Corporate philanthropy

Founded in 1972, the Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna, Inc.  Our mission is to promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone, while supporting the communities we serve.

Aetna's support for programs promoting diversity has deepened through our emphasis on increasing racial and ethnic health equity, while continuing to strive to advance diversity as an engine for change, and as a tool for increasing opportunity. Since 1980, more than $379 million has been awarded in grants and sponsorships, with over $30 million directed toward racial and ethnic health equity since 2001.

Examples of awards and initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to diversity include:

  • In Chicago, a $300,000 award to the Center for Healthcare Equity at the Institute for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is supporting research and community outreach projects and other initiatives to stimulate improvements in health care equity and overall quality of care for all populations.
  • A $175,000 grant to the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) supported The Health Career Pathways Initiative, an educational program targeting Latino communities and administered in collaboration with local community-based partners to recruit and train individuals for careers as health care professionals. The award enabled expansion of the program in Chicago and four additional cities.
  • A $75,000 grant to Dress for Success will support the first Aetna Health and Wellness Initiative through their Professional Women's Group program, helping to expand the program by including information on nutrition, fitness and other lifestyle changes.
  • In New York City, a $70,000 award to the Museum for African Art will support "Active Body, Active Mind." Targeting senior citizens, the program aims to stimulate mental and physical activity, promote healthy eating, and make walking both entertaining and engaging while viewing exhibitions at the museum.
  • A $50,000 grant to Project Access of New Haven, Inc. in Connecticut is supporting a program designed to increase access to, and coordination of, specialty care for the uninsured. The program will also address existing health care disparities and fragmented care associated with low health literacy.
  • A $50,000 award to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta supported the Health and Wellness Forum and Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner.  The forum, which targets youth, adults and educators, addressed health issues like childhood obesity, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, asthma and other health disparities.
  • A $40,000 award to the Fund for Public Health New York, Inc. is supporting the Text4Baby Program, a free service that delivers important health information to pregnant women and new mothers living in underserved communities by sending text messages to mobile phones. Subscribers receive three text messages each week, in English or Spanish, each one tailored to the mother’s stage of pregnancy and/or the age of her baby. 
  • A $30,000 award to the Foundation for Health Coverage Education is funding the Spanish translation of the website ( which provides the uninsured with access to information about their health coverage options.

Serving a diverse marketplace

At Aetna, diversity extends to all aspects of the work we do and the way we do business.  With this understanding, we have established proactive efforts to better understand the needs of traditionally underserved groups so that we can enrich these communities by providing innovative, industry-leading solutions.

We are committed to engage these communities through a number of meaningful efforts.  These include the following:

Drive incremental business through multicultural/multilingual partnerships

Aetna is committed to implementing strategies that help us to achieve both profitable growth and healthier communities.  In no way do we believe that these are mutually exclusive goals; in fact, we believe them to be mutually reinforcing. 

To that end, we focus our efforts on grassroots strategies that better address the needs of a changing marketplace. This is accomplished by supporting community events, working with a diverse array of community leaders and organizations, helping employers manage their changing workforce, and working with brokers and providers to support their business objectives.

Strategic granting

Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have a distinguished legacy of providing grants to support numerous community-based efforts that improve the quality of life in under-served communities.  Specifically, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have awarded over $379 million in grants and sponsorships since 1980.    

An important component of this giving has been to reduce health care disparities and create greater equality in access to health care for all.  We have provided over $30 million in these critical grants since 2001.  Going forward, this will continue to be a significant focus of our community investments.

Employee volunteering and giving

Aetna's employees significantly increase the impact of our grant-making through an extraordinary commitment to serving the communities in which we live and work.  Aetna employees have contributed over 1.9 million volunteer hours since 2003, with over 317,000 volunteer hours in 2009 alone.  This commitment has improved the lives of communities across the country through a variety of grassroots projects, such as disaster relief, disease research, human rights, community building, little league teams, education, the environment and animal welfare.  Further, Aetna employees, retirees and directors contributed $4.4 million in 2009 through our Giving Program.

As America has advanced through both prosperous and challenging times, one trend has remained constant:  Aetna has chosen to reach steadfastly into the community with a spirit of partnership, funding, and volunteers.  As we step into the future, we look forward to continuing our efforts to make a difference in the world of health care, in all communities and for all people.