PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - August 6, 2020 


Facebook removes a Trump post because of "deceptive" COVID19 claims; small businesses seek more pandemic relief.


2020Talks - August 6, 2020 


Iowa's governor has restored the right to vote for people with past felony convictions via executive order; and Tennessee has a primary election today.

Grants Help Underserved Communities Cope with COVID-19

Children may experience depression and anxiety during and after enforced isolation. (Gargonia/Adobe Stock)
Children may experience depression and anxiety during and after enforced isolation. (Gargonia/Adobe Stock)
July 13, 2020

NEW YORK -- Community-based organizations in New York are getting some extra help dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in underserved communities.

In New York, 14 organizations are receiving a combined total of $1.3 million in Empowering Health grants funded by UnitedHealthcare.

According to Migdalia Vasquez, director of community relations and outreach for UnitedHealthcare in New York, the grants target areas driving the disproportionate health consequences of the current public health crisis in at-risk communities.

"We identified food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health issues as the most urgent needs resulting from COVID-19," she states.

The grants will help support food pantries, soup kitchens, counseling and mental health services in targeted communities.

Several of the organizations receiving Empowering Health grants are focused on addressing the social and emotional health of children.

Vasquez notes that the shutdown to bring the pandemic under control has had a major impact on young people.

"You're seven or eight or 10 years old and all of a sudden, you're forced to isolate," she points out. "It's a huge thing for children so we thought that it was important for us to connect resources to those organizations that are dealing with those issues."

A recent study found that children and adolescents may be more likely to experience high rates of depression and anxiety during enforced isolation and after it ends.

Vasquez says the goal of the Empowering Health grants is to expand access to care for uninsured individuals and underserved communities by addressing what she calls social determinants of health.

"Whether it's homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse (or) any of these behavioral health issues have an impact on the health of our members," she states. "And in order for us to make an impact on our communities, we have to address those social determinants."

This month, UnitedHealthcare announced Empowering Health grants totaling $12.3 million across 21 states.

Disclosure: UnitedHealthcare - New York and Northern Pennsylvania contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Mental Health, Philanthropy. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY