CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation in 2008 awarded community grants and sponsorships in North Carolina totaling $125,000, supporting programs that focus on promoting healthier work places; helping students better understand depression; and targeting childhood obesity.
Aetna provided grants of $75,000 to the American Heart Association’s Charlotte chapter; and grants of $25,000 each to Discovery Place Inc. and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County schools.
Aetna provided $75,000 to the American Heart Association to fund its “Start! Charlotte” program, which is part of the organization’s ground-breaking campaign to engage employers and individuals and create a culture of physical activity. It promotes physical activity through workplace walking programs, and is designed to help employees reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke, while leading longer, stronger, healthier lives.
The $25,000 grant to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County schools will help fund the “Through My Eyes I See a Future” program, which is developing school and community resources to remove the stigma of mental illness and increase awareness that depression can be treated successfully. A group of community partners in Charlotte created a video on mental-health issues, with area students telling their stories of isolation. The program aims to use the schools to influence health-related behaviors of students, promoting positive peer influence and enhancing “protective factors.”
The Aetna Foundation’s $25,000 grant to Discovery Place Inc. will support the “You Are What You Eat” nutrition program. With childhood obesity on the rise in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, Discovery Place is focusing on promoting better nutritional choices. The program, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will monitor priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity among area youth. It will be delivered to 2,300 fourth-grade students in the county’s 25 lowest socio-economic schools.
“Aetna is committed to helping people in North Carolina live healthier, more productive lives,” said Brian O’Shields, Aetna’s sales vice president for North Carolina. “By funding programs that raise awareness of these issues, and the risk they hold, we’re hoping to improve health outcomes for residents across the state.”
Aetna provides health benefits to more than 275,000 people in North Carolina.
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 Aetna 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 2007, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation contributed $24.5 million nationally.
Additional information about the Foundation is available about the Aetna Foundation is available at www.aetna.com/foundation
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. For more information, see www.aetna.com.
Walt Cherniak, 410-691-1405