Aetna Awards $252,925 to Michigan Nonprofits

Feb 04 2009
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SOUTHFIELD, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation announced this week they have awarded $252,925 to Michigan nonprofits in 2008.

Many of these nonprofits focus on areas that are of specific interest to Aetna and its Foundation, such as disease prevention, obesity and health screening.

“Helping people take control of their health and addressing the shortage of registered nurses are very important to Aetna, so you’ll find much of what was funded directed toward that end,” said Debbie Lantzy-Talpos, market head for Aetna in Michigan.

The 16 organizations that received Aetna and Aetna Foundation grants in 2008 are:

  • The American Heart Association in Southeast Michigan for its Start! program that encourages companies to set up walking programs and individuals to participate in walking programs: $80,000;
  • Wayne State University College of Nursing to help expand distance and on- demand learning opportunities for nurses seeking advanced practice training in Metro Detroit: $50,000;
  • Michigan Public Health Institute to install patient registries and train staff in their use at primary care physician offices serving low-income patients in Wayne County. Patient registries are software mechanisms that track treatment of patients – particularly useful for managing chronic diseases like diabetes. These systems alert physicians when patients are overdue for tests and visits, when test results fall outside of the normal range, or when other issues arise. It allows tight management of problematic diseases so that patients are assured of receiving the very best care. Typically, primary care practices that serve low-income patients often have little technology available: $20,000;
  • Neighborhood Service Organization for sponsorship of the 2008 5K Detroit River Run & Walk and health fair: $20,000;
  • Summer in the City for its “Project Paint,” a proven, cost-effective, sustainable way to combat graffiti and promote neighborhood pride and investment by painting murals over graffiti. The project includes painting, planting, demolition and construction. Summer in the City brings suburban teens to inner city Detroit neighborhoods for high-impact community service that is focused on youth empowerment, diversity, inclusivity and fostering a regional mindset: $12,000;
  • Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute to assist with the “OUR TOWN” ovarian cancer educational event, as well as to get information about ovarian cancer out to health fairs, health forums and employee benefit fairs, and to the Gynecologic Oncology Conference in April of 2009: $10,000;
  • Hope Network, which provides care for nearly 2,000 people annually who have various types of mental illnesses – many of whom require residential care. This money will go toward implementation of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Model in Hope’s residential care program: $10,000;
  • National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities to support programs for disabled children at Western Michigan University under the direction of Dr. Jiabel Zhang: $10,000;
  • The Rainbow Connection’s Annual Walk for Kids in which more than 90 percent of the funds raised go directly to “wish services” for children stricken with terminal and life-threatening illnesses: $10,000;
  • Women’s Resource Center (WRC) for its 2009 Pillar Awards Luncheon. WRC helps unemployed or underemployed women become employed and self-sufficient. In addition it identifies progressive employers who offer career-building opportunities. This luncheon showcases the innovative “best practices” of Western Michigan companies and encourages other employers to replicate similar initiatives, polices and practices that will empower women at work: $10,000;
  • Alliance for Health for its Grand Rapids health expo, providing health resource information and low-cost health screening to individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford these services: $6,000;
  • Eastern Michigan University Foundation for its MI FUTURE program, and specifically, to poll citizen attitudes toward a tuition tax credit that would save taxpayers thousands of dollars on annual state tax bills when a family member pursues a certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degree: $5,000;
  • The American Liver Foundation to support efforts to promote liver health and help prevent, treat and cure liver disease: $3,500;
  • The Community House in Birmingham for health and fitness programming: $2,500;
  • Small Business Foundation of Michigan for support of the Michigan Health Insurance Access Advisory Council’s annual meeting. The Michigan Health Insurance Access Advisory Council was formed to identify solutions that will facilitate coverage of the more than 1 million Michigan citizens without health insurance: $2,500; and
  • American Red Cross for its blood donor competition between University of Michigan’s Alpha Phi Omega and Ohio State: $1,425.

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, the Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $334 million in grants, sponsorships and social investments. In 2008, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation contributed more than $25 million nationally. Additional information about the Aetna Foundation is available at

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 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. We employ 453 people in Michigan with offices in Southfield, Grand Rapids and Traverse City. For more information, see



Scot Roskelley, 312-928-3034

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