UnitedHealth Group Donates $30 Million to Increase Health Care Access for Underserved Communities Across Colorado
Contribution includes $5 million toward mental health support and services for youth in collaboration with the Colorado attorney general’s office
April 20, 2021 (GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.) — Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a UnitedHealth Group company, is donating $30 million to increase access to health care and support communities on the Western Slope and across Colorado. The donation includes a $25 million contribution to the Rocky Mountain Health Foundation to fund STEM education among young women and people of color as well as other programs across the Western Slope. An additional $5 million is being used to establish the “Healthy Youth/Strong Colorado Fund” in partnership with the Colorado attorney general’s office. The fund will support nonprofit organizations that provide mental health support and services, and opportunities for youth.
“Addressing youth mental health was a top priority of the attorney general’s office before the pandemic — and is even more urgent after its impact. This $30 million investment in education and mental health for young Coloradans has the power to change the lives of thousands,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, whose office helped facilitate contributions to several nonprofits in Colorado. “I am pleased to partner with Rocky Mountain Health Plans to support youth mental health, increase healthy outcomes, and decrease the use of the criminal justice system to address behavioral health challenges — now and in the future.”
The focus of the investments will meet identified needs across the state. America’s Health Rankings, which offers a state-by-state comparison of public health measures, underscores the opportunities for Colorado to improve teen mental health, including addressing teen suicide, as well as high school graduation rates.
“This donation reflects Rocky Mountain Health Plans’ long-standing commitment in Colorado. We are honored to work with Colorado’s leaders to address the urgent challenges we face, such as the need for better access to behavioral health care. We are committed to creating opportunities for all Coloradans to achieve their full potential,” said Patrick Gordon, CEO of Rocky Mountain Health Plans. “This investment will significantly strengthen the resources and impact of the Rocky Mountain Health Foundation, whose mission we share.”
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation will disburse the $25 million to community partners addressing critical needs and supporting the health of the underserved. An additional focus will be on investing in STEM education for women and people of color in an effort to grow and diversify the future health care workforce. The donation will ensure the foundation has the resources to support organizations that advance its mission for years to come. Aligned with UnitedHealth Group’s long-term commitment to advancing health equity, the Rocky Mountain Health Foundation awards grants to programs and services that improve conditions for marginalized, socially, or economically disadvantaged people.
“This remarkable donation paves the way to do more good things on the Western Slope,” said Pat Riddell, chair of the Rocky Mountain Health Foundation. “We are very grateful and look forward to partnering with Rocky Mountain Health Plans and UnitedHealthcare to connect people with the programs and services they need to live healthier and happier lives.”
Initial grant partnerships formalized and funded with the $5 million Healthy Youth/Strong Colorado Fund include:
- $1,800,000 to three Corps of the Colorado Youth Corps Association: Mile High Youth Corps, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, and Western Colorado Conservation Corps, to provide a new criminal justice diversion program promoting employment, education, mental health support and service opportunities for youth.
- $1,500,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs in Colorado to expand programming and serve more youth across the state.
- $500,000 to Sources of Strength to expand access to youth suicide prevention programs in schools.
- $400,000 to The Center on Colfax to support career counseling and empowerment for LGBTQ young adults, as well as mental health services.
- $400,000 to The Place to increase stability and support for youth experiencing homelessness in El Paso County.