June 10, 2022
By Janette Wider
On June 8, the United Health Foundation—the philanthropic division of UnitedHealth Group—announced that the organization is making a $100 million commitment over a period of 10 years to advance health equity. The announcement was made at the Social Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C., by Patricia L. Lewis, chief sustainability officer, UnitedHealth Group.
A press release on the announcement states that “This new commitment, the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation, will focus specifically on helping build a racially and ethnically diverse health workforce. Through philanthropic programs and partnerships, the funding will provide scholarships and support to 10,000 underrepresented future clinicians and upskilling health professionals to help in obtaining academic degrees or other professional credentials for clinical careers in medicine, nursing, midwifery, mental health and other specialties.”
Further, “UnitedHealth Group has a long-standing commitment to advancing a more diverse health workforce. Some of the initiatives UnitedHealth Group and its partners have launched include:
- Training underrepresented students in health care technology fields. Black, Hispanic and Native American people account for only 7.1 percent of the employed biological/biomedical and life sciences workforce, according to the National Science Foundation. UnitedHealth Group has invested $10 million to support data science training at historically Black colleges and universities since 2017.
- Developing the next generation health care workforce. Since 2007, the United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative has partnered with nine organizations to provide over 3,000 scholarships to diverse students across the U.S. The initiative has helped to increase the number of primary care providers ready to deliver personalized, culturally competent care, particularly in underserved communities.”
Lewis was quoted in the release saying that “Today, there are far too many barriers to good health that are disproportionately experienced by people of color, historically marginalized groups, and those with lower incomes. We are committed to leading the way, along with our partner organizations, in deploying tools, talent and resources to actively break down barriers, broaden access to care and make it easier for people to live healthier.”
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