Friday, September 23, 2016

Optum Creates 700 “Craft Kits” to Support Project Sunshine and Comfort Children Facing Medical Challenges

Kudos to my colleagues at Optum who hosted a volunteer event in our Basking Ridge, New Jersey office yesterday. Approximately 90 Optum employees assembled more than 700 “Craft Kits” filled with fun and educational items that will be donated to children in local hospitals in an effort to restore a crucial sense of normalcy in their day-to-day lives.

Optum employees ready to create craft kits for kids in the hospital
The event supported Project Sunshine, an organization that enlists more than 15,000 volunteers to bring programming - recreational (arts), educational (tutoring and mentoring) and social service (HIV and nutritional counseling) - to 100,000 children facing medical challenges and their families in 175 cities across the United States and in four international locations: Canada, China, Israel and Kenya.

Employees hard at work building educational craft kits for kids
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 100,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Expanded Asian Resource Center in Edison offers in-person Medicare education, special resources for Asian-American community

From left to right: James Olmstead, UnitedHealthcare; Michel Nieson, UnitedHealthcare; Phillip Franz, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement; John Ng, managing director, Jovival Inc.; Chris Law, national vice president, UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiative; Josephine Ho, executive director, NJ Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce; Mark Park, immediate past-president, NJ Korean-American Chamber of Commerce & councilman of Englewood Cliffs; Paul Marden; Laura Bermingham, UnitedHealthcare,; Ivy Lee, Sino Monthly
Medicare benefits can be confusing for many older adults. And it may be even more confusing for seniors to understand their Medicare options if English isn’t their native language or they experience cultural barriers.

That’s why UnitedHealthcare has expanded its Asian Resource Center in Edison, New Jersey to offer in-person assistance to anyone who has questions about Medicare.  The expanded health benefits store provides enhanced customer service and health education customized for Asian-Americans in Middlesex County. The Resource Center’s customer service representatives speak Cantonese, Mandarin and South Asian dialects. A hotline is available for Korean-language inquiries at 1-888-201-4746; TYY 711.

Located in Festival Plaza on Route 27, the Resource Center is more than three times larger than UnitedHealthcare’s original Edison Resource Center on Lincoln Highway, which will enable the office to serve approximately 120,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Middlesex County, 23% of which are Asian-American.
Outside the expanded retail store in Edison, NJ

The Center’s customer service representatives are available to answer questions about Medicare coverage and help people sign up for community and government assistance programs, such as the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged & Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold programs. They can also help translate important documents, such as documents related to Social Security benefits. The expanded Resource Center has space to host community health and wellness programs.
Inside the storefront office in Edison, NJ
UnitedHealthcare was one of the first health plans to offer health care services tailored to the cultural needs of Asian-Americans. In fact, UnitedHealthcare founded its Asian Initiatives business more than 20 years ago when it opened an office in New York City’s Chinatown in 1994.

At UnitedHealthcare, we know that understanding Medicare benefits can be challenging, especially for those who do not speak English as their first language. With our expanded Asian Resource Center, we remain committed to providing people with a choice of innovative health and well-being solutions that help them access the quality care they need and enjoy the superior experience they deserve.

For more information and resources about Medicare, visit

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Veterans cycle through N.J. during 330-mile 9/11 Challenge

While our country paused for a moment to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., it doesn’t take long for life to go on again as usual.

But for those who served in the military, the physical and mental wounds of war continue to linger on.

This week, just a few days after the 9/11 anniversary, we should remember the ongoing challenges our military members face as a group of 90 injured veterans ride through New Jersey during the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery 9/11 Challenge, a 330-mile bike ride from Washington, D.C. to New York City.

Riders coming into Princeton
Riders stopped for lunch at the New Jersey Hospital Association Event & Conference Center on Sept. 13
Ride 2 Recovery is a groundbreaking program that uses the physical and mental challenge of long-distance cycling to help improve veterans’ physical health and psychological wellness. Veterans who participate in the program use a wide variety of bikes adapted to their needs, including traditional road bikes, hand cycles, tandems, recumbent bikes and other specially-fitted bicycles.

UHC and Siemens employees greeted the Veterans as they rode into Iselin, NJ
The group began their journey on September 11 in Arlington, VA, and rode through Maryland and Pennsylvania. Their first stop in New Jersey is on September 13 at 11 a.m. at the New Jersey Hospital Association Conference and Event Center in Princeton. They will then continue on to Newark, stopping at UnitedHealthcare’s offices in Iselin along the way. On September 14, they will depart Newark for a round-trip ride to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, which is the final leg of their journey.

UnitedHealthcare & Siemens employees cheered on riders

At UnitedHealthcare, we are proud to help veterans live healthier lives, and have been the title sponsor of Ride 2 Recovery challenges nationwide for the past six years. Programs like Ride 2 Recovery play a critical role in not only encouraging veterans to recover their physical strength and stamina, but also in helping them gain a sense of camaraderie, hope and purpose to support their mental and emotional recovery from the experience of war.

We hope New Jersey residents who live or work near the biking route for our veterans will join us in cheering them along. To view more details about the ride route, click here.