Successful Models Improving Food Access & Health

The joint Food & Ag Systems Working Group between the Appalachia Funders Network and the Central Appalachian Network (CAN) worked together to conduct and publish six case studies of projects at the intersection of food access and health. Several members of the Network funded the work to document and highlight lessons from innovative projects around the region, and CAN conducted and compiled the case studies. Read on for a summary video and all six case studies.

Read more

Oral Health Summit Highlights

The Oral Health Summit took place on September 5th in Charleston, WV, as part of the great work being done by the Health Working Group's Oral Health committee. Over 60 people attended the event, including funders, state health departments, oral health coalitions, universities, health nonprofits, and others. The oral health summit was designed to bring together key stakeholders in the sector throughout the region to identify the unique challenges facing Central Appalachia. The 2 main challenges to oral health facing Appalachia that were identified from the summit were access to care and the need for more providers. 

Read more

Appalachia Funders Network Explainer Video Series RFP

Project: Seven Connected Animated Short Explainer Videos

Organization: Appalachia Funders Network (AFN) |

Contact: Lindsey Wilson, Network Coordinator | [email protected] | 828.280.3333

RFP Submission Deadline: Aug. 22, 2019

Read more

Thanks for attending the 9th Annual Gathering!

The 9th Annual Gathering featured an exciting array of learning journeys, panels, and open spaces over three action-packed days. Over 100 participants came together in Pikeville, KY for building relationships and trust, facilitating common understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Central Appalachia, and fostering cross-sector collaboration to accelerate the Appalachian Transition. Scroll down to read more about the Gathering and find helpful links to photos, partner contacts, and speaker slides.

Read more

Sponsor Spotlight: Amy Swanson, UnitedHealthcare

Photo of Amy Swanson

Organizations that sponsor the Annual Gathering at the Gold or Platinum levels receive a featured spotlight here, with a snippet appearing in a Quarterly Connections. This quarter, we shine a spotlight on Amy Swanson, Vice President of Marketing, Advocacy and Member Experience at UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio.

Describe your current work addressing health and wellness needs of Appalachian areas.

In addition to serving people throughout the Appalachian region through Medicare and employer-sponsored health plans, UnitedHealthcare currently serves people eligible for Medicaid in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.

Like members of Appalachia Funders Network, we know socioeconomic and health challenges are often connected. This is why at UnitedHealthcare, we take a whole-person approach to health care – which means we seek to address physical health, behavioral health and social needs, such as access to healthy food, housing and transportation. And, of course, we don’t do this alone. We work with the people we serve, family members and care givers, care providers and community partners to address local health care needs with local solutions.

For example, in Ohio and other states, we are working with community partners to help connect people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to available housing resources. We’ve partnered with the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio (COHHIO) for the last three years and recently funded research to examine and address housing gaps for transitional youth. Stable, affordable housing helps people live healthier lives.

Read more