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
"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.
Walt Cherniak, 410-401-9490