Support Aimed at Improving Health and Health Care and Other Causes
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) and its philanthropic arm, the Aetna Foundation, awarded $19.2 million in 2011 to nonprofit organizations working to improve people’s health, particularly those from underserved populations, and to increase their access to high-quality health care. Much of the funding was directed at reversing the obesity epidemic in adults and children, promoting racial and ethnic health equity and advancing integrated health care and care coordination. In addition, grants were made to programs addressing veterans’ needs, diversity and inclusion and community development.
Aetna employees, retirees and directors donated an additional $5.5 million in 2011 through the company's matching gift program, bringing combined giving in communities where Aetna employees and customers live and work to $24.7 million. Additionally, Aetna’s employees generously volunteered nearly 340,000 hours of their personal time and talents in 2011.
“Providing people with tools to live healthier lives drives our business and our philanthropy,” said Mark Bertolini, chairman, CEO, and president of Aetna Inc. and chairman of the Aetna Foundation. “Our 2011 charitable giving focused on helping people take charge of their health. We supported nutrition education, better access to high-quality health care and efforts to make our health care system more equitable and effective.”
Programs receiving grants include those that make fresh fruits and vegetables available in food deserts, offer prenatal care to women at high risk of premature birth, and investigate ways to enhance primary care that puts the patient’s needs first.
In 2011, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation directed $4.8 million in the fight against obesity, $3.2 million to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, and $2.5 million to promote integrated health care and care coordination in primary care settings.
Complementing the grant making by Aetna and the Aetna Foundation was the commitment by thousands of Aetna employees to encourage healthy lifestyles by donating their time to company-sponsored volunteer efforts or individual initiatives.
“Whether it’s developing community gardens, teaching kids oral health, or participating in fund-raising walks and bike-a-thons, Aetna employees often focus on healthy living as their way to give back in their communities,” said Floyd Green, head of Aetna’s Community Relations and Urban Marketing. “Last year alone, our employees helped thousands of kids be physically active through our programs to combat childhood obesity. Aetna KidsPlay, for example, enables kids across the country to play soccer, baseball and other sports on teams coached by our employees and supported with Aetna sponsorships. We are proud to support our employees’ long tradition of giving through our matching gifts program and volunteer grants.”
About the Aetna Foundation
The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed more than $413 million in grants and sponsorships, including $19.2 million awarded in 2011. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered more than 2.6 million hours since 2003. Our current giving is focused on addressing the rising rate of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. For more information, visit www.AetnaFoundation.org.
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.4 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, medical management capabilities, health care management services for Medicaid plans and health information exchange technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.