Aetna Supports Esperanza Program in Philadelphia

Apr 07 2010
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— Six-Year, $1.5 Million Donation Will Fund Community Development —

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aetna (NYSE: AET) announced today that it will contribute $1.5 million over the next six years to support community development efforts by Esperanza, the nation’s largest Hispanic faith-based development corporation.

Funds will be used to expand Esperanza’s services under the Neighborhood Assistance and Neighborhood Partnership programs of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The department helped offset Aetna’s investment with tax credits to support community development efforts.

“The dollars provided by Aetna will increase the number of individuals positioned for improved employment opportunities and home purchase, allowing them to strengthen their commitment to the neighborhood and to purchase within the corridor,” said the Reverend Luis Cortés Jr., president of Esperanza. “The success of a thriving business association and its presence in the community is a key point of community engagement that will support long-term efforts to create a tourism center in the neighborhood. This is a celebration of collaboration and a celebration of empowerment through the pride our neighbors will have of their community.”

Esperanza plans to continue and expand work it has begun in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park neighborhood. That work will include:

  • Substantially improving housing for residents and providing both ownership and rental opportunities;
  • Encouraging and assisting neighborhood-based community development, particularly along the commercial district on North Fifth Street, thus creating jobs for area residents;
  • Raising the educational job readiness levels of community residents, and;
  • Creating job training and referral services for residents of the area.

“Aetna deeply values the relationship we have built with Esperanza in Philadelphia,” said Patrick Young, president of Aetna’s Pennsylvania market. “We’ve found common ground with Reverend Cortes and Esperanza in helping meet the needs of marginalized and underserved people of this city. We’ve seen real change in the Hunting Park neighborhood, and we’re looking forward to helping Esperanza create more homes, more jobs and more hope for a community that sorely needs it.”

Esperanza was founded in 1987 by Rev. Luis Cortés Jr. and the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia in direct response to the challenges and opportunities in the Hispanic community. It has since become the largest national, Hispanic faith-based development corporation in the nation

In recent years, Aetna has supported “Tu Eres La Respuesta” (“You Are the Answer”), an HIV/AIDS awareness program, and the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference. Reverend Cortés and Esperanza organized the first National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in 2002 as an opportunity for Hispanic clergy to gather together in prayer for the nation and its Hispanic community. Today, it has evolved into an event that annually attracts more than 750 participants to the nation’s capital for prayer, advocacy and celebration.

Aetna provides health benefits to more than 1 million people in Pennsylvania.

About Aetna

Aetna is a leading global diversified health care benefits company headquartered in the U.S., serving approximately 36.1 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

Esperanza, the largest Hispanic faith-based non-profit in the United States, with a network of 12,000 congregations, faith, and community-based agencies, is committed to strengthening Latino communities. Through education and civic engagement, Esperanza empowers individuals and families to overcome adversity and succeed in the actualization of their dreams. For more information, see



Walt Cherniak, 410-691-1405
Arlene Cruz-Larsen, 215-324-0746 x 206

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