Monique Knight, Director of Marketing & Community Outreach, UnitedHealthcare
With COVID-19 vaccination efforts underway in San Diego, the pandemic has also shed light on health disparities and the urgent need to reach the members of our community that face barriers and challenges (such as language and cultural barriers) in accessing and using resources. Federally Qualified Health Centers, commonly known as community health centers, provide access to care, regardless of ability to pay, and often serve as the only resource for health care services in communities where barriers are higher.
Federally Qualified Health Centers serve one in 12 people in the United States and are instrumental in creating healthier communities. Unfortunately, these centers are often under-resourced and need help to provide services, including for COVID-19 prevention and vaccinations.
"In many cases, Federally Qualified Health Centers rely on outside investments and funding to remain in operation, and there are immediate and long-term societal impacts without their vital services to the community," said Kevin Kandalaft, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California. "We are proud to contribute to the work of our San Diego Federally Qualified Health Centers designated as official vaccine distribution centers."
Working to address vaccination readiness, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California donated $75,000 to community health centers designated as official vaccine distribution centers in San Diego. San Ysidro Health, Family Health Centers of San Diego and La Maestra Health Centers will each receive $25,000 to help expand their efforts to vaccinate at-risk populations.
Each community health center will use the grants to support vaccine acceleration efforts, including:
San Ysidro Health - will utilize funds to cover expenses associated with its COVID-19 vaccination program, including allocation toward staffing evening and Saturday vaccination clinics.
Family Health Centers of San Diego - will support its continued end-to-end COVID-19 vaccination efforts for its underserved patient populations.
La Maestra Community Health Centers - will increase vaccination efforts and organizational capacity to deliver vaccines quickly and effectively. Funding will support staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, additional freezers or storage capabilities, and minor space renovations to ensure more vaccines are distributed.
UnitedHealthcare is united in the fight against COVID-19. Additional COVID-19 resources can be found in the UnitedHealthcare COVID-19 resource center, including information about testing sites and frequently asked questions.