The Humana Foundation’s Strategic Community Investment Program seeks to advance health equity in Humana, Inc.’s “Bold Goal” communities by understanding and addressing social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age. As the World Health Organization recognizes, these circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, and have an impact on people’s overall health and well-being.
Through partnerships and collaborations with local organizations and community members, The Humana Foundation seeks to create measurable results in some of the most common social determinants — postsecondary attainment and sustaining employment, social connectedness, financial asset security and food security. By holistically addressing these areas through system and community level approaches, it is our belief that we will be able to close the measurable gaps in health outcome that communities face.
The Humana Foundation is making a greater impact by issuing “fewer, bigger” investments in the communities we serve. These investments have a longer-term focus, recognizing that the change we seek requires deep commitment and partnership at all levels and sectors of society. We are working with local partners – at the community, regional and national level – because joining forces, representing multiple sectors, can result in more impactful, broad-based, sustainable and equitable change.
All Humana Foundation Strategic Community Investment partners will use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Days (link opens in new window) survey as well as additional metrics and tracking tools that are relevant while community members engage and interact with the work of our investees.
Based on measurable, first year results, each organization receiving a Strategic Community Investment will potentially by eligible to receive continued funding for one or two additional years.
In 2018, the Humana Foundation invested $7.4 million with nine organizations addressing food security, social connection, post-secondary success (sustained employment) and asset security. These organizations are located in seven Humana “Bold Goal” (link opens in new window) communities, places where Humana is working to achieve a goal of helping people improve their health 20 percent by 2020 and beyond. These nine investments currently range from $500,000 to $1,000,000 and include:
Baton Rouge, La.: Healthy BR (link opens in new window) received an investment 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(link opens in new window), the project addresses 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.
Broward County, Fla.: AARP Foundation (link opens in new window) received an investment to improve food security for older adults and their families. This program works with health clinics to screen older patients for food insecurity and diet-related disease, and helps people apply for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Jacksonville, Fla.: The University of Florida (link opens in new window) received an investment 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.
Knoxville: Tenn.: InterFaith Health Clinic (link opens in new window), in a collaborative partnership with Catapult 4D, received an investment to address social determinants of health and health equity barriers. The Truck2Table pilot program is improving the health and quality of life of uninsured and underserved people by providing affordable access to healthy food.
Louisville, Ky.: The Family Scholar House (link opens in new window) received an investment 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 investment 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 an investment to address social isolation. The Senior Planet San Antonio program 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 investment to impact food insecurity and social isolation by creating a Senior Wellness Intervention Model program. The program assists seniors who screen positive for food insecurity with comprehensive services that stabilize their household and address prevalent health issues.
Tampa: Wholesome Wave (link opens in new window) received an investment to fund Wholesome Communities Florida: Waking Up to Wellness, a cross-sector collaboration designed to transform affordable access to healthy food.
In 2019, The Humana Foundation will be extending our Strategic Community Investment Program to New Orleans, investing up to $1 million locally. Applications were due in early August 2019, and we expect to announce the New Orleans organization(s) receiving funding in October 2019.
Leslie Clements is a Senior Program Officer with the Humana Foundation, where she is building relationships with and among our Strategic Community Investment partners in several of Humana’s Bold Goal communities. She does this by leveraging Humana’s many forms of capital, activating the company’s philanthropic strategy to address health equity and the social determinants of health, with a special focus on helping individuals and communities achieve food security and social connection.
Leslie joined the Foundation in 2018, after having led Humana Inc.’s enterprise volunteerism strategy, engaging the company’s 50,000+ employees in team-based and skills-based community volunteer experiences, earning for Humana the 2016 VolunteerMatch Volunteer Program of the Year award. Her career has been focused on designing and delivering engagement and development opportunities for corporate employees and others in the community, with a keen focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging.
Leslie has her Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville, where she received the 2017 Human Resource Education Community Engagement Award. She has been named an Ambassador for Health in All Policies by the Institute for Healthy Air, Water, and Soil, and a Rising Flame by the Business and Professional Women River City chapter. Leslie also serves as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and was nominated by the Kentuckiana Chapter as Big Sister of the Year in 2017.
Combining her interest in community engagement with her passion for the arts, Leslie volunteers with several community arts organizations, including serving as an Officer on the Board of Directors at the Little Loomhouse, a nonprofit arts education organization, and as a member of the Access Committee for the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 Arts and Culture Plan.
She and her husband are based in Louisville, where they spend their free time enjoying the city’s dynamic and diverse art and music scene.