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For Immediate Release: FriendshipWorks Awarded $100,000 Empowering Health Grant From UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare Donates $1.4 Million To Nine Nonprofit Organizations in Massachusetts – Includes FriendshipWorks

BOSTON (July 25, 2023) — UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $1.4 million in Empowering Health grants to nine community-based organizations in Massachusetts to expand access to care and address social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities. 

In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating more than $11.1 million in grants through its Empowering Health program across 12 states. The grants will assist people experiencing challenges such as food access and nutrition, social isolation, and behavioral health issues, and support local health education efforts. 

Grant recipients in Massachusetts include: 

Community Servings, statewide – $300,000 to research, design, pilot and test a Step-Down Program that will support clients as they transition off medically tailored meals. 

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Boston – $230,000 to expand a sober home pilot initiative with targeted social services to help patients experiencing homelessness successfully transition onto their next steps. 

Fathers’ UpLift, statewide – $230,000 to fund retention and performance incentives for therapists, and to hire a new clinician and a new Male Engagement Institute manager to help an increasing number of fathers overcome behavioral health and addiction-based barriers that prevent them from remaining engaged in their children’s lives. 

Mass General Brigham, Greater Boston – $155,000 to implement a Women, Infants and Children (WIC) pilot program coordinating referrals and linking patients and community members to local WIC resources, and to provide produce prescription cards to patients with food insecurity. 

Found in Translation, Greater Boston – $150,000 to support the Language Access Fellowship, a program that propels low-income-earning bilingual women into the medical interpreting profession by providing training, wraparound support and ongoing career advancement services. 

American Heart Association Greater Boston – $100,000 to continue and expand the Have Faith in Heart health education and awareness initiative in partnership with churches, community-based organizations and federally qualified health centers, focusing on neighborhoods with the highest rates of hypertension. 

FriendshipWorks, Boston, Brookline, Newton, Somerville and Cambridge – $100,000 to support the “Friendly Visitors” matching and one-to-one home visiting program for older adults. 

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Boston – $90,000 to grow the CitySites program by reaching new public affordable senior housing sites, senior centers, and local college and university volunteers, with a focus on cultural and linguistic matches. 

La Colaborativa, Chelsea – $70,000 to purchase refrigeration and food pantry equipment for the new Chelsea Survival Center serving the Latinx community. 

“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in Massachusetts,” said John Madondo, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Massachusetts. “Social and economic factors continue to have a significant impact on achieving and maintaining good health. These grants enable us to work closely with our community partners and to be there for what matters in addressing social determinants of health for their residents.” 

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately 80% of what influences a person’s health relates to nonmedical issues, such as food, housing, transportation and the financial means to pay for basic daily needs. 

Identifying and addressing social determinants of health needs is a core aspect of how UnitedHealthcare serves its members. Last year, UnitedHealthcare screened 4.9 million members, made 2.4 million referrals to community resources, and ultimately closed the loop and confirmed that 84% of members had at least one of their social needs met. 

Since launching its Empowering Health commitment in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has now invested more than $62 million in Empowering Health grants, reaching nearly 11 million people through partnerships with community-based organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia. 

UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare and Optum, and its affiliated companies, is dedicated to advancing health equity and building healthier communities by supporting programs to improve access to care and address key determinants of health. In Massachusetts, this includes more than $3.7 million in contributions over the last three years representing its businesses, foundations and employees. 

Additionally, UnitedHealth Group has invested more than $800 million in affordable housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services, and in 2019 joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans. In June 2022, the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group, made a $100 million commitment over 10 years to advance health equity, furthering its efforts to eliminate health disparities. This was the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation. 

About UnitedHealthcare 

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 

1.6 million physicians and care professionals, and 8,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @UHC on Twitter. 

CONTACT: Tony Marusic, UnitedHealthcare, 312-348-3825, 

About FriendshipWorks

Founded in 1984, the mission of FriendshipWorks is to reduce social isolation, enhance the quality of life, and preserve the dignity of older adults in Greater Boston. FriendshipWorks accomplishes this by recruiting and training volunteers of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds who provide friendship, advocacy, education, assistance, and emotional support. In response to the growing needs of older adults, FriendshipWorks now runs five core programs: Friendly Visiting, Medical Escorts, Friendly Helpers, PetPals, and MusicWorks. All programs are offered at no cost to those over 60 years of age (or over 55 for those with vision or hearing impairments). The nonprofit “matches” and manages over 540 volunteers (ages 18-88) who speak over 20 different languages to deliver highly personalized, one-on-one programming with elders in every neighborhood of Boston, as well as Brookline, Newton, Somerville and Cambridge.