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2010 Diversity Annual Report
Empowered: Cultivating tomorrow’s medical leaders to tackle health care’s toughest challenges

Aetna has been a leader in seeking solutions for the inequities in health care that have a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minorities. A major challenge in this effort has been the hard work of researching and clarifying root causes of inequalities in order to take effective actions.

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“Many people have sacrificed to make this path for me. So I feel obligated to give back and make a difference in the community around me.”

Kara Odom Walker,

In 2010, the Aetna Foundation took a bold step toward bolstering this research effort by launching an initiative with AcademyHealth, a premier professional organization for health services researchers. The initiative includes the AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation Minority Scholars program, which supports the work of 15 students, post-doctoral trainees and fellows from under-represented minority groups. The program, funded through 2013, pays the costs of the scholars attending AcademyHealth’s annual research meeting, along with adjunct meetings and mentoring activities.

The initiative is helping these researchers develop professionally as they pursue various avenues of health services research, including efforts to better understand and address health care disparities. The power in this equation is that many of these scholars have witnessed the effects of these disparities – in their families and communities – and have a deep sense of where to search for effective solutions.

To introduce the inaugural class, the Foundation launched a web site that includes inspirational testimonials from this new generation of leaders. Meet the scholars and hear their stories:

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