Dec 16, 2021
Celebrating the Season of Giving: How the Cigna Foundation Supports Underserved Communities

The Cigna Foundation has been bringing to life Cigna's mission to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve for more than 50 years.   

Each year, the Cigna Foundation partners with organizations whose values align to our mission and works with them to implement programs that have a positive impact on communities. With the holidays in full swing, we’re celebrating the season of giving with new partnerships that are designed to improve the lives of children and students of all ages and all education levels. 

The Cigna Foundation recently granted over $2.5 million to 37 nonprofit organizations across the country that focus on eliminating childhood hunger, addressing mental health needs, and investing in education and workforce development. Read on to learn more about the Cigna Foundation’s work in these areas and meet some of the new grant recipients and Cigna partners for 2022.

Healthier Kids for Our Future

Healthier Kids for Our Future is Cigna’s five-year, $25 million global initiative aimed at fighting childhood hunger and improving the mental health and emotional well-being of children. Since 2019, we’ve awarded more than $13 million in grants and teamed up with schools, community groups, and nonprofit organizations to help reduce food insecurity. The aim behind these initiatives is to ensure that underserved students and their families have access to healthy food through stocking in-school food pantries, supporting at-home grocery deliveries, and organizing food-drive workshops.

One new Healthier Kids for our Future partner for 2022 is Connecticut Children’s Start Childhood Off Right (SCOR) initiative. SCOR will initiate food insecurity screenings in Connecticut Children's Emergency Department and connect families in need with access to nutritious food and financial resources. 

Healthier Kids For Our Future

Our mission is to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve. For children, this means we're tackling the challenges affecting their health today, so our kids can grow into healthier adults tomorrow.

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Education in Underserved Populations

Another area of focus for the Cigna Foundation is supporting underserved populations by investing in education and workforce development programs for students of all education levels. At Cigna, we know the importance of addressing social determinants of health in order to achieve greater health outcomes, including the vital elements of education and employment.

“The Cigna Foundation recognizes the important role that education plays in improving lives and supporting overall public health – and we want to partner with nonprofits who share this commitment,” said Susan Stith, executive director of the Cigna Foundation.

Examples of new local education partners for 2022 include the Colorado Reading Corps and Mission: St. Louis.

The Colorado Reading Corps program, led by Colorado Youth for a Change, will serve students in kindergarten through the third grade who are reading below their grade level by delivering daily one-on-one in-school literacy interventions and supplemental reading instruction. 

Mission: St. Louis and Beyond School will work with the Cigna Foundation to close the achievement gap for under-resourced students in St. Louis, equipping students from kindergarten through eighth grade with the academic, social, and emotional tools they need to be successful through personalized reading programs, one-on-one tutoring, enrichment classes, mentoring, and experiential learning. 

Workforce Development

The Cigna Foundation is also invested in increasing the cultural competency of health care professionals. This includes encouraging youths to consider health-related careers, supporting adults who are studying to become health care professionals, and expanding the conversation about health disparities.

One example is the Community Health Youth Advocates program, a health care workforce pipeline project in Los Angeles led by Community Health Councils and Charles Drew University. The program aims to increase diversity in the health care workforce by preparing youth of color for job opportunities with technical skills, mentoring, and training on ways to address social determinants of health.

These are just a few of the many new and existing partners we look forward to working with in our mission to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve. 

Cigna Foundation

Every day, we have an opportunity to make a difference in the health of our communities and create a better future. Get more info on Cigna Foundation’s focus areas, initiatives, and grant programs.

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