Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing Receives Grant from UnitedHealthcare to Improve Access to Healthy Food for Seniors

  • Grant supports community-based program that reduces hunger and
    social isolation among seniors
  • Virginia ranks 21st in the nation for senior hunger; in the last
    12 months about 14 percent of adults age 60 and older have faced the
    threat of hunger

RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A UnitedHealthcare grant to the Virginia Commonwealth University School
of Nursing will help reduce hunger and social isolation among seniors by
supporting the school’s community-based care-coordination initiative,
the Richmond Health and Wellness Program.

The $25,000 grant to Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing
will fund free weekly student-catered meals at three senior apartment
communities to help reduce hunger. Funding from this grant will also
support educational efforts used to increase the variety and nutritional
value of seniors’ diets.

The grants are part of UnitedHealthcare’s effort to identify and support
organizations in Virginia that help seniors, disadvantaged individuals
and people with disabilities live healthier lives.

“This grant from UnitedHealthcare will help support our programs and
services that provide healthy meals, nutrition education and other
resources to improve the lives of seniors,” said Pamela Parsons, Ph.D.,
GNP-BC, program director at VCU’s Richmond Health and Wellness Program.
“We have seen a tremendous response by the residents in learning more
about healthy living and interacting with student volunteers who help
serve meals and conduct health screenings.”

Along with the weekly meals, the grant will also help VCU students
identify seniors who may be eligible to enroll in a Meals on Wheels
program or to participate in FeedMore’s Commodities Supplemental Food
Program. The Richmond Health and Wellness Program will also provide
referrals to day programs and other resources from the local Area Agency
on Aging.

“The meals program provides a great opportunity for seniors to
socialize, meet new friends and learn about the importance of nutrition
in their daily lives,” said Greg Ford, resident services coordinator for
Dominion Place. “With the support from UnitedHealthcare, this program is
making a positive impact in the lives of so many seniors in our

The $25,000 grant was announced at Dominion Place, one of the three
senior communities participating in the Richmond Health and Wellness
Program. At the announcement, UnitedHealthcare employees joined
community leaders, Virginia Commonwealth University staff, professors
and students in prepping and serving one of the weekly catered meals to
participating residents.

“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to support VCU and the
Richmond Health and Wellness Program that is helping seniors in our
community live healthier lives,” said Timothy Spilker, regional CEO,
UnitedHealthcare Community & State.

According to America’s
Health Rankings
®, Virginia ranks 21st in the nation for
senior hunger. In the last 12 months about 14 percent of adults age 60
and older have faced the threat of hunger.

UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 900,000 Virginians enrolled in
employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare and Medicaid health plans with
a network of 123 hospitals and more than 19,000 physicians and other
care providers statewide. *

About VCU and VCU Health
Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university
with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located
in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225
degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities.
Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them
crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU
Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU
Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU
Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma
center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital
of Richmond at VCU and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please

About UnitedHealthcare
is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by
simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and
wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care
providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit
programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees
and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and
contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care
professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group
(NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For
more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at
or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

* According to data compiled Aug. 31, 2016. Source:
UnitedHealthcare Internal Analysis

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Brad Alexander, 804-267-5320
Commonwealth University
Anne Dreyfuss, 804-828-7701