Browse Month

June 2015

UnitedHealthcare supports Houston Rodeo’s scholarship program


How is UnitedHealthcare involved with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo?

Could it be that the rodeo’s steer wrestlers and bull riders have connected with UnitedHealthcare because they found their “way in” to the Houston healthcare system? Just imagine this new chapter in UnitedHealthcare’s hilarious “way in” campaign:

A weathered cowboy gets bounced by a boisterous bull at the rodeo, finds his “way in” to the local healthcare system, and turns to UnitedHealthcare to help him navigate the process of repairing his bruised buttocks.

While UnitedHealthcare certainly may be helping banged up bull riders navigate the complex healthcare system, the connection with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is much deeper.

In fact, UnitedHealthcare has sponsored the massive rodeo for a decade now, helping to provide scholarships for aspiring students who are more focused on mastering biology than bull-riding.

UnitedHealthcare supports the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides $18,000 awards over four years to students who are in the top half of their class. Congratulations to this year’s UnitedHealthcare Opportunity Scholarship winner, Leslie Hernandez, who recently graduated from Milby High School in the Houston Independent School District and is preparing to attend Texas A&M University!

Support of scholarships through the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one more example of how UnitedHealthcare finds its “way in” to the communities it serves and seeks to help provide a healthier life for so many Texans.

Photo Credit: Kobby Dagan /

Houston-area UnitedHealthcare employees volunteering at the rodeo
Houston-area UnitedHealthcare employees volunteering at the rodeo
Houston Rodeo Scholarship
This year’s Houston Rodeo scholarship students

So Much Potential

Don Langer, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, Texas with 2015 Project Search graduates
Don Langer, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, Texas with 2015 Project Search graduates

“Our kids have so much more potential than people sometimes give them credit for,” is how Dawn Carlson, Fort Bend ISD’s Director of Special Education, described the group of 10 students who graduated this week from Project SEARCH, a partnership among UnitedHealthcare, Fort Bend ISD and the Texas Department of Rehabilitative Services.

As part of its mission to help all people live healthier lives, UnitedHealthcare donated $15,000 to fund Project SEARCH, an innovative school-to-work program created to train and hire young people ages 18-22 who are living with disabilities.

During the 2014-2015 school year, ten Sugar Land students served as interns at UnitedHealthcare’s Houston office, working one on one with UHC team members and gaining confidence, pride, office skills and hope for the future.

It was amazing to watch the transformation of the kids since they started working in the UHC office, both with job skills and social skills. When they first showed up, the kids were very nervous but within a couple of weeks, they were answering questions at an all-employee meeting with more than 300 people. UnitedHealthcare sees enormous potential through its partnership with Project SEARCH and believes it is a program every company should consider.

Project SEARCH was developed nearly twenty years ago at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, after Erin Riehle, Director of the Emergency Department, wondered if it would be possible to train some of the individuals with disabilities who were patients at the hospital to perform high-turnover, entry-level positions. Erin joined with Susie Rutkowski, Special Education Director at Great Oaks Career Campuses, to launch Project SEARCH. This successful initiative has grown to 280 sites in the United States and globally; helping thousands of people with disabilities develop opportunities to become gainfully employed.

Congratulations to our 2015 Project Search graduates and their families. Your potential is unlimited!

Mobile app helps travelers find health care in a pinch

By Tom Quirk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare North Texas

health4me app in apple app storeIt’s vacation season and whether it’s a seasonal bug or a minor injury, you want to be able to find medical help quickly when you’re traveling away from home. But, depending on where your vacation plans take you, you may not know where the nearest medical facility is or if the facility is in your health insurance network. Now you can find the answers to both questions quickly and easily on your smartphone.

With the Health4Me app from UnitedHealthcare, just enter the zip code or use your phone’s location service, and the closest urgent care facilities, complete with address and phone number, immediately come up. You don’t have to be a UnitedHealthcare member to use the app. You can log in as a “Guest” and receive the information.

In addition to showing urgent care facilities, Health4Me also enables you to comparison-shop for more than 755 medical services. In Texas and nationwide, there are significant price variations for health care services at hospitals and doctors’ offices. For instance, if you’ve hurt your knee in Dallas on the trip, you’ll learn the total cost for a knee MRI at hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area ranges between $591 and $681.

Here’s hoping your vacation is enjoyable and injury free. But if you do have a mishap, take comfort in knowing that help, through the Health4Me app, is conveniently located on your smartphone. Bon voyage!

Download free in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Android Marketplace.