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April 2015

UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge raises awareness, funds & hope

Ride 2 Recovery Houston

The April showers that soaked the Lone Star State did not dampen the spirits of some 170 wounded warriors who powered and pedaled through about 500 miles of Texas roadway last week.

The cyclists were part of the 7th annual UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge, a seven-day ride from Houston to Fort Worth that raises funds and awareness for wounded veterans, even as the rigorous ride raises their spirits.

Between Sunday, April 19 and Saturday, April 25, the warriors biked through a number of communities between Houston and Fort Worth, including College Station, Georgetown, Fort Hood, Waco and Cleburne. In big cities and small towns, they received a warm and well-deserved heroes’ welcome.

The veterans – some with visible injuries and others whose wounds are hidden – rode on a variety of bicycles. Many bikes were specially designed or adapted to accommodate warriors missing hands or feet, while one veteran who lost her vision in an explosion in Iraq was riding on a tandem bike.

“Just cycling with other veterans is a therapeutic way, not only to stay in shape, but connect with other people,” Texas veteran Jonathan Dade told KTRH radio in Houston. “It is my therapy. Instead of going to a doctor each week or talking to a counselor, I get on my bike; I relax and talk to other people. The challenge is something I train for, but it’s also part of what I need to do.”

As Ride 2 Recovery’s President John Wordin told the Houston Chronicle, “The UnitedHealthcare Challenge Series is all about the mental and physical challenge of getting your life back by restoring hope and purpose. For these men and women, cycling becomes a life-changing addition to their physical and mental rehabilitation.”

The event is also close to the heart of its lead sponsor, whose employees look forward to rallying around a group of people who have sacrificed so much for our country.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to help make this event come to life and to support the exercise and rehabilitation services that are important to the health and well-being of our veterans,” Tom Quirk, chief executive officer, UnitedHealthcare of Texas told The Humble Observer.


UnitedHealthcare joins Hunger Free Texans in effort to foster healthy communities

In the midst of unbridled economic growth and opportunities across the great state of Texas, there are still people who go hungry in 2015.

As difficult as it may be to stomach, a staggering one in five Texas households – 18.4 percent – experience food insecurity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it the second highest state in terms of the number of food insecure households. Food insecurity means that a household does not have consistent access to adequate food, due to their limited financial means, transportation or other resources.

UnitedHealthcare Texas recently joined hands with Hunger Free Texans in an effort to address this problem, sponsoring the organization’s annual conference in Houston in April.

Hunger Free Texans is a nonprofit health and wellness organization whose mission is keeping members of the public well by reducing hunger and increasing health and nutrition in Texas through collective impact and education. The organization provides free educational conferences for nonprofits, public sector organizations and others on topics, providing knowledge from experts in the areas of food, nutrition, health/wellness and healthy communities.

“Everything stems from food and diet,” noted Hunger Free Texans President Aaron Herrera during an interview with KPRC television in Houston.

Since convening its first conference just three years ago, Hunger Free Texans has equipped more than 1,300 organizations around Texas with the knowledge they need to address the state’s hunger problem.

In April, more than 150 leaders from food, nutrition, health and wellness organizations across the state participated in a number of breakout educational sessions, including:

  • Using healthy food to manage heart disease and chronic illnesses
  • Nutrition for people working with children and families
  • Healthy foods in schools
  • Managing the diets of senior citizens
  • Eating organic
  • Food’s role in stress reduction.

Though the Hunger Free Texans was initially focused on food access, it has since expanded its focus to include nutrition and health – areas that are of particular interest to UnitedHealthcare, whose mission is helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone.

To learn more about Hunger Free Texans, visit

UnitedHealthcare uses humor as hook in new ad campaign


“I came in too hot” is one of the many “ways in” to the healthcare system, and UnitedHealthcare’s creative team has taken a fresh approach to educating the public about navigating the complex system – whether they are there because of illness, injuries or inexplicable accidents.

With the release this spring of a series of television, Internet, radio and print ads, UnitedHealthcare is using humor as an effective hook to educate people about their healthcare options and to show that the health insurer understands how challenging the healthcare system can be.

The laugh-out-loud TV spots take a humorous look at official medical codes and definitions to illustrate just how a person might enter the healthcare system through “Activity Involving Dancing and Other Rhythmic Movements,” “Accidental Fall Into Storm Drain or Manhole” or “Other Accidental Fall from One Level to Another.”

Likewise, the accompanying print ads use a series of entertaining and cringe-worthy photos to illustrate how one might be afflicted with conditions like, “Foreign Body Accidentally Entering Other Orifice,” “Activities Involving Frisbee” or “Retained Wood Fragments,” among others.

“We know this industry is incredibly complex,” said Andrew Mackenzie, chief marketing officer of UnitedHealthcare’s commercial and Medicaid business, in an interview with AdAge. “We know consumers are frustrated. If we can demonstrate that … we can connect with them.”

Which ad is your favorite?

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