HUNTINGTON, W.V. – The Marshall University Minority Health Institute received a $1 million grant today from the UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia. The check presentation took place at the 3rd Annual West Virginia Minority Health Fair at the A.D. Lewis Center in Huntington.
The funding from UniCare will help the Marshall University Minority Health Institute address health equity and disparities throughout the region. The grant will also put a focus on economic stability, social and community services, neighborhood enrichment, and education.
The money will also help the Minority Health Institute to examine the social aspects of health that create barriers to positive health outcomes and overall wellness among minority groups and other vulnerable communities in the state.
LaDawna Walker Dean is the West Virginia minority health coordinator and part of the Marshall University Minority Health Institute.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity that this funding provides to promote health equity for minorities and vulnerable populations through the state of West Virginia,” Walker Dean said. “This funding will also allow the MU Minority Health Institute to continue advancing minority health initiatives in the state.”
Dr. Anthony Woart is the chair and professor of the Department of Public Health, which houses the Marshall University Minority Health Institute.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia,” Woart said. “In promoting minority health, I believe this partnership will lead to the reduction of the burdens of health disparities not only among the minority populations of West Virginians, but also among the underserved population of the state.”
The Marshall University Minority Health Institute works to close gaps in health care for underserved groups in the region and community. UniCare Health Plan will work with different community groups to provide health and wellness screenings, community resources, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, as well as flu vaccinations.
“As part of UniCare’s longstanding commitment to improving the health of our communities, we are addressing the complex and interconnected factors—like food, housing, social and financial circumstances—that shape health,” said Tadd Haynes, UniCare Heath Plan of West Virginia president. “We continue to find innovative solutions and added services that help close gaps in care and better support our members when they want and how they want it, putting them at the center. We look forward to our partnership with Marshall University Minority Health Institute as we both understand the important role that we play to support community health by removing potential barriers and ensure access to affordable, reliable and personal care.”
Officials of the Marshall University Minority Health Institute and UniCare Health Plan say they hope that by working together they can address health equity and disparities among minorities in the Huntington community and beyond. For more information on the Marshall University Minority Health Institute, visit www.marshall.edu/minorityhealthinstitute/.