IA Health Link: Success Stories

Eastern Iowa Brain Injury Group Benefits from Amerigroup Laptop Contribution

A donation of laptops to a clubhouse for Iowans with brain injuries is helping members maintain access to existing or modified Medicaid services during COVID-19.

Amerigroup Iowa contributed four Chromebook laptop computers to Empower House, which is located in Davenport.

The computers will allow Empower House members  to make virtual connections, including through social activities and programs.

"Amerigroup Iowa is pleased to partner with Empower House to ensure individuals have the resources to stay connected, promote health and wellness, and enable emotional and social support," said Jeffrey Jones, president, Amerigroup Iowa. "This program is an extension of our digital-first approach as a company, to connect with members when they want and how they want it, putting them at the center."

The four Chromebooks are part of a larger statewide effort by Amerigroup Iowa that has resulted in the donation of 200 laptops, many of which have benefitted at-risk young people transitioning out of foster care or other residential care and into an independent adulthood. The project is in partnership with the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa.


Amerigroup Donates Computers to Youth Transitioning from Foster Care

A generous donation from one of the health plans providing coverage to members of the IA Health Link and Hawki programs is ensuring that young people transitioning from foster care are able to access support services and remain connected to family and friends.

Amerigroup Iowa has donated 196 laptop computers to the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa (YPII). The laptops will support foster care youth and young adults with telehealth services, staying connected, social distancing guidelines and continuing virtual learning.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on young people who have recently aged out of foster care. Many of Iowa's youth are just getting started on their next chapter of life living on their own, often without the support of a stable family or positive supportive environment. With increasing reliance on technology for everyday activities, not having access to a computer is a significant challenge for these young people.

The laptops help youth keep up in school and help maintain the social connections critical to their well-being and development. Connectivity is crucial for continuing education, getting or maintaining a job, and accessing benefits and services.

"The donated computers provide our most vulnerable youth with resources to stay connected, promote health and wellness, and enable emotional and social support," said Jeffrey Jones, president, Amerigroup Iowa. "Many community partners have expressed the need to connect virtually through affordable, innovative and creative solutions to promote health and education. This is an extension of our digital-first approach as a company, to connect with members when they want and how they want it, putting them at the center. Amerigroup Iowa is committed to supporting programs that go beyond traditional healthcare support and it's through these initiatives that we can continue to build a brighter future for Iowa's youth."

YPII has arranged to distribute the computers to Iowa Aftercare Services Network agencies throughout the state who are working directly with hundreds of youth who have aged out of foster care and have an immediate need for the laptops.

"We are delighted to facilitate the donation of the computers to these young people through the Aftercare Network," said Carol Behrer, executive director, YPII. "For many youth transitioning out of foster care, access to technology-something many of us take for granted-can be a lifeline."


Iowa Total Care to Hold Family Dance Clinic at Iowa State Fair

On Tuesday, August 13, Iowa Total Care is holding a free family dance clinic at the Iowa State Fair.
Professional dancers Lindsay and Jensen Arnold, from TV competition dance shows Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, will provide the dance clinics from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Iowa Total Care's booth next to the Grandstand at the Iowa State Fair.
Lindsay and Jensen believe in the importance of regular exercise, and they're partnering with Iowa Total Care to show exercise can be fun through dance and other activities. Both Lindsay and Jensen will be participating in a Meet and Greet after the dance clinics to take photographs and sign autographs.
In addition to the dance clinics, Iowa Total Care will be holding family activities throughout the day including a soccer skills showcase and lawn games. Iowa Total Care staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding Medicaid and ensuring families are on the right path to overall health and wellness.
The event is open to the public and you do not need to be an Iowa Total Care member to participate.

Iowa Total Care Sponsors Field Day for Central Iowa Youth

Iowa Total Care recently held a free event for central Iowa youth to promote physical activity and friendly competition during the summer break.

Members from five Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa sites participated in the first ever Triple Play Field Day on July 26.
More than 200 youth participated in the field day, where they competed in individual events such as softball throw, frisbee throw, standing long jump, obstacle course, and potato sack race. The kids and teens also participated in team games, including four square, kickball, and dodgeball. At the end of the day, each Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa site received a trophy to commemorate their participation.
"We are so grateful for Iowa Total Care's generous contribution to keep our Club members active and healthy," said Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa CEO Jodie Warth. "The summer months are crucial times to keep our kids learning, growing, and building new skills, so the Iowa Total Care Field Day was truly a celebration of getting active and having fun."
Through the sponsorship, Iowa Total Care ensured all members from the five sites could participate by covering transportation to and from the event, as well as staffing and lunch for the Club members. Iowa Total Care also donated brand new sports equipment to each Boys & Girls Club site, including basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, and volleyballs, to further encourage the youth to be physically active through the year.
"Exercise and physical activity set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle, which is especially important for children to grow and achieve their potential," said Mitch Wasden, president and CEO, Iowa Total Care. "By partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa, we've created an event that makes physical activity fun for the kids, which will hopefully lead to healthy habits later in life."

Services Continue When Disaster Strikes

When flooding hit portions of Iowa last summer, UnitedHealthcare executed a comprehensive outreach plan to ensure all of their members continued to have the medical services and medications they needed to live healthy lives.
UnitedHealthcare contacted all of their members living in the impacted communities, some by phone and many at their homes, to help replace lost medications and medical supplies, deliver food and water, provide access to disaster recovery locations, and offer financial assistance resources.
During this time, UnitedHealthcare assisted thousands of Iowans with the continuity of their health and wellness services. UnitedHealthcare continues to help these communities and its members with the ongoing recovery and building efforts.

UnitedHealthcare Donates Winter Coats to Elementary School Students

As part of an ongoing effort to donate supplies and other materials to schools across the state, UnitedHealthcare recently donated more than 500 winter coats to students at Samuelson Elementary School in Des Moines.
The donation of coats helps ensure students are able to walk to and from school safely and continue to play outside even as the temperatures drop.
"I noticed a lot of our students were coming in the morning and they didn't have coats on, and then during recess time they didn't have coats on as well, so I thought that this was a perfect fit," Samuelson Elementary School Community Coordinator Pashion Muhammad said.
Last winter UnitedHealthcare donated winter coats and to students in Sioux City and Waterloo. UnitedHealthcare also donated summer vacation kits and back-to-school supplies to students in Cedar Rapids and Davenport and children's books to students in Marshalltown earlier this year.

Amerigroup and the Iowa Wild Focusing on Wellness in the Community this Season

Amerigroup is partnering with the Iowa Wild for a series of events throughout the season to improve the health of the nearly 200,000 Iowans Amerigroup serves.
As part of the "Wild Ticket to Wellness," six "Clinic Days" will be held at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines during the season. 
On Clinic Days, Amerigroup members can come to the arena, receive a wellness checkup and also receive a free ticket to an Iowa Wild game. The first Clinic Day was October 12.
"Amerigroup is excited to be teaming up with our hometown team," said Jeff Jones, president of Amerigroup. "This is a way we can provide convenient access to wellness care for the Iowans we serve, encourage active lifestyles and have a positive impact on the health of our community."
Amerigroup and the Wild will also host a Health and Wellness Game on January 4, 2019, when Iowa battles Rockford. 
The Wild Ticket to Wellness will also include an expansion of the Wild's floor hockey program. Equipment and instruction will be provided to selected schools in the Des Moines area.

UnitedHealthcare Donates Bags to Elementary School Kids in Davenport

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Iowa (UHC) recently donated hundreds of bags to students at Hayes Elementary and Filmore Elementary schools in Davenport.
The bags were filled with colored pencils, drawing pads, rulers, crayons, folders and erasers to help students remain active and engaged in the classroom this school year.
UHC has made a series of donations to schools across Iowa this year, contributing funds to build a new playground facility in Davenport, coats and other clothing items to elementary students in Sioux City and Waterloo, and summer vacation kits to schools in Cedar Rapids.

UnitedHealthcare Donates 'Energy Game Kits' to Young People in Des Moines, Council Bluffs

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Iowa (UHC) recently donated hundreds of Hasbro NERF ENERGY Game Kits to young people at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Des Moines and Council Bluffs.
The donatation is part of a national initiative between Hasbro and UHC to encourage kids to increase physical activity. The energy game kits aim to reduce youth obestity through "exergaming," an interactive fitness activity to encourage recipients to stay active.
Each kit includes a game band that tracks physical activity, a foam soccer ball, and instructions to download a mobile game. As the children complete physical activities, they earn "energy points" that are tracked by the band, and these points turn into screen time to play the mobile game.

Healthy You Health Fair

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) in partnership with Hy-Vee, recently hosted "Healthy You" health fairs across Iowa.
The events, which took place in Hy-Vee's Healthy You Mobiles, featured fun family activities and health care experts who delivered a variety of educational materials and resources, including healthy cards and snacks.
This is the second consecutive year UHC has partnered with Hy-Vee to bring the mobile health fair to communities across Iowa.
This year the health fairs were held in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo.


MCOs Offer Health Tips, Greet Visitors at Iowa State Fair

UnitedHealthcare is providing Iowa State Fair attendees the opportunity to receive health and wellness tips and participate in fun family activities. Kids can receive temporary tattoos featuring Sesame Street characters, and dress-up like a doctor. UnitedHealthcare can be found at booths 314 and 315 inside the Varied Industries Building. 
Amerigroup representatives were at the Iowa State Fair on Opening Day, offering health tips and providing CPR demonstrations along the fair's Grand Concourse. Amerigroup representatives also handed free backpacks, basketballs, phone holders and fans to fairgoers.


UnitedHealthcare Partners With Ottumwa YMCA to Build New Fully Inclusive Playground

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) strives to improve access to health information, wellness programs and preventive care to communities across Iowa. UHC recognizes that overall health goes beyond medical care, and that social factors such as housing, food and employment have a substantial impact on health. To impact overall health UHC partners with a wide range of community organizations to a unified cause: improving the health and well-being of Iowans.
One organization UHC recently partnered with was the Ottumwa YMCA. UHC helped to fund and build a new, fully inclusive playground featuring equipment and surfaces accessible to all children, including those with disabilities. Fifty UHC employees participated in building the playground.
The partnership with the Ottumwa YMCA was just one of many ways UHC is making a difference in Iowa communities and helping Iowans live healthier lives. UHC's community investments in 2017 across Iowa included:
  • Focus on Education: $75,000
  • Improving Maternal Outcomes: $30,000
  • Homelessness Case Management: $30,000
  • Supporting Physical Fitness: $25,000
  • General Community Support: $20,000


UnitedHealthcare Helps Bring Imagination Playground to Quad-Cities

Next week, Friendly House, 1221 N. Myrtle St. in Davenport, will unveil its new Imagination Playground™. The innovative play equipment was provided by UnitedHealthcare (UHC) and national nonprofit KaBOOM!.
Imagination Playground in a Cart™ features a collection of oversized blue foam parts that enable children to build and rebuild play structures with their imaginations. It helps develop healthy bodies, resilient and creative minds, and social and emotional well-being.
Architect David Rockwell designed Imagination Playground to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play.
This is the fifth Imagination Playground UHC has donated in conjunction with KaBOOM!. UHC supports KaBOOM! in ensuring that all kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.


UnitedHealthcare Goes 'Above and Beyond' for the Special Olympics Iowa Community

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) was named "Outstanding Corporate Partner of the Year" by Special Olympics Iowa for its financial and volunteer support of nearly 15,000 athletes in their quest for better health.
UHC's strong history with Special Olympics Iowa began as a Gold Level Sponsor before becoming a Premier Statewide Partner in 2016. Through its Statewide Partner opportunity, UHC contributed to: Special Olympics Iowa competitions, including: bowling, equestrian, flag football, Mid-Winter Tournament, softball, Summer Games, volleyball, and Winter Games.
"UHC has continued to go above and beyond for the Special Olympics Iowa community by continuing to create ways to educate Special Olympics Iowa athletes about health and wellness. UHC employees love to come out and volunteer and support our athletes and the athletes love being able to interact with them and are eager to continue their health education. UHC volunteers' support goes beyond cheering our athletes on in competition," stated John Kliegl, President and CEO, Special Olympics Iowa.
Additionally, UHC offered Special Olympic athletes with hearing screenings and education about nutrition, safety and fitness to create an overall healthy lifestyle as part of its Healthy Athlete Initiative. This initiative also included:
  • Special Smiles: Offered athletes oral screening, oral health education, personal preventative products, free giveaways and information concerning necessary follow-up care by community-based dentists and educational institutions;
  • Opening Eyes: Athletes received extensive vision and eye tests, refraction's for those requiring further screening, prescription glasses (free to the athletes), prescription protective sports eye wear (free to the athletes), free giveaways and referral advice for follow-up care;
  • FUNfitness: The purposes of Special Olympics FUNfitness are to assess and improve flexibility, strength and balance; to educate athletes, coaches, families and caregivers about the importance of flexibility, strength and balance; and to provide a hands-on opportunity for Special Olympics athletes to learn about physical therapy;
  • Fit Feet: Volunteer health care professionals screen athletes feet and ankles for deformities as well as check for infections, nail care and proper shoes and socks;
  • Health Promotions: Offered athletes tips on nutrition, adequate hydration, maintaining personal hygiene, safety, fitness, danger of tobacco use, sun safety and other health concerns;
  • Healthy Hearing: Provided hearing examinations and follow-up recommendations;
  • Medfests: Opportunity to receive free Special Olympics Iowa athlete physicals.
  • Challenge Day Program: Unique to Iowa, Challenge Days are a one-day event designed specifically for the severe and profound population of Iowa as well as our aging population. Because of the need to offer more activities for these individuals, it has been a goal of Special Olympics Iowa to expand on our motor skills programs. Challenge Days introduce team sports adapted for the severe and profound as well as those who are unable to participate in the traditional Special Olympics programs. Activities, such as ramp bowling, balloon volleyball, team basketball, basketball shoot, batting, ball darts, golf, shot put, race walk, and wall pass are modified to allow youth and adults to participate in a team or as an individual. Volunteers and switch activated equipment are on site to assist the athletes as they participate in each event.
As part of its work with Special Olympics Iowa, UHC also partnered with Iowa State University to honor an "Athlete of the Game" at 10 men's college basketball games, where a Special Olympics' athlete is recognized on the floor at Hilton Coliseum and presented with an autographed basketball. After the basketball season, all Athlete of the Game honorees were invited to a luncheon where they got to meet UHC employees. ISU Men's Basketball coach Steve Prohm also spoke and met with athletes at the luncheon.