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Apr 17, 2023
Promoting health and vitality for children in local communities
children building garden beds

For Cigna Healthcare, the health insurance benefits arm of The Cigna Group, all health care is personal and all health care is local. The company prioritizes private and public partnerships to impact local communities, and our teams are passionate about creating programs that help communities thrive. This passion is especially evident in programs that support and inspire the next generation – our children.  

This spring, our U.S. commercial team has brought our mission and values to life, promoting health, fitness, and environmental sustainability for children through local community outreach. Read on for a couple of recent examples of programs that support children in our local markets.  

Broadening environmental education and sustainability in California

Students, faculty, and Cigna Healthcare volunteers gathered at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Glendale, California, to break ground on a new Learning Garden, a project aimed at broadening environmental education, promoting sustainability, and encouraging healthy eating for students.

Students and faculty planted fruit trees, prepared garden beds, and added composters and rain barrels. The goal was to teach students sustainable empowerment through learning how to grow, harvest, and prepare healthy foods. Students also learned about the life cycles of plants, which plants are edible, food chains, water cycles, and soil composition.

students planting fruit trees

“As a dual-language immersion academy, we provide innovative learning experiences for our children to become well-rounded, globally conscious citizens,” said Vivian Ekchian, superintendent of Glendale Unified School District, who attended the event. “We are thrilled to work with Cigna Healthcare to bring this beautiful garden project to life and provide our students, employees, and families with a cohesive, ongoing activity that promotes health and wellness, collaboration, and sustainability.”

Benjamin Franklin Elementary offers a dual-language immersion model in which students spend the majority of their day learning in a language other than English. The school teaches four languages: French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Cigna Healthcare provided the school with $5,000 to fund the garden, which empowers students to make healthy choices and provides a legacy of healthy produce for children in Glendale.

“We are delighted to partner on such an enriching project with Benjamin Franklin staff and students that focuses on their health and vitality in a variety of ways,” said Peter Welch, regional vice president for Cigna Healthcare. “Gardening not only produces food and plants that come back each year, it’s also good for both physical and mental health because of the exercise, learning, and empowerment it provides.”

Bringing fun and fitness to underrepresented students in Arizona

Cigna Healthcare teamed up with Vincent Country during Super Bowl week to host a Safe Zone Activity Day at Bernard Black Entrepreneurial Academy in Phoenix. Now in its sixth year, this event was created by Vincent Country, the family lifestyle brand of NFL legend and executive Troy Vincent and his wife, chef Tommi A. Vincent, to provide a haven for elementary school students in underrepresented areas of the Super Bowl host city.

Over 500 kindergarten to fifth grade students received backpacks and participated in a day full of fitness, music, and fun. They played football toss, corn hole, and skills challenges. Students, teachers, and staff also enjoyed good food, empowerment, and sports activities led by the Vincent family, NFL players Baron Browning from the Denver Broncos and Jesse Luketa from the Arizona Cardinals, Cigna Healthcare volunteers, Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders and mascot Big Red, and NFL legends Eddie Mason, Takeo Spikes, Bobby Taylor, Lorenzo Alexander, Usama Young, LeCharles Bentley, and Chris Draft.

The Health Improvement Tour was onsite, and the Cigna Healthcare team provided free health screenings to parents, faculty, staff, and members of the community, many of whom might not have otherwise had their health checked. Building on that momentum and in support of Cigna Healthcare’s broader community initiatives in Phoenix, the Health Improvement Tour made four additional stops to provide free biometric and skin cancer screenings – at St. Vincent de Paul church, Homeward Bound homeless shelter, Mesa Community College, and Rio Vista Community Park.

Arizona Market Growth Leader Kim Shepard was on hand for the inspiring school event. “We’re proud to partner once again with Vincent Country and the NFL community to deliver a fun day of fitness for these students and staff. This event is a perfect fit for our Healthier Kids for Our Future campaign. And by bringing in our Health Improvement Tour, we’re illustrating our commitment to improving the health and vitality of the communities and populations we serve.”

Cigna is committed to health equity

For more than a decade, Cigna has promoted the identification of health disparities and influenced the development of solutions that result in more equitable health among our customers, our workforce, and in the community.

Learn more