Press release

AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation Scholarship Recognizes 15 Promising Researchers





WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 30, 2012) — Fifteen students and young professionals have been awarded scholarships through the AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation Minority Scholars Program in recognition of their outstanding potential to contribute to the field of health services research (HSR). Now in its third year, this scholarship program aims to support the professional development of underrepresented minorities in the field of HSR and to help build the pipeline of health services and disparities researchers.

The scholarship provides travel and lodging support for scholars to attend AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting and Disparities Interest Group Meeting in Orlando from June 23-26, as well as training in research methods. As a part of the program, scholars will also receive AcademyHealth membership and be matched with a mentor.

The following scholars were chosen based on their commitment and potential to contribute to the field of HSR and/or disparities research: Tya M. Arthur, University of Florida; Natasha A. Brown, University of Maryland School of Public Health; Yamnia Cortés, Columbia University; Teri Davis, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System; Albert J. Farias University of Washington Biobehavioral Cancer Prevention and Control Program; Rasheeda Hall, Duke University Medical Center; Tiffany Haynes, South Central Mental Illness and Clinical Research Center; Emilie Johnson, Children’s Hospital Boston; Jeffrey Laguna, University of Southern California; Leonard Moore, Yale University School of Medicine; Tanya Olmos, University of California, Los Angeles; Marinilda Rivera-Díaz, University of Puerto Rico; Charles R. Rogers, Texas A&M University; Cleo Samuel, Harvard University; Brittany Smalls, Medical University South Carolina.

HSR is the multi-disciplinary field that studies how to make the health care system work better and deliver improved outcomes for more people, at greater value. Researchers study how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. For more information about the program and scholars, visit

AcademyHealth is a leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this work. Together with our members, we offer programs and services that support the development and use of rigorous, relevant and timely evidence to increase the quality, accessibility, and value of health care, to reduce disparities, and to improve health. AcademyHealth brings stakeholders together to address the needs of an evolving health system, inform policy, and translate evidence into action.

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 United States; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. For more information, visit


Kristen Rosengren