Aetna Grants $101,000 to Tennessee Nonprofits in 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation in 2009 awarded community grants and sponsorships in Tennessee totaling $101,000, with a particular focus on disease prevention, obesity and health screening.

The contributions support Aetna’s commitment to enhancing the quality of health care, and reducing racial and ethnic disparities. In total, the Aetna Foundation, Aetna and its employees awarded more than $24 million nationally in 2009.

The four Tennessee grant recipients were:

  • American Heart Association – Nashville Affiliate;
  • Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, Memphis;
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis; and
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville.

“Aetna is proud to support organizations in Tennessee that are making great strides in targeting health care issues that affect our communities,” said Mark Schmidt, market president for Aetna in the Carolinas and Tennessee. “As a responsible corporate citizen, we recognize our obligation to help address these critical needs.”

The largest of those grants was for $50,000 given to the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation in support of its efforts to target obesity in Shelby County. Baptist Memorial offers pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes programs for people who are obese, diagnosed with pre-diabetes and-or have metabolic syndrome.

Its team will help 340 individuals by holding “diabetes prevention days” that focus on people of African-American, Hispanic and Asian descent, as well as a healthy lifestyle program that provides blood-sugar screening and classes on diet, exercise and diabetes prevention.

“Aetna and the Aetna Foundation are proud to partner with organizations across the country in support of their good work, and we look forward to continued relationships as we focus our giving in key areas going forward,” said Anne Beal, MD, MPH, president of the Aetna Foundation. “For 2010 and beyond, we are transitioning to a new approach that encompasses a more concentrated grant-making focus on specific health issues of national concern, enhanced communication and measurement of the impact of our grants, a more proportionate distribution of our charitable giving across the country, and a more holistic relationship with our community partners that capitalizes on our employee presence and the generosity and talents of our employee volunteers.”

The Aetna Foundation has opened the call for proposals for the 2010 grant cycle. Grant applicants should visit for more information on how to apply for a grant and to learn more about the following Aetna Foundation focus areas for grant making in 2010 and beyond:

  • Addressing the rising incidence of obesity among U.S. residents, including children;
  • Promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care for common chronic conditions and for the prevention of infant mortality; and
  • Advancing integrated health care, by:
    • Improving coordination and communications among health care professionals;
    • Creating informed and involved patients; and
    • Promoting cost-effective, affordable care.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $379 million in grants and sponsorships. 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 nearly 2 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

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, 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 and Aetna's Annual Report at


Walt Cherniak, 410-691-1405
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