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.
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
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
Describe your current roles in philanthropy and the hat you wear at AFN.
I work for Mott Philanthropic (no relation to the CS Mott Foundation) serving as a consultant and staff to a number of different philanthropies around the country. My personal work focuses on tax policy, Just Transition, and the arts, and we have other staff who also work in K-12, early, and arts education. With those various hats on, I participate in a number of different spaces: Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE), Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), and Grantmakers for Education (GFE), among others.
At the Appalachia Funders Network I’m primarily wearing my Chorus Foundation hat. Chorus Foundation has been around for about 12 years, but in the last 3-4 years we’ve changed our strategy to be primarily focused on Just Transition, and to be much more place-based. One of the places we’re focused on is Eastern Kentucky and the transition that is happening in that region with the decline of coal mining. We’re working with local advocates and organizers to help support a vision of the future of Eastern Kentucky with justice at the center.
At Chorus, though we came out of a climate and environmental space, our interests are much broader than that. We think about our work as at the intersection of climate, democracy, and economy, and also at the intersection of building cultural power, economic power, and political power. For example, in all of the places where we work, there are grantees advancing a new narrative about what that place should look like and engaging people through arts and culture.Read more