BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Verizon Foundation announced on Tuesday ( Dec. 4) its new program strategy to reduce health care disparities, improve quality and access to care, and empower patients in need with better chronic disease management programs through collaborative partnerships with national health care nonprofits and health information technology solutions from Verizon Enterprise Solutions. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121204/NY22859-INFO ) In total, the Verizon Foundation will invest nearly $13 million in grants and in-kind technology to fund and equip four nonprofit health care organizations with new health information technologies. The organizations focus on children, women and senior citizens. "For the first time at Verizon we are integrating our technology solutions and philanthropy to accelerate change in health care and improve patient outcomes," said Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation. "We are deploying our technology together with behavior modification programs to empower people to take control of their health. "Through our philanthropy and corporate giving, we seek to share our success in technology in underserved communities," said Kirk. "To that end, we are working with our partner organizations to enhance patient-care models and empower disease education and management through technology." Americans spend more than $2.6 trillion on health care each year, with 45 percent of the entire population living with at least one chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes and lung diseases. Seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are attributed to chronic diseases, many of which are preventable. Seventy-five cents of every health care dollar is spent on chronic disease, and the impact of chronic disease on underserved populations accounts for almost 40 cents of that spend. (Note: To view an interactive infographic that illustrates the impact of chronic disease on children, women and seniors, visit www.verizonfoundation.org/chronicdisease/.) To help address these issues, the Verizon Foundation is launching programs with four innovators in the health care sector: the Children's Health Fund, the Society for Women's Health Research, the National Association of Community Health Centers, and the University of California, San Diego. The program will expand in 2013 to include additional partnerships. The foundation's support of these four organizations will advance the utilization of technology to improve self-management, access to care, improved quality and care adherence. In addition, the foundation, in collaboration with Verizon Enterprise Solutions, will give each organization access to Verizon health information technology solutions.