|Honoree’s Name: UnitedHealth Group Employee & Community Engagement Committee
Why These Volunteers are Extraordinary:
A Heart for Service: UnitedHealth Group Employees Embody the Company’s Mission to Help People Live Healthier Lives
Our UnitedHealth Group employee-volunteers truly have a heart for service. Across California, UnitedHealth Group employs more than 21,000 people responsible for supporting the healthcare needs of more than 2.7 million members. Many of these employees bring an altruistic spirit to their work and to volunteer projects far beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. They give freely of both their time and expertise to bridge the gap for those challenged by social determinants of health—issues outside of traditional medical challenges that influence how healthy and well a person will be—including food insecurity, homelessness, joblessness, economic instability, transportation challenges, social isolation and behavioral health needs. Addressing these vital social determinants and helping the most vulnerable among us live healthier lives is what makes our extraordinary team of employee-volunteers of the UnitedHealth Group Employee & Community Engagement Committee (ECEC) so valuable to the OC community.
The dedicated ECEC volunteers from across the two largest UnitedHealth Group companies, UnitedHealthcare and Optum, are led by an 80-member committee based at Enterprise’s Cypress offices. A core group identifies the needs within the community monthly, commits funding to support local social service organizations needs and non-profit events, and encourages and mobilizes other employees to step up and volunteer. The ECEC committee serves as the clearing house, effectively organizing all the requests to provide local support that come in from various outside partners and internally from company employees. This year, the committee funded and participated in a wide variety of community support: purchasing books and stuffed animals for children who may need emotional support through the Extraordinary Lives Foundation; providing mentorships and job training to teens and young adults; volunteering with Working Wardrobes and VetNet to fit veterans in new business attire and help smooth their re-entry into the civilian workforce; pack boxes of canned good and health foods at the OC Food Bank on National Family Volunteer Day; participating in a wide variety of local fundraising walks including in the Alzheimer’s Walk for ALZ at Angel Stadium, and helping build homes through for Habitat for Humanity OC.
The team has multiple ways for associates to tangibly engage in bettering the lives of those in need. Amy Ray, associate director of healthcare economics, is longtime chair of the Committee. She was recently recognized from among more than 150,000+ UnitedHealthcare employees nationwide as Employee of the Month for her commitment to this effort. Described as an “exceptional UnitedHealthcare employee who is engaged in her community through volunteerism. She not only loves her opportunity to volunteer, but also enjoys part of the planning process for UHC volunteer projects.”
Many local nonprofits praise the ECEC team for their contributions. “UnitedHealthcare is a strong partner with Habitat for Humanity, contributing over 500 service hours,” said Richard Nguyen, Events and Volunteer Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity OC. “The UnitedHealthcare team is dedicated to Habitat’s mission and continually provides exceptional support toward our organization. Several of our most dedicated volunteers have originated from the UnitedHealthcare team builds and this goes to show the passion that this team has. We truly value our partnership with UnitedHealthcare and look forward to many more volunteer events in the future.”
The UnitedHealth Group ECEC has been in operation for well over a decade. For every 50 annual hours of volunteerism by an employee, UnitedHealth Group donates $500 to that person’s favorite charity.
“UnitedHealth Group’s meaningful community investments are helping advance health equity by addressing social determinants of health that influence 80% of health outcomes”, said Tami Adams, chief executive officer, UnitedHealthcare of Southern California.
“We are very proud of the commitment of our UnitedHealth Group Employee & Community Engagement Committee because they exemplify our mission to help people live healthier lives by serving the local communities in which we live and work.”
“UnitedHealthcare volunteers go above and beyond to add to our family events. We have been lucky to include them in 2022 and now I cannot imagine our family events WITHOUT THEM,” said Lisa Ackerman, executive director, The Autism Community in Action. “They sign up early, arrive ahead of designated time, and go above and beyond to helping our families living with autism feel welcomed and included in community events. We are so grateful to UnitedHealthcare!”
By stepping out in front to serve others and live their mission, members of UnitedHealth Group ECEC help make Orange County and California a better place to live for everyone.