DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 11, 2023 – The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”), in conjunction with Molina Healthcare of Iowa (“Molina”), presented the Iowa Primary Care Association and their member community health centers with a $200,000 grant for resources to support their work of addressing health disparities and inequities in rural and under-resourced areas throughout Iowa.
According to the CDC, 15% of all Americans live in rural areas and are at greater risk of death from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke. The most recent U.S. Census shows 37% of Iowans live in rural areas. Accordingly, more than half of the Iowa Primary Care Association health center sites are in rural areas of the state.
Over the past year, community health centers in Iowa collaborated with the Iowa Primary Care Association on the Advancing Health Equity and Addressing Disparities (AHEAD) initiative. The MolinaCares grant will fund training and technical assistance at the health centers to develop strategies to address social drivers of health issues suchas food insecurity, lack of transportation and housing insecurity. The health centers will track and report outcomes to help guide future care planning throughout Iowa.
The MolinaCares Accord investment also supports the 14 community health centers in their work to directly address identified inequities for their patients. It will also fundinclusive workforce strategies, staff training around health disparities, enhancing patient engagement, and developing patient, family, and stakeholder advisory councils to reflect the needs of the local communities.
“MolinaCares is committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves, whether in densely populated areas or underserved rural areas in Iowa,” said Jennifer Vermeer, plan president for Molina Healthcare of Iowa. “Through the AHEAD initiative, Iowa Primary Care Association is addressing health barriers specific to each region. This aligns with Molina’s holistic approach to health care.”
“As providers of affordable, accessible health care services and supports, Iowa’s community health centers are well poised to address disparities in rural and other under-resourced areas of Iowa,” said Aaron Todd, chief executive officer of the Iowa Primary Care Association. “We are grateful for our partnership with MolinaCares and its investment that will enable Iowans to more fully realize their health potential.”
Providers in Iowa communities will see direct benefits from the grant. Siouxland Community Health Center, a member of the Iowa Primary Care Association, is a leader in health equity among Iowa’s community health centers and will see a direct impact from the grant through its participation in the network’s AHEAD project, specifically focusing on rural health inequities and engaging community partners to improve patient experiences.
About The MolinaCares Accord
Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc. in 2020, The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities. The MolinaCares Accord funds such measures through The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc.
About Molina Healthcare of Iowa
Molina Healthcare of Iowa, Inc. serves members through its Medicaid program in Iowa. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, provides managed healthcare services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs and through the state insurance marketplaces. Molina Healthcare served approximately 5.2 million members as of September 30, 2023, located across 19 states. For more information about Molina Healthcare, please visit molinahealthcare.com.