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Maya Angelou once said, 'Nothing will work unless you do.'

Good health care is central to maintaining a richly balanced and productive life that works efficiently. It is particularly essential in the early years to ensure a healthful start for newborns, and it should continue through the elder years with wholesome habits to enrich and prolong life.

The Aetna 2006 African American History Calendar celebrates all stages of life -- from early childhood to middle age to older age -- with advice, healthful messages and important perspectives from respected African American health care professionals throughout the country.

Ensuring that health care remains a top priority is paramount to improving the overall health of African Americans. Through the wisdom, determination and tenacity of the 14 health care professionals featured in this calendar, healthier and more educated communities are being created each and every day.

Aetna acknowledges the health care challenges that are more prevalent in the African American community, from infant mortality to sickle cell disease, from poor nutrition to asthma, from diabetes to cancer; and the Aetna 2006 African American History Calendar profiles those individuals who emphasize education and prevention.

By leveraging their own circles of influence, those profiled here are working in many ways to make a difference. They are role models who teach individuals how to address and overcome health care challenges that are more predominant in their communities. When individuals are empowered to take control of their own health care, ultimately there are more healthful outcomes.

With this edition, Aetna celebrates its 25th anniversary of bringing to life visionaries and the contributions they have made. We are honored to profile this elite group of health care professionals, who have dedicated their lives and professions to teaching African Americans how to best care for themselves and their families. Please join us on this journey as we celebrate life.

We want you to know. Aetna.