PHILADELPHIA, September 18, 2009 - The Cigna (NYSE:CI) Foundation today named Dr. Eva Liang, an ophthalmologist with the Cigna Medical Group in Phoenix, as the company’s Volunteer of the Year. Dr. Liang founded the Sight for Life Foundation in 2001 while in private practice in Las Vegas.
The Sight for Life Foundation’s goal is to assist people with treatable vision loss who cannot afford vision care. Patients who are accepted into the Foundation receive eye care free of charge, and those who wish to apply for additional financial assistance services may do so directly, or through a referral from their participating ophthalmologist or optometrist.
The need for the Foundation was evident when Dr. Liang encountered many patients who did not have vision care coverage and were unable to follow through with their recommended eye care. Although Dr. Liang would treat patients for free, those in need of eye surgery requiring a surgery center and anesthesia were required to pay cash, which they were unable to do. With help from Sight for Life, these patients now receive surgical eye care for their sight-threatening diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, and cataracts.
The Sight for Life Foundation has no paid staff. Dr. Liang handles a significant amount of administrative work, including contracting with doctors and surgery centers to obtain the most cost-effective fee agreements.
In 2008 Sight for Life provided help to 55 people and paid more than $50,000 to health facilities and professionals for their services. The services rendered had a market value of nearly $360,000. Since 2001 the organization has helped more than 200 patients retain their sight.
“Cigna is honored to recognize Eva’s work, which embodies the best qualities in Cigna's people and in Cigna’s commitment to communities as a health service company. We’re grateful to Eva as a volunteer and as a member of Cigna's clinical staff,” said H. Edward Hanway, Cigna's chairman and chief executive officer, who spoke at a recognition ceremony today for Dr. Liang.
As part of the volunteer recognition, Dr. Liang received $2,500 from Cigna, with an additional $2,500 grant given to Sight for Life Foundation.
The Hands-On Points of Light Foundation, founded by former President George H.W. Bush, selected Dr. Liang as Cigna's Volunteer of the Year. The Foundation's mission is to promote corporate volunteerism and is used as an independent decision-maker to choose the volunteer annually.
Cigna takes pride in helping to sustain communities through the Cigna Foundation Community Caring Awards volunteer recognition program. For 26 years, the Community Caring Awards program has encouraged the volunteer efforts of Cigna employees around the globe. A Cigna volunteer is recognized each month, with one volunteer chosen to receive the Volunteer of the Year award. In 2008, Cigna employees collectively contributed 15,000 hours in volunteer time.
About Cigna and Cigna Foundation
Cigna (NYSE:CI), a global health service company, is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, to approximately 46 million people throughout the United States and around the world. To learn more about Cigna, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://newsroom.cigna.com/section_display.cfm?section_id=18 The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.