Persistent Health Inequities Call for Community Solutions

A Large National Insurance Provider

BETAH served as a trusted community partner by engaging and empowering departments of health, key local stakeholders, and diverse populations in the journey of optimal health.


When a large national insurance company wanted to better understand the biggest barriers to health in Montgomery County, MD, it reached out to BETAH for assistance in leveraging its community engagement expertise to connect with local leaders and stakeholders. With focus groups, listening sessions, and surveys, BETAH tapped into the vital voices of a diverse and thoughtful community. We helped create a prototype for identifying and prioritizing health needs and building community-based solutions to address them.


Before it even had a name, Voices for Vital Health was a vision. Leaders at a large national insurance company wanted to develop a pilot project for engaging with local communities hit hard by COVID-19. After extensive research, the company chose Montgomery County, Maryland, given its diverse population, as its pilot location and asked BETAH, with deep roots in the area, to lead the effort.


BETAH created a multistep process for connecting with diverse local leaders; testing targeted messaging and a project name; and guiding in-person data collection, recruitment, and sampling methodology.


BETAH’s outreach efforts included establishing a community advisory board of six diverse, and impactful leaders in Montgomery County; conducting a focus group with community-based and grassroots leaders; and hosting five 60-minute listening sessions with 31 representatives serving the county’s Black, Latino, LGBTQIA, Asian, and faith-based communities.


As the BETAH team began sifting through the feedback, it created a logical model to identify short- and long-term impacts of the pilot project. In the short term, BETAH demonstrated key strategies for reaching underserved communities.


BETAH-trained survey administrators went throughout the county and encountered residents eager to engage. For a little over two months, administrators collected more than 400 surveys. The outreach strengthened civic engagement within Montgomery County, identified avenues for further collaboration, and provided UHG with a path forward to impact other communities with unique challenges.


Montgomery County was the first community to participate in Voices for Vital Health. Our client hopes to make the pilot project its template for supporting communities across the country with similar gaps in local health infrastructure.