UnitedHealthcare today celebrated the 20th anniversary of its
Asian Initiatives and the establishment of its first retail store in New
York's Chinatown that has served thousands of Asian Americans in New
York and New Jersey.
Michael McGuire, CEO of UnitedHealthcare New York and New Jersey; Jeff Alter, national CEO of UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual; and Chris Law, national vice president of UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiatives (left to right) watch a Chinese lion dance as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiatives and the establishment of its first retail store in New York's Chinatown that has served thousands of Asian Americans in New York and New Jersey. The event was held at UnitedHealthcare's 168 Centre Street in Chinatown at its Asian Initiative consumer support center (PHOTO: Gerard Gaskin, Gaskin Photography).
UnitedHealthcare has been providing in-language insurance and health
support services to Asian Americans in New York and New Jersey for two
decades. The company opened its first health benefits store in 1994 at
202 Canal St. in Chinatown, relocating to 168 Centre St. in 2013. In
2011, UnitedHealthcare opened its first health benefits consumer-support
center in Queens that became the model for additional stores nationwide,
including one in Edison, N.J., that opened last year to support the
growing Asian-American community there.
"We are honored to be a part of this community and to help many local
residents get the health care support they need to live healthier
lives," said Chris Law, national vice president, UnitedHealthcare Asian
Initiatives. "We look forward to another 20 years working with
neighborhood leaders to keep our Asian-American communities vibrant and
Each year, the Asian Initiatives staff, most of whom are bilingual
(Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Hindi and other Asian languages), provides
benefits and health support services to more than 4,000 UnitedHealthcare
plan participants each month at its three New York-New Jersey centers.
This includes more than 100 Medicare beneficiaries who have been with
UnitedHealthcare since it opened its Chinatown retail store 20 years ago.
"I have been a UnitedHealthcare member since the company opened the
Chinatown center 20 years ago," said Yui Ng, 91. "I trust them. Its
social services department helped me apply for government subsidy
programs, which saved me a lot of money on medical and other expenses.
It meant a lot to have that support so I could be more secure. They are
also very professional and lways very friendly."
"I've been happy with UnitedHealthcare. I have good benefits and they
offer me help when I need it," said Kamlim Lee, 98. "And what other
company offers me services in Toisanese?"
Throughout its 20-year history, Asian Initiatives has collaborated with
dozens of organizations in New York City to address the unique health
needs of Asian Americans, particularly seniors. Programs have included a
hepatitis B screening program with the Chinese-American Independent
Practice Association (CAIPA), the Chinatown Health Clinic (CHC) and
Glaxo Wellcome; and seminars with CAIPA and CHC on nasopharyngeal
carcinoma, a cancer that occurs in the nasopharynx, which is located
behind the nose and above the back of the throat, that is more common
among Asian Americans than other populations. Other activities have
included health awareness campaigns, and screening programs supported by
grants from pharmaceutical companies.
UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiatives has hosted its own seminars on
numerous topics including selecting and using health benefits, general
health and nutrition, and financial planning.
In 2011, UnitedHealthcare supported the establishment of the Asian
Diabetes Center, a first-of-its-kind clinic in New York City's Chinatown
area that provides comprehensive in-language and culturally relevant
health care and education services for Asian Americans to prevent or
better manage diabetes.
"UnitedHealthcare has been a great partner in launching the Asian
Diabetes Center and many other programs on which we have collaborated
over the years," said George Liu, M.D., founder of the Asian Diabetes
Center and president of CAIPA. "We look forward to our ongoing work with
UnitedHealthcare as we look to educate and engage residents here in
Chinatown in improving their health."
The introduction of Asian Initiatives also marked the launch of
UnitedHealthcare's consumer support centers across the country. Today
the company has five centers supporting Asian-American residents in New
York (Manhattan and Queens), New Jersey (Edison) and California (Los
Angeles and Alhambra), and the company is looking to open additional
centers to support growing Asian-American communities nationwide.
UnitedHealthcare also has more than 30 retail storefronts in 17 states
offering health benefits and consumer support to people enrolled in
Medicare, Medicaid and employer-based plans.
"Health care is a local resource, and as consumers are increasingly
being asked to play a greater role in their personal health, many people
may need extra support," said Tom Paul, chief consumer officer,
UnitedHealthcare. "Programs like Asian Initiatives and our neighborhood
centers will continue to play an important role in helping to ensure
consumers have access to culturally sensitive local resources so they
can learn more about their health and the options available to them."
UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 4 million New York residents with a care
provider network of 233 hospitals and nearly 62,000 physicians and other
health care professionals statewide, including more than 2,000
Asian-American physicians who provide culturally and linguistically
appropriate care and support to Asian-American plan participants in New
"I offer my enthusiastic congratulations to UnitedHealthcare Asian
Initiatives on its 20th anniversary. This program has made a
huge impact on so many Chinatown residents by helping people make the
right choices to lead healthier lives and take care of themselves," said
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "By providing
information in multiple languages, UnitedHealthcare is meeting the
challenges specific to the Asian-American community here in Lower
Manhattan and throughout the region. I look forward to many more
successful years to come."
"For two decades, UnitedHealthcare has played such a valuable role in
helping the Asian-American community receive quality care and health
education," said New York City Council Member Margaret Chin. "I'm
pleased to congratulate the organization's hardworking staff and
leadership on this milestone anniversary, and I wish them the best for
the future as they continue to keep the members of our community in good
is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by
simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and
wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care
providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit
programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid
beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians
and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities
nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million
people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth
Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being
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