm workers with food banks, health services, and masks and has helped San Bernardino students register voters and address violence in their communities. Dr. Dolan has worked with parents and students to tackle low graduation rates and advocate for mental health centers in schools. He has a long history of commitment to helping unhoused people and formerly incarcerated individuals. Dr. Dolan’s grant will be donated to Inland Congregations United for Change.

      Julieta Barraza of Victorville: Through her role as a family support worker for El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center, Julieta Barraza provides home visitations to expecting parents and parents with young children in the High Desert area. She also volunteers as a host for a Christian radio station where she encourages families to improve their well-being. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Barraza organized events where local agencies and organizations provided information about services and resources. She also volunteers at food banks and distributes clothing and backpacks. Barraza dedicates her free time to be of service to her community, which she considers a form of demonstrating love. Her grant will be donated to El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center.

    • The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of California, partnered with El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) to host two Dr. Cleo’s Cooking Club events for youth ages 5-13 in Holtville and Brawley. At each event, MolinaCares and ECRMC engaged several dozen members of the local Boys & Girls Clubs in a class focused on health and nutrition. At each event, an educator from ECRMC taught about the importance of handwashing and nutrition before leading a hands-on demonstration on making nutritious snacks. All chefs received a Molina bag with health education materials and a frisbee and jump rope to encourage physical fitness.
    • The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Utah, donated $20,000 to The Other Side Academy in support of The Other Side Village, a housing development for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in Salt Lake City. Each 400-sqaure-foot home in the Village will include a bedroom, living room, bathroom, shower and kitchen with appliances. The affordable monthly rent includes utilities costs, as well as various community services and activities such as a regular farmers market to provide residents with free vegetables harvested from the Village’s many gardens. The Other Side Village plans to break ground by March 2022 and begin building the initial 30 homes in this master planned community. The community will eventually be comprised of up to 400 homes.
  • Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Thundermist Health Center, and Algorex Health have partnered on an innovative food program to address extreme food insecurity in Woonsocket. The “Neighborhood-Thundermist Food Access Program” is a six-month pilot aimed at 140 Neighborhood Medicaid members who live in Woonsocket and access health care through Thundermist’s Woonsocket location. The program’s primary objective is to test whether supplemental groceries delivered to the homes of members with significant food access challenges have a positive impact, particularly when combined with the engagement of a clinical team, on the health and quality of life of participants. Rolled out over the December holidays, the pilot program will culminate in mid-June and use both quantitative and qualitative measurements to determine the impact on participants’ health. Participants in the program receive weekly or bi-weekly, depending on household size, boxes of shelf-stable foods delivered to their homes to address gaps in food access. The boxes also include face masks and hand sanitizer to support pandemic safety measures. The design of the program was informed by social determinants of health data and is unique compared to other food intervention programs in Rhode Island because of its integration of clinical engagement with participants.
  • Priority HealthTotal Health Care USA and Priority Health have announced the first round of grant recipients named by the Total Health Care Foundation. Created as part of the merger agreement between Priority Health and Total Health Care, the Total Health Care Foundation’s first round of grants total more than $1.8 million and are going to Southeast Michigan organizations that are committed to improving the health and well-being of the individuals they serve. The creation of the Total Health Care Foundation demonstrates Priority Health’s commitment to finding solutions to the health disparities and social determinants of health facing Michigan residents such as food and housing shortages, economic stability, and health issues.
    • Priority Health is continuing its support of the Battle Creek Family YMCA/Battle Creek Diaper Initiative and St. Luke’s Diaper Bank in Kalamazoo. Through October 6, Priority Health will support local families in need of diapers, as 1 in 3 families in the U.S. struggle to provide enough diapers for their children, according to a study conducted by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) and Huggies.
      These extended partnerships are in addition to the nearly 230,000 diapers distributed last year in Southwest Michigan through the support of Priority Health. Priority Health has launched a new web presence that focuses on social determinants of health and health inequities. The new landing page, available to the general public, is meant to serve as a central hub for all content related to Priority Health’s efforts towards addressing SDOH.
      The landing page provides visitors with educational background information on SDOH, a recently published report from Priority Health highlighting their work and programs that address health inequities, and links to programs, news coverage, and articles related to the topic.
  • Priority Health has launched a first-of-its-kind “full lifecycle” social determinants of health (SDoH) initiative. Recent research has shown that SDoH, or social factors like access to healthy food, transportation options and financial security, may be responsible for up to 80% of health outcomes. Priority Health’s program will enable the insurer to proactively identify social risk among its members, initiate culturally resonant engagement, connect people with critical resources to address their needs, and repeatably measure the impact to refine future programs. Priority Health has partnered with industry leaders Socially Determined, ConsejoSano and Aunt Bertha to create this data-driven, full lifecycle approach for addressing SDoH and improving health outcomes.Understanding social risk is the first step to launching this comprehensive approach. This enables Priority Health to pinpoint where the biggest needs are so it can direct resources towards the most impactful programs across its membership. This fundamental step also helps in identifying individuals in need of targeted intervention, regardless of whether they have had a recent touchpoint with Priority Health, a health care provider, or other social service. To gain this visibility, Priority Health has partnered with Socially Determined, a market-leading technology company that provides social risk intelligence to organizations seeking to understand the impact social risk has on their populations and communities. This information enables organizations like Priority Health to create more impactful, sustainable and measurable programs that drive better health outcomes and business performance.As a next step in the program, Priority Health’s partnership with ConsejoSano will help transform the insights from Socially Determined into actionable outreach to members. ConsejoSano is an engagement solution that provides culturally and linguistically aligned outreach to traditionally underserved communities. Their team will work directly with new Priority Health members to perform SDoH screenings and make direct referrals to Priority Health’s internal care management team. This will create a more seamless member experience and will allow for care managers to immediately begin addressing needs.In addition to personalized member referrals and care intervention from care managers and community health workers, Priority Health will also work with and encourage members to utilize Priority Health Connect.  This online platform, powered by Aunt Bertha, is designed to connect individuals in the community with free and reduced-cost programs and critical social services. This allows members to instantly search for the resources that they need within their zip code, including services like housing support, legal assistance, access to healthy foods, and childcare.A final, yet key component to Priority Health’s novel SDoH program is its ability to objectively measure outcomes. This allows Priority Health to understand the impact of its social programs to refine and improve future initiatives. Many organizations focused on SDoH struggle to understand the impact of their programs or implement manual and inconsistent practices to measure them. Priority Health’s partnership with Socially Determined will allow the insurer to measure impact in a standardized and repeatable way to iterate and apply new insights back into the lifecycle. This will help drive decisions around future community investments and social services collaboration.

    Learn more about Priority Health’s efforts to address SDoH.

  • SCAN Health Plan  is launching a unique Togetherness Program aimed at reducing loneliness. Unlike other programs, SCAN’s will rely on senior-to-senior interactions to reduce isolation among SCAN’s membership.Among the programs that SCAN will offer its members are:
    • Virtual and in-person classes and activities based around shared interests;
    • “Friendly Phoner,” a program through which Peer Advocates and SCAN employee volunteers will regularly reach out to members by telephone; and
    • “Tech Buddy,” support for people who want to use tablets and other digital devices to connect with other people.
  • Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health have partnered with Unite Us, a technology company building coordinated care networks nationwide. This collaboration strengthens a shared commitment to create healthier communities and improve the quality of life for Virginians most in need. The Unite Us Platform creates a single space where Sentara and Optima Health can connect patients and members to local health, human, and community-based organizations to address their social determinants of health and broader health needs to better improve health outcomes. Research has shown that social determinants of health – the conditions in which people live, work and learn – have a significant and lasting impact on health outcomes that cannot be addressed by access to health care alone. Through Sentara’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, Sentara Cares, Sentara partners with community organizations to address social determinants of health that are more closely aligned with Sentara’s integrated care model. Importantly, Sentara Cares seeks to foster equitable health in our community and address health disparities magnified by the impact of COVID-19 on underserved populations.
  • Trillium Community Health Plan has partnered with the Rockwood Community Development Corporation to deliver culturally specific meals to vulnerable families.Rockwood CDC uses food, nutritional education, business incubation, and agricultural development as tools to help residents gain better health outcomes, greater equity, and more prosperity. To achieve these goals, Rockwood CDC supports food entrepreneurs, encourages black-owned farms and other food businesses, engages African-American grandmas to teach nutrition to families, and more.Through the partnership with Rockwood CDC, Trillium will help support local BIPOC-led organizations as they provide 400 culturally appropriate food boxes each week for individuals and families in the Rockwood community.
  • Tufts Health Plan Foundation donated $900,000 in funding to 64 community organizations to help support efforts to address basic needs like food access, housing assistance, and other fundamental supports to help stay safe and healthy.
  • UCare and GEDWorks are partnering to provide UCare members a second chance to earn their GED® (General Educational Development) credentials. The partnership addresses education as a significant social factor driving health and health outcomes.Since 2019, UCare and GEDWorks have piloted a trailblazing program in select Minnesota counties to waive the costs of GED preparation and testing for a limited number of UCare members enrolled in Families & Children Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs. To date, 28 members from diverse backgrounds have graduated and earned their GED credentials. Read one member’s success story here.Now UCare and GEDWorks are expanding the program statewide – and throughout the metropolitan area – and adding an additional 1,000 opportunities for members. The program is also expanding to members of UCare’s Special Needs Plans for adults with disabilities.UCare is funding more than 20,000 meals for Minnesotans through a $132,000 donation to Second Harvest Heartland. UCare is also supporting winter markets that are large-scale distributions of produce, emergency food boxes, protein, and dairy. The markets are held weekly throughout the Twin Cities metro area and in Greater Minnesota.
  • UPMC Health Plan and UPMC recently launched “Freedom House 2.0”— a project designed to recruit, train and employ first responders from economically disadvantaged communities, many of which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.Run through the UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care, the program will provide training and support in two, 10-week cohorts to individuals facing health and economic disparities. The training will focus on traditional emergency medical services (EMS) and on equipping first responders to help address critical, non-emergency psychosocial needs— such as poorly managed chronic medical and behavioral health conditions and a lack of access to resources to address them— that comprise a significant portion of 911 calls.