Humana Foundation Team Eager to See Investments of 2018 Make a Difference in 2019 and Beyond

Work in 2018 formed solid foundation for significant impact in communities we serve

By Walter Woods

What a year it has been for the Humana Foundation! All of us who work at the foundation feel fortunate to have made so many critical connections in the communities we serve. That’s because the successes we achieved in 2018 will enable significant impact in many communities in 2019 and beyond.

In 2018, we launched our new Strategic Community Investing program, contributing approximately $7 million to nine different organizations in 7 cities – all “Bold Goal” communities for our partners at Humana Inc. – places Humana is working to improve people’s health 20 percent by 2020. We also created a new community relations program in our headquarters hometown of Louisville, Ky., contributing $2.4 million to 30+ organizations that are doing great work to improve our quality of life and “quality of place” in Louisville.

Strategic Community Investing program

This program addresses health equity and social determinants of health through partnerships and collaborations with local organizations – to create measurable results. (Social determinants of health are the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age that impact people’s overall health and well-being.) In late 2018, the Foundation completed a series of local announcements highlighting the new investments.

Our mission at the Humana Foundation is to co-create communities where leadership, culture and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes. And we are confident that the strategic investments we’re making will have a tangible impact on the health and well-being of communities across the U.S. We look forward to celebrating the successes of our partner organizations as they report targets and milestones of their projects in the coming year.

We also look forward to the potential we see for investments like these to help us create national, sustainable models – because joining forces with like-minded partners can result in more impactful, broad-based and sustainable change. The new Humana Foundation investments also include funds for capacity building and enhancing organizational learning around health equity. The investments include:

Louisville, Ky.: The Family Scholar House (link opens in new window) received a $560,000 grant for its HEROES program, expanding existing programs and reaching more individuals, families and senior citizens to assess and address barriers including social isolation, food insecurity and lack of post-secondary educational attainment. Metro United Way (link opens in new window) received a $770,000 grant to expand its pilot financial literacy program, improving financial independence and providing families and residents experiencing economic distress with financial literacy coaching.

San Antonio: Older Adults Technology Services (link opens in new window) (OATS) received a $1.02 million grant to address social isolation via a Senior Planet San Antonio program, which reduces isolation and loneliness and increases social connections by engaging seniors through free access to internet-connected technology and training courses. The San Antonio Food Bank (link opens in new window) received an $833,000 grant to impact food insecurity and social isolation by creating a Senior Wellness Intervention Model program, assisting seniors who screen positive for food insecurity with comprehensive services that stabilize their household and address prevalent health issues.

Baton Rouge, La.: Healthy BR (link opens in new window) received a $720,000 grant to fight food insecurity and social isolation via the Geaux Get Healthy project. Funded by grants from both the Humana Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, the project will address food deserts by saturating areas with the highest rates of food insecurity and health disparities with numerous access points for purchasing fresh food at an affordable price.

Knoxville: Tenn.: InterFaith Health Clinic (link opens in new window), in a collaborative partnership with Catapult 4D, received a $1.02 million grant to address social determinants of health and health equity barriers via the Truck2Table pilot program, which will improve the health and quality of life of uninsured and underserved people by providing affordable access to healthy food.

Tampa Bay: Wholesome Wave (link opens in new window) received a $620,000 grant to fund Wholesome Communities Florida: Waking Up to Wellness, a cross-sector collaboration designed to transform affordable access to healthy food.

Jacksonville, Fla.: The University of Florida (link opens in new window) received an $820,000 grant to promote social connection and food security among minority, underserved and low-income seniors, as well as asset security and post-secondary success resources for their families.

Broward County, Fla.: AARP Foundation (link opens in new window) received a $540,000 grant to improve food security for older adults and their families via a program that will work with health clinics to screen older patients for food insecurity and diet-related disease and help people apply for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Each organization receiving a Humana Foundation Strategic Investment in 2018 will have an opportunity to receive continuing funding for one or two additional years based on the specific results they achieve during the first year of their respective programs.

Community Relations program

These grants seek to improve the quality of life in Louisville by addressing food security, housing, safety or healthcare issues, or make metropolitan Louisville a more appealing place to live by addressing the environment, arts and culture, inclusion and diversity, or equitable access for all.

Of the 30+ Louisville organizations receiving Community Relations grants from the Humana Foundation, seven – listed below – will receive $100,000 grants (with the remaining organizations receiving $50,000 or $25,000 grants).

  • Home of the Innocents (link opens in new window) will use its grant to help children and young adults experiencing homelessness via its Aftercare Program.
  • Louisville Urban League’s (link opens in new window) grant will fund the “It Starts With Me” community health program, using trained community health workers to support West Louisville residents.
  • OneWest (link opens in new window) will use its grant for the Invest West Community Revitalization Initiative, bringing commercial development and growth to the nine neighborhoods of West Louisville.
  • Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center (link opens in new window) will use its grant to fund comprehensive school-based health centers in high-need neighborhoods, providing medical, dental and counseling services to low-income, medically underserved residents in West Louisville.
  • Kentucky Refugee Ministries (link opens in new window) will use this grant to empower new Louisvillians and educate local providers. This partnership will focus on case management for newcomers with complex medical conditions, medical and mental health education for refugee and immigrant community groups, and education & training for medical and mental health providers to be best equipped to serve newcomers.
  • Louisville Metro Health Department (link opens in new window) will use this grant towards its “Our Money, Our Voice” initiative which provides residents of Council Districts 6 and 8 with an opportunity for input on how to spend part of the public budget. Residents will have a chance to brainstorm ideas that improve the community, develop the ideas that were submitted into project proposals, vote for the best proposals, and fund the winning projects.
  • Help Us Grow Reading Program (link opens in new window) will use this grant to support its work to influence 2nd and 3rd graders academically and socially. Their model engages trained volunteers who use a 1 to 1 evidence-based curriculum to help raise reading proficiency among students in elementary schools across Louisville.

We’re looking forward to working with our community partners in 2019, and seeing the investments we made in 2018 make a difference in people’s lives throughout the communities we serve.

Wishing you a healthy 2019!