UnitedHealth Group invests $10 million to advance economic equity in Appalachia
The resources will be used for housing and community revitalization programs.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
The first round of UnitedHealth Group's Invest Appalachia (IA) Fund, created to address social needs and accelerate funding in community development in Appalachian counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, celebrated a $10 million gift.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Appalachian Regional Commission are also part of an overall initial $19 million regional investment initiative.
Andrew Crosson, chief executive officer of Invest Appalachia, noted:
The fund is a deeply collaborative investment model, rooted in place and designed to meet the needs of Appalachia’s underserved communities while providing a large-scale opportunity for national impact investors.
Get to know: Invest Appalachia
The fund is specifically targeted at programs that promote community revitalization, including affordable housing initiatives, clean energy proposals, food, and agriculture.
UnitedHealth Group's investment will focus on real estate development of full-service properties, while addressing various health and social needs, expanding access to healthcare in rural communities, and combating food insecurity in Appalachian communities.
“Advancing health equity and addressing social needs like housing and access to health care in rural and underserved areas is an integral part of making the health care system better for everyone. We are fortunate to work with partners like Invest Appalachia, which really understands the rich culture of Appalachia and is creating new ways to address community needs to improve quality of life and health,” said Andy McMahon, vice president of Community Engagement and Investment at UnitedHealthcare Community & State, a UnitedHealth Group business.
This grant helps support aspiring mental health professionals at @UCSDMedSchool. Learn more: https://t.co/gEITrs2Xq0 pic.twitter.com/i8EXIdpYj7— UnitedHealth Group (@UnitedHealthGrp) January 25, 2023
According to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the population of Appalachia faces constant inequality, which is reflected in the poverty rate, which is more than 1.5 times the national average.
In addition, reports of substance use disorders are also hitting the Appalachian states hard, creating challenges related to reliable transportation, housing, access to care, education, and employment.
“While our investment dollars are important, I believe that IA’s values-based focus on inclusive economic development and ecosystem capacity is what will help create a more equitable and resilient future for the region,” added Crosson.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the ARC are also lead investors in the fund, with additional commitments from the Cassiopeia Foundation, the Laughing Gull Foundation and Sugarbush Valley Impact Investments. The investment manager for the IA Fund is LOCUS Impact Investing.
“Invest Appalachia is pioneering regionally controlled creative capital solutions in Appalachia that support inclusive economic growth for the region and offer new opportunities for national investors. We see the Invest Appalachia Fund as an innovative model for foundations and other impact investors who want to get capital to the people and places that need it most,” said Zoila Jennings, impact investment leader with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
LEAVE A COMMENT:
Join the discussion! Leave a comment.