Press release

Aetna Awards More Than $595,000 to Chicagoland Nonprofits





Public Company Information:

"Without our health, we cannot enjoy the fruits of our labor, education or economic opportunity. That's why Aetna and the Aetna Foundation are committed to strengthening families and communities by increasing health literacy and strengthening the health care safety net in Chicagoland."

Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation announced this week that they awarded $593,559 to Chicagoland nonprofits in 2008.

Emphasis for Aetna's giving was placed on organizations that fund the health and human resource needs of underserved communities - such as preventive care, health screenings and health education services.

"The success of an individual or a community is founded in part upon good health," said Martin R. Castro, vice president of external affairs for diverse market strategies at Aetna's Chicago office. Castro oversaw the grant-making process. "Without our health, we cannot enjoy the fruits of our labor, education or economic opportunity. That's why Aetna and the Aetna Foundation are committed to strengthening families and communities by increasing health literacy and strengthening the health care safety net in Chicagoland."

Chicagoland organizations that received Aetna and Aetna Foundation grants are:

  • American Heart Association's for its Start! Walking Program. The program encourages businesses to emphasize walking for health among their employees: $125,000;
  • Enlace Chicago for its B-Ball on the Block Program for the Little Village and North Lawndale neighborhoods. Includes a health education component: $35,700;
  • Casa Central for its certified nurse assistant training program and to support its annual event. Casa Central is the largest Hispanic social service agency in the Midwest, offering 23 different programs and services in Chicago: $35,000;
  • CommunityHealth for its diabetes and disease prevention educational programs and to support its annual event. CommunityHealth was founded in 1993 and has provided upward of 135,000 free medical and education visits to more than 30,000 low-income uninsured people: $30,000;
  • American Diabetes Association to support its local African- American and Latino outreach initiatives and expansion of the Diabetes Conferencia: $25,000;
  • Apna Ghar for its mental health initiative for Asian immigrants and Asian-American survivors of domestic violence: $25,000;
  • Centro Comunitario Juan Diego for its community health promoter programming targeting diabetes in the Latino and Haitian immigrant communities on Chicago's Southeast Side: $25,000;
  • Chicago Children's Museum for its "Healthy Family" and "Petite Chefs" programs: $25,000;
  • Erie Family Health Center for its diabetes education and prevention program: $25,000;
  • National Museum of Mexican Art for its "Dia Del Niño Family Festival," a health and wellness celebration: $25,000;
  • Norwegian American Hospital Foundation for diabetes screening conducted aboard its pediatric "Care-a-Van:" $25,000;
  • Clearbrook to assist with employment training for the developmentally disabled: $15,000;
  • Latino Literacy Now for the Latino Book and Family Festival in Cicero to provide health literacy information and health screenings at the Aetna Health Pavilion during this nationally known festival. The Latino Book and Family Festival was founded by actor Edward James Olmos to promote literacy, culture and education and to celebrate the diversity of multicultural communities in the U.S.: $15,000;
  • Puerto Rican Arts Alliance for the expansion of educational programming in the suburbs in conjunction with its 10th Annual Puerto Rican Cuatro Festival: $15,000;
  • Renz Addiction Counseling Center to provide health education services on the Mexican Consulate's mobile consulate that provides consular services in Chicago's suburbs: $15,000;
  • Chicago United in support of Chicago United's mission and Aetna's active participation in this important organization. Chicago United's members range from emerging minority businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, working together to develop sustainable diversity in a way that strengthens the community: $13,336;
  • Association House of Chicago for its teen healthy lifestyles program and in support of its annual event: $12,000;
  • After School Matters for its annual gala, it's biggest fund raising event of the year. After School Matters is a non-profit organization for teens to become paid apprentices or club members in arts, sports, technology, and communications programs: $10,000;
  • Better Boys Foundation for its health programming. The Foundation's focus is to counterbalance the ill effects of socioeconomic disadvantage for boys and girls in Chicago's North Lawndale community: $10,000;
  • Chicago Run for its end-of-the-year, one-mile student run and to adopt the Chicago Run program at Chicago's Walsh School. Chicago Run is an organization that facilitates healthy running programs for Chicago public school youth: $10,000;
  • Mt. Sinai Hospital Medical Center to support programming for its Pediatric Weight Management Clinic: $10,000;
  • Women's Business Development Center for its child care business program and its Latina business program: $10,000;
  • Namaste Charter School for its healthy lifestyles program: $7,500;
  • University of Illinois for its CeaseFire program, an evidence-based public health approach to reducing shootings and killings: $5,000;
  • Chicago Foundation for Women for its 23rd Annual Lunch & Symposium. The symposium seeks to educate and create public awareness around gender and race issues and social justice: $5,000;
  • Chicago Historical Society for its "Making History Awards, which pays tribute to honorees for their historic contributions not only to Chicago, but across the nation and around the world: $5,000;
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago for its annual event which supports the Lyric's programs: $5,000;
  • National Medical Fellowship for its inaugural Chicago event in support of scholarships and fellowships for underserved minority medical students: $5,000;
  • Prevent Child Abuse America for its Wrigley Start Early Run-Walk: $5,000;
  • North Shore University Health System to support its event for their Alzheimer and Memory Assessment Center: $4,500;
  • Chinese American Service League for its annual dinner dance benefit in support of CASL's programming and to help rebuild the Chinese American Museum of Chicago which was destroyed by fire: $3,000;
  • HealthCare Alternative Systems for its postpartum depression "Treating Moms Well" event: $3,000;
  • March of Dimes for its "Dance for Babies" fund-raiser in support of its programming in the Chicago Latino community: $3,000;
  • Howard Brown Health Center for its annual event benefiting their women's services. Howard Brown Health Center is one of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) healthcare organizations: $2,500;
  • Coach Care Center for a Spanish translation of its informational DVD. Coach Care is a center for medically fragile children and their families: $1,523;
  • Latinos Progresando for theater productions and radio programming that educate youth on making better health decisions through its unique program "Salud: Healing Through the Arts", in partnership with Radio Arte: $1,500; and
  • St. Anthony Hospital Foundation for a health fair that brings the South and North Lawndale communities together: $1,000.

In addition, the Aetna Foundation, through its national Latino and African-American Focus Groups announced an additional $225,000 in grants to national nonprofits, a portion of which will be deployed in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Aetna Foundation has awarded $175,000 to the National Council of La Raza for its "Carreras en Salud" program, educating bilingual and bicultural nurses. The flagship program in Chicago, run in conjunction with Instituto del Progreso Latino and Wilbur Wright College, will be supported by this grant, as will programs in four other cites across the U.S. Also receiving a $50,000 national grant is the National Medial Fellowship for the establishment of ten Aetna scholarships to be awarded in Chicago, New York and California.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Founded in 1972, the Foundation seeks to help build healthy communities by funding initiatives that improve the quality of life where our employees and customers work and live.

The Foundation's giving is focused on health, diversity and employee community involvement, with broader programs in our home state of Connecticut. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $334 million in grants, sponsorships and social investments. In 2008, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation contributed $24.5 million nationally. Additional information about the 2009 Regional Community Health Grants Program will be available in March, 2009 and can be found at the Aetna Foundation website:

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.5 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see