GO Buffalo Mom! Univera and United Way Partner to Increase Healthy Births

Go Buffalo Mom —
Univera Healthcare Partners with United Way of Buffalo & Erie County to 
Increase Healthy Births in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY., December 4, 2018– United Way of Buffalo & Erie County (UWBEC) today announced that Univera Healthcare has awarded the non-profit organization a $49,650 grant over a three-year period to support GO Buffalo Mom; a program that helps ensure pregnant mothers access prenatal care on a consistent basis.

The grant will be utilized for a part-time position that supports the creation of an evaluation plan and data collection system that helps assess the program’s effectiveness. The funds will also be used to purchase transit passes to support moms as part of a transportation savings program. GO Buffalo Mom matches soon-to-be mothers with transportation navigators who help develop the least expensive, most reliable, and shortest public transportation routes to health care appointments. The program also provides financial education and savings programs to help pregnant moms manage their expenses.

Women with no prenatal care are 5.5 times more likely to have a preterm birth and research shows that nearly 30 percent of Buffalo women do not access prenatal care in their first trimester. Local interviews and focus groups with 100 expectant and new mothers identified transportation issues as a major barrier to accessing prenatal care on a consistent basis.

The Univera Healthcare grant will directly support expectant mothers in need by providing them with pre-paid monthly transit passes to get to and from their prenatal appointments. Mothers in the transportation savings program also meet with a trained navigator to help them plan the best route to their doctor and also consider how to incorporate other stops into the trip including the pharmacy and grocery store.

“We are pleased to support the United Way’s Go Buffalo Mom initiative to help expectant mothers prepare a transportation plan for their prenatal appointments and the birth of their child,” said Art Wingerter, President Univera Healthcare.

“In order for our community to continue to grow and prosper we must nurture those who will be around for years to come. GO Buffalo Mom is a perfect example of an initiative that fulfills this mission,” said Michael Weiner, President and CEO United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. “We are grateful to Univera Healthcare for believing in this program and enabling us to continue to do the work needed to create healthier families throughout Buffalo & Erie County.”

One of the key principles Univera Healthcare embraces is to recognize their responsibility to reach out to all segments of the communities they serve, particularly the poor and the aged and others who are underserved to enhance quality of life, including health status. To that end they have established a Member and Community Health Improvement grant program which has as its goal to measurably improve the health of its members and the communities they serve.

Strong preference is given to initiatives that focus on the areas of diabetes, prevention, medication management, respiratory and/or behavioral health. Univera Healthcare looks for initiatives which span multiple years and which include more than one community organization. The most important component of the initiatives is that they include specific objectives with measurable outcomes.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF BUFFALO & ERIE COUNTY

For 100 years, the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has united our whole community to improve the health, education & financial stability of every person in every community in Erie County. United Way of Buffalo & Erie County mobilizes thousands of people every year to give, advocate, and volunteer to help children reach their full potential, families achieve financial stability, and our whole community attain and maintain good health and wellness. For more information, visit www.uwbec.org

ABOUT UNIVERA HEALTHCARE

Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that is part of a family of companies financing and delivering health services for about 1.5 million upstate New Yorkers. Based in Buffalo, the health plan serves members across the eight counties of Western New York.

Univera Healthcare is a seven-time medalist in the Business First Best Places to Work competition. It has been honored as among Western New York’s Healthiest Employers. For the third year in a row, the health plan has earned a perfect score of 100 percent and the designation Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality on the Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey on corporate policies and practices related to workplace equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. And the Erie County Department of Health has recognized Univera Healthcare as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace

Univera Healthcare’s 460 Western New York employees are based at the health insurer’s headquarters on Park Club Lane in Williamsville.

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