By DONNA OSUCH
OF WEST CENTRAL CONNECTICUT
The United Way of West Central Connecticut, which serves the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, and Terryville, is working to change the world by focusing on the building blocks of a good life for everyone – Education, Income, and Health. Today, we will explore how United Way is having an impact on Health.
If an individual isn’t healthy, it’s hard to have a good life. Yet, an individual’s health is impacted by many factors – age, income level, access to resources, affordability of insurance, availability of medical assistance, etc. A problem in one area can severely affect a person’s health.
Our Health work focuses on access to resources, like information and access to discounts. We at United Way are not health professionals – so we leave the healing to people trained in this area. But we can help by providing referrals to programs and matching people with services that can help them achieve wellness.
United Way has the following in-house initiatives:
2-1-1 is Connecticut’s free information and referral service. Simply by dialing 2-1-1, a toll-free number throughout Connecticut, callers can reach knowledgeable, multilingual staff and get information, referrals or seek help in a crisis. 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It is supported by all local United Ways and the State of Connecticut.
United Way runs our local FamilyWize Prescription Discount Program, which offers a free discount card that can save an average of 35% or more on the cost of prescription drugs for people with no insurance and for medicine not covered by an insurance plan or Medicare. The card is accepted at most pharmacies nationwide and does not require enrollment.
TRIAD brings together law enforcement, seniors, and organizations that serve seniors to address the safety needs and concerns of older adults in their community and reduce the fear of crime. The West Central Connecticut TRIAD was organized by United Way, in partnership with our local towns and cities, police departments, and senior centers, along with many community organizations.
Our local TRIAD has offered several programs, including “Let’s Find Our Seniors,” which was a grassroots effort to get information to the senior community about the services that are available to them; Emergency Preparedness Programs, which aimed to get seniors prepared for disasters and other emergencies; last year’s “Spring Forward Into Safety” Conference, which focused on how seniors could protect themselves against scams and financial abuse; and the Yellow Dot Program, which is designed to provide information to emergency first responders in the case of an automobile incident or accident.
United Way also funds local non-profits that provide health services, such as Community Mental Health Affiliates, Prudence Crandall Center, Wheeler Clinic, Wheeler Regional Family YMCA, YWCA of New Britain and others!
By funding programs at local non-profits, while also implementing community-level initiatives, United Way is able to have a real, lasting impact on the health and wellness of our local families.
Would you like to help United Way change the world by supporting our work in Health? Simply log onto our website to make a donation today and earmark your investment toward Health:
This is the fifth column in an eight-week series from United Way of West Central Connecticut’s President & CPO, Donna Osuch.