UnitedHealthcare Awards $250,000 Grant to Support Hilo Medical Center – Money to Enhance Primary Care Services for East Hawaii Residents

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP) to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families.

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The grant will help provide funding to establish Hilo Medical Center’s HHSC PCTP where family medicine residents will train at the Hawaii Island Family Health Center and provide valuable primary care services to local children, adults and families.

In this August 19, 2013 photo provided by UnitedHealthcare Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, left, Mike Middlesworth, left center, East Hawaii Regional Board Member, Tony Welters, center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on as Dr. Kristine McCoy Director of the Hawaii Health Sustems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, gives tour of the Hawaii Island Family Health Center. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, left, Mike Middlesworth, left center, East Hawaii Regional Board Member, Tony Welters, center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on as Dr. Kristine McCoy Director of the Hawaii Health Sustems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, gives tour of the Hawaii Island Family Health Center. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

This unique, interdisciplinary program is in collaboration with University of Hawaii at Hilo’s School of Nursing, The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. The program was conceived as a way to increase access to quality primary care while training the next generation of physicians in Hawaii.

“Hawaii faces a dire shortage of physicians, so we are honored to have the opportunity to work with Hilo Medical Center’s HHSC PCTP to help fill that need,” said Ronald Fujimoto, M.D., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare of Hawaii.

The grant announcement and check presentation were made today at the Hawaii Island Family Health Center in Hilo during a reception that included Gov. Neil Abercrombie, UnitedHealth Group leaders including Executive Vice President Anthony Welters, and community leaders.

 Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie spoke about the importance of health care in rural areas as Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left, and Tony Welters, left center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie spoke about the importance of health care in rural areas as Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left, and Tony Welters, left center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on.

“The collaboration among the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, Hilo Medical Center and its educational partners provides critical care for our local residents and families on the Big Island,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The UnitedHealthcare grant is part of a public and private partnership that will greatly improve our local health care system, especially in rural, underserved areas.”

According to the “Hawai’i Physician Workforce Assessment Project” report, the Big Island saw a 34 percent physician shortage in 2012 – the estimated number of physician care hours delivered compared to the hours of care in demand. Statewide, the shortage was 18 percent. The report concluded the physician shortages were especially acute in the area of primary care, making Hilo Medical Center’s HHSC PCTP an important asset for Hawaii’s health and well-being.

Tony Welters, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, left, Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left center, present a check for $250,000 to Howard Ainsley, left center, East Hawaii Region CEO of Hilo Medical Center, as Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, right, applauds. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

Tony Welters, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, left, Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left center, present a check for $250,000 to Howard Ainsley, left center, East Hawaii Region CEO of Hilo Medical Center, as Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, right, applauds. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

“We truly appreciate UnitedHealthcare’s funding of this grant to support our primary care training program.  This is a tremendous shot in the arm in helping establish this vital program for our community.  In time we hope these physicians will remain on the Big Island and throughout Hawaii,” said Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO at Hilo Medical Center.

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) company, has more than 200 employees located on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island with central offices in Honolulu. With a care provider network of 21 hospitals and more than 2,700 physicians statewide, the health and well-being company serves more than 230,000 Hawaii residents including members of the United States military and their families, and people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare and Medicaid health plans.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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