Buffalo, NY – Univera Healthcare today announced a grant award in the amount of $115,000 to support Neighborhood Health Center’s new Wellness Department, designed as an extension of the organization’s nutrition service that is aimed at reducing the prevalence of diabetes and obesity among individuals in Erie County through a therapeutic lifestyle change model.
The Univera grant will be dispersed over three years and will provide funding for the creation of the Wellness Department which focuses on health outcomes and self-management education for diabetic patients with a goal to reduce A1C (blood glucose) levels. Additionally, the funding also allows the ability to provide diabetic eye exams across all Neighborhood Health Center offices.
“With this grant to Neighborhood Health Center, we are supporting improved access to diabetic eye screening and education in an effort to reduce the prevalence of diabetes,” said Arthur Wingerter, president, Univera Healthcare.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), eighty-four million Americans have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, equaling 1 out of every 3 American adults. Pre-diabetics are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. For those diagnosed, however, early treatment of pre-diabetes can return blood sugar levels to a more normal range, hence the importance of early and frequent testing.
The ever-rising epidemic of obesity and diabetes negatively impacts nearly 1,900 Neighborhood Health Center patients to date, a number that has increased 3% from previous years. Through this new Wellness Department launch, Neighborhood Health Center anticipates serving approximately 27,000 patients over the course of the proposed three-year project.
“At Neighborhood Health Center, we know that improving and sustaining health and well-being is connected to innovative education and engagement,” said Joanne Haefner, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Health Center. “We are so thankful to Univera for this added funding and partnership for our new Wellness initiative which compounds a dual effort to reach those with diabetes through programming that encourages individual health behavior interventions and positive lifestyle changes.”
Univera’s grant program embodies the nonprofit health insurer’s mission to reach all segments of the communities it serves, particularly the underserved to enhance their quality of life and health status. Many of the initiatives focus on the prevention, screening and education of chronic conditions.
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Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that serves members across the eight counties of Western New York. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With over 500 employees in Western New York, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit UniveraHealthcare.com.
Neighborhood Health Center of WNY, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) healthcare organization and the oldest and largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Western New York. Neighborhood Health Center’s mission of impactful healthcare provided by kind people so Western New Yorkers can achieve their dreams and goals is the driving force toward achieving high-quality and individualized care for all. Established in 1987, Neighborhood Health Center provides high-quality and compassionate care to individuals and families, regardless of ability to pay, and focuses on monitoring quality care to improve health outcomes by working toward health equity within the diverse populations of Western New York. To learn more about the mission and services of Neighborhood Health Center, please visit www.nhcwny.org.