United Health Foundation Announces Two New Partnerships and Nearly $2.5 Million in Funding to Support Hartford Families

  • United Health Foundation joins with The Governor’s Prevention
    Partnership to reduce drug use among area teens
  • Partnership with The Village for Families & Children will
    provide comprehensive, coordinated behavioral and primary care to
    local families

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To address growing teen drug use and provide integrated health care for
local Connecticut families, United Health Foundation, Governor Dannel P.
Malloy, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership and The Village for
Families & Children announced two new grant partnerships in Hartford.

The $2.35 million in grants from United Health Foundation to The
Governor’s Prevention Partnership and to The Village for Families &
Children will help each partner increase local education, outreach and
engagement among Hartford teens and their families.

The grants will fund separate, three-year initiatives with each partner.
These partnerships are part of United Health Foundation’s city-based
approach to provide resources to programs that connect communities to
care, support whole-person health and build healthier communities.

Gov. Malloy, City of Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and other community
leaders joined executives from The Governor’s Prevention Partnership,
The Village, United Health Foundation and UnitedHealthcare at The
Village in Hartford for the announcement.

“Addiction is a disease, and together we can treat and prevent it. These
programs will help further strengthen community and family connections,
and help teens develop into active and engaged members of our
communities,” said Gov. Malloy. “I thank United Health Foundation for
this investment to help improve access to care and address teenage drug
use, and I applaud all the partners working to ensure our communities
and families no longer struggle with the grave costs of this illness.”

At the end of the three-year grants, The Partnership and The Village
will issue white papers with their respective results and provide
details on how these initiatives may be replicated.

“By working closely with these community organizations to address
critical health issues, particularly increasing drug use among
teenagers, we are helping build a healthier Hartford,” said Martha
Temple, senior vice president of Optum Behavioral Health.

Partnering to Address Rising Teenage Drug Use

According to the 2015 Connecticut Youth Risks Behavior survey, Hispanic
children have higher substance-abuse rates. In coordination with Family
Life Education (FLE), a Hartford-based nonprofit family outreach
organization, the partnership will:

  • create an awareness and outreach program for children, parents and the
    community focused on substance abuse among teenagers; and
  • introduce programs to identify and refer high-risk youth for support

“This multifaceted community education initiative will reinforce
in-school awareness efforts,” said Jill Spineti, president and CEO of
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership. “While it is important to educate
young people about the dangers of drug use, parents and other adults in
the community can play a critical role in reinforcing anti-drug
messages, identifying signs of substance use before it becomes a more
serious issue and helping families get the care their kids need.”

In the past three years, the number of drug deaths in Connecticut
increased 44 percent, according to the 2016 America’s Health Rankings
Annual Report. While Connecticut ranked third in overall health among
all 50 states, it ranked 28th on this measure, highlighting
the need for greater collaboration and increased efforts to address
substance use.

Coordinating Care for Hartford Families

The Village will integrate behavioral health and primary care services
at two pediatric practices in East Hartford and West Hartford, which are
run by the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Working together, the
team of primary care doctors, psychologists and care coordinators will:

  • address the range of physical and social aspects of each child’s
    health and well-being by using health screenings, increased parent
    education and referral processes to coordinate clinical care and
    connect families to needed community services, and;
  • intervene early to prevent serious medical and mental health issues
    with local children and their families.

“The future of health care is in integrating primary care and behavioral
health services,” said Galo A. Rodriguez, MPH, president and CEO of The
Village. “This funding by United Health Foundation will help us
demonstrate how this type of integrated system will result in improved
health outcomes for children, better quality of care, and short- and
long-term cost savings.”

About Governor’s Prevention Partnership

Created in 1989, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is a
not-for-profit partnership between state government and business leaders
with a mission to keep Connecticut’s youth, safe, successful and
drug-free. Co-chaired by Governor Dannel Malloy and a local business
leader, the organization focuses on positive school climate, mentoring
and the prevention of underage drinking and substance abuse.

The Village for Families & Children (The Village)

The Village is a non-profit multi-service organization that has served
the Greater Hartford area for more than 200 years. Its mission is “to
build a community of strong, healthy families who protect and nurture
children.” To fulfill its mission, The Village provides a full range of
behavioral health, early childhood and youth development, substance
abuse treatment, and family support services. To learn more, visit www.thevillage.org,
call 860-236-4511 or follow us at Facebook.com/thevillagect.

About United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach
efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system,
build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being
of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private
foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date,
United Health Foundation has committed nearly $315 million to programs
and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthgroup.com/SocialResponsibility
or follow Facebook.com/UHGGives.

here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for UnitedHealth Group


Governor’s Prevention Partnership
Kelly Luxenberg,

Donna Jolly, 860-916-1496
Health Foundation

Maria Gordon Shydlo, 917-748-9002