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Local nonprofit receives $40K grant from UnitedHealthcare

Submitted by Bailey Wimmer
Lovell Communications Inc.

Today UnitedHealthcare announced $595,000 in Empowering Health grants to six Tennessee nonprofits. Grantees included Appalachian Miles for Smiles in East Tennessee and South- west Virginia, which received $40,000.The funding will be used to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities. The awards are part of a total of $12.3 million in Empowering Health grants to community-based organizations in 21 states.

The grants will assist individuals and families experiencing challenges from social distancing, food insecurity, social isolation, and behavioral health issues, which are among the most urgent needs resulting from the pandemic. In part, grant recipients in Tennessee include Second Harvest Food Ban Appalachian Miles for Smiles, East Tennessee, and Southwest Virginia that has become a staple service in Johnson County has received $40,000 to provide comprehensive vision care services and eye- glasses through a mobile eye unit to patients who are uninsured or have low incomes.

“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Tennessee’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Keith Payet, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee. The Empowering Health grants bring to more than $100 million UnitedHealth Group’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and assist impacted communities by supporting vulnerable populations, protecting the health care workforce, and advancing breakthrough innovations in testing and treatment.

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