Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Imagination Playground Opens in Syracuse

At the end of October, I joined volunteers from UnitedHealthcare at the opening of an Imagination Playground at the Kirk Park Community Center in Syracuse. UnitedHealthcare built the new playground in partnership with Syracuse’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Youth Programs and KaBOOM!. I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide Syracuse-area youth space to play and be active. 

The Imagination playground was designed to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. With a collection of oversized blue foam parts that enable children to build and rebuild play structures with endless possibilities, the playground is the perfect staging ground for healthy and active learning. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active.

Following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, the UnitedHealthcare team also cleaned up the Kirk Park Community Center facilities. We value our relationships in the Syracuse community and will continue to help its residents live healthier lives. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care of White Plains Receives Inaugural UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award

Earlier this summer, UnitedHealthcare called for small businesses to submit ideas for enhancing the health and wellness of Westchester County. And now, I’m thrilled to announce that Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care of White Plains has been named the recipient of the inaugural UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award for Westchester County.

The diagnostic and treatment center was awarded a $10,000 grant for its Formé Medical Membership program – a tiered membership model that provides patients with unlimited urgent care visits and discounted rates for a low monthly premium and minimal annual fee. The Formé Medical Membership program was launched in 2016 to provide affordable avenues to high quality preventive care to under-served and uninsured residents of Westchester County.

Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care presented their project to a panel of local business leaders and health care experts prior to 914INC. Magazine’s sixth annual Small Business Awards on Thursday, Sept. 13.  Finalists were evaluated on criteria such as community impact, creativity and feasibility by a panel of judges that included:

  • Westchester Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins
  • 914INC. Magazine Executive Editor Amy Partridge 
  • Business Council of Westchester Executive VP and COO John Ravitz
  • WESTMED Medical Group Medical Director Dr. Steven M. Meixler 
  • WVOX Radio Host Bob Marrone

I want to acknowledge all of the talented and passionate finalists who presented their ideas, including the New York Medical College Chapter of the Student National Medical Association in Valhalla and The Children's Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley in Hawthorne. And I want to congratulate Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care for taking an innovative approach to offering affordable, high-quality and compassionate health care to the Westchester community. We are excited to help extend the reach of this innovative program to more Westchester residents.

From left to right: Maria Trusa, CEO of Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care; Gregory Trotta, Director of Small Business Sales & Account Management at UnitedHealthcare; Gina Cappelli, President of Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care

Friday, August 24, 2018

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Eye Care Program Launches in Time for Back to School

UnitedHealthcare’s new Children’s Eye Care program, which improves access to comprehensive eye exams and prescription glasses, is now available to New Yorkers enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual UnitedHealthcare vision plans.

UnitedHealthcare is helping address the unique eye-health challenges young people face through enhanced benefits for children with UnitedHealthcare vision coverage at no additional premium. Under the program, plan participants up to age 13 receive an additional pair of glasses and a second covered eye exam at no cost if their vision prescription changes 0.5 diopter or greater.*

Because children’s eyesight can change quickly, this enhancement provides important coverage for UnitedHealthcare vision plan participants, leading the industry in pediatric vision care coverage. The new benefits will be available to people enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual UnitedHealthcare vision plans across the country before the end of 2018.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that a child’s first comprehensive eye exam should occur between 6 months and 12 months, again at age 3 and before entering school at age 5 or 6. That’s because one in four children have an undiagnosed vision problem that, if left untreated, may result in learning issues, and hinder their academic performance and development. As much as 80 percent of learning is done through sight, so the inability to see can affect a child’s physical, emotional and social development, and academic and athletic performance.

It’s also important to remember that a school’s vision screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Vision screenings at school usually focus on measuring acuity levels and can miss common conditions such as poor eye alignment, focusing problems and farsightedness.
As you plan back-to-school shopping, class orientation and any needed immunizations, make sure to schedule an appointment for your child to receive a comprehensive eye examination.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Call for Entries: UnitedHealthcare's Community Care Award in Westchester

UnitedHealthcare’s ‘Community Care Award’ is coming to the greater Westchester, New York, area.
As part of the award program, we are partnering with Westchester area small businesses to help bring to life their innovative ideas to improve local residents’ health and well-being. We will award one small business $10,000 to fund its big idea.

Businesses in the greater Westchester area with two to 100 employees are eligible to submit project ideas for enhancing their communities’ health and wellness through an online application now through August 23.

Judges will evaluate the project submissions and select finalists based on criteria such as community impact, creativity and feasibility. Finalists will present their ideas to the panel of judges on September 13th, 2018 in White Plains, NY.

UnitedHealthcare has previously offered its Community Care Award in New York state communities including the city of Syracuse in 2017.  Digital Hyve, a local digital marketing company used the grant it received to increase access, awareness and utilization of the Food Bank of through digital marketing platforms.

We look forward to a group of excellent submissions from Westchester!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

UnitedHealthcare Opens Latest Health Benefits Resource Center in Brooklyn

UnitedHealthcare is constantly working to make it easier for people to manage their health and enable them to lead healthier lives. Digital tools like our Health4Me mobile app, Rally and UnitedHealthcare Motion make it so that a wealth of valuable wellness resources are always just a few clicks or taps away.

But as much as technology progresses, there is still tremendous value in being able to speak with someone in-person and in a familiar language. This is especially true when you are somewhere as diverse and full of different languages like New York City.

UnitedHealthcare recently opened its newest health benefits resource center to provide enhanced customer service and health education for Asian Americans in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst neighborhood. Located at 2343 86th St., it is the fourth UnitedHealthcare benefits store in New York City and is staffed by representatives who offer customized in-language support in Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese dialects.

Left to right: Daisy Chiu, Sales Supervisor, UnitedHealthcare; Alice Wei, Sales Director, UnitedHealthcare; Ying (Joey) Zhong, Director, Growth and Quality, UnitedHealthcare; Betty Lam, Sales Director, UnitedHealthcare; Lina Chen, CEO, Health Essential Association; Steve Synott, National VP of Distribution Strategy, UnitedHealthcare; Chris Law, National Vice President, UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiatives; Wai-Yee Chan, Director of Community Engagement, New York City Council Member; Justin Brannan, District 43; Radica Shivprasad, Sales Director, UnitedHealthcare; Josiane Peluso-Tomczyk, Director, Sales & Marketing, UnitedHealthcare Community Health Plan; Daphne Huang, Senior Manager of Consumer Experience and Strategy, UnitedHealthcare

During the ceremony, UnitedHealthcare was presented with a City Council Certificate in honor of the new resource center opening from Wai-Yee Chan, director of community engagement for New York City Council Member Justin Brannan of the 43rd District.

Left to right: Steve Synott, National VP of Distribution Strategy, UnitedHealthcare; Chris Law, National Vice President, UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiatives; Wai-Yee Chan, Director of Community Engagement, New York City Council Member Justin Brannan, District 43; Josiane Peluso-Tomczyk, Director, Sales & Marketing, UnitedHealthcare Community Health Plan

New York Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers can visit the store to learn about their Medicare coverage options or participate in health and wellness seminars in the community room. Customer service representatives can answer questions and help connect people with community resources and social services such as the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program, a New York state-funded prescription drug initiative that helps eligible residents with the cost of prescription medications, or the New York State Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for New Yorkers who meet income requirements.

UnitedHealthcare opened its first New York store in Manhattan’s Chinatown in 1994. Since then, we’ve opened more than a dozen locations across the state in places like Syracuse, Buffalo, Yonkers, Hempsted, Newburgh, Copiague, Queens and the Bronx.