Health Equity - United Ways of California

The Healthcare Challenge

At United Ways of California, we know that frequent economic hardship is categorized as a traumatic event that could lead to toxic stress and poor health outcomes. The vicious cycle of poverty and trauma starts as early as 0 years old for more than half of children in California. This burden is predominantly placed on historically marginalized communities and communities of color. We’ve seen these communities disproportionately suffer from preventable chronic diseases and associated risks. 

Along with fundamental environmental and social supports, California needs systemic solutions that address the income gap and the cycle of poverty predominantly felt by BIPOC communities. This would allow individuals and families the agency to afford and access health services. Having quality healthcare coverage leads to having a longer and healthier life. Health equity ensures early and consistent quality preventive care and treatment are affordable and available to every person in every community.

What We’re Doing To Expand Health Equity

Throughout California, local United Ways fight to ensure that every family has the tools and resources they need to lead successful lives. This includes focusing on mental and physical health to advance opportunities for Californians. 

The initiatives include the following:

  • Throughout the pandemic, we’ve worked to support vulnerable communities through our COVID-19 outreach that spread awareness about COVID-19 resources and safety tips. 
  • United Ways of California is an active partner with Covered California, the place where Californians can get brand-name health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Our enrollment counselors provide information and assist Californians with plan renewals and new applications.  
  • We’ve worked to combat toxic stress during a particularly stressful time with our AI chatbot that provides tailored messages to Californians dealing with specific types of stress
  • Advocacy Work



of people helped by our stress relief outreach


people texted us for COVID-19 information



people get free transportation to their COVID-19 vaccination.

Do you need support managing your stress? Text the word STRESS to 211-211

Do you need COVID-19 related assistance? Text the word COVID-19 to 211-211

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