United Way Works for a Healthier America

Whether it is a neighbor without health insurance, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling with mental illness or an addiction, local United Ways are working to ensure everyone has access to quality, affordable care.

Our Goal

Since 2008, United Way has been working to achieve its bold, 10-year goal: to increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors by 2018.

Our Strategy

Achieving this goal requires us all to become more aware of health risks and the potential effects they have on ourselves and others, starting from before birth. Working to change policies and practices, such as extending health care coverage, will enable more people to live healthier lives.

National and Local Health Facts

  • Nationally, more than 33% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. That’s 25 million kids and teenagers. In Chenango County, approximately 20% of youth are obese. That's about 1,400 kids.
  • Children with health coverage are better prepared to learn in school and succeed in life.1
  • The number of Americans without health insurance has increased steadily since the beginning of the century, now totaling about 47 million. More than 80% are working families.2
  • 8.7 million children live without health insurance – more than the total number enrolled in the first and second grades in U.S. public schools.3
  • At the Greater Chenango Cares IRT events held in the summers of 2015 and 2016, the community's need for no-cost dental and vision services greatly exceeded the event's capacity to provide those services. There is only one known dental provider who accepts Medicaid for dental services in Chenango County. 
  • School-based dental clinics exist in only two of the eight school districts in Chenango County and children with substantial dental care needs must be sent "out of county" to receive those specialized services. 

1Institute of Medicine. From Neurons to Neighborhood: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington DC: National Academies Press, 2000.) 2Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates from the March Current Population Survey, 2007 Supplement. 3Compiled by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), University of Minnesota School of Public Health, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey 2007.

Our Local Work: Chenango County

The Chenango United Way works to be sure that all people-from little ones through seniors- have access to quality, affordable care that is easily accessible. We want to be sure that all individuals have the opportunity to be be physically, emotionally, and socially well. Partnerships and collaborations, as well as the annual funding of direct service programs, are helping us to support health and wellness initiatives across Chenango County. For example: 

  • Our partnership with the Building a Healthy Community Coalition (BAHC), the Chenango County Department of Public Health, the Chenango Health Network and Chobani have allowed us to increase community awareness around the local issues of obesity and wellness. By collaborating on the summertime Chobani Healthy Challenge for the last two years (a 12 week nutrition and fitness competition aimed at improving overall wellness), as well as helping to establish the Chobani Fit Path at Weiler Park in Norwich, NY (a series of permanent fitness stations designed to provide activity without the need for a gym membership), we have been able to work collectively as a community to encourage increased fitness opportunities for our friends and neighbors. 
  • In partnership with the Chenango County Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force, the Chenango United Way is learning about the community's ever-expanding substance abuse issue  and exploring ways to assist in the education, prevention and harm reduction necessary to protect our community. 
  • In both the summers of 2015 and 2016, the Chenango United Way partnered with the Greater Chenango Cares IRT (Innovative Readiness Training- a program of the US Department of Defense), to bring more than 172 active and reservist service personnel to Chenango County. These service members provided no-cost medical, dental, vision and veterinary care to Chenango County residents and surrounding communities over a 10-day period each year. In 2016, 1,850 patients were served and the following services provided:
  1. Medical Clinic- 1,387 services
    1. Physical Therapy- 472 services
    2. Nutrition- 257 services
    3. Nurse Counseling- 1,674 services
    4. Pharmacy- 639 services
  2. Dental Clinic- 2,350 services
  3. Optometry Clinic- 2,354 services
    1. No-Cost Glasses- 577 pairs
  4. Veterinary Clinic- 690 services
    1. Total Services- 10,310 services
    2. Total Unduplicated Patients Served- 1,850
    3. Total Value of These Services to the Community- $914,904

In addition to helping provide our community members with access to medical help, we have also partnered with SingleCare (formerly known as FamilyWize) to help families and individuals both with or without insurance cut down on their medication costs. Take a look at our Community Impact Initiatives for more details on how to sign up, but check out the stats below!