New funding across five years will support programs designed to promote healthier lifestyles for youth under the age of 18
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of its commitment to building healthier communities, the Aetna Foundation today announced it will be donating a total of $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence and Hartford. Both locations will receive $500,000 over the next five years.
The new funding from the Aetna Foundation, a private foundation affiliated with CVS Health, will help the Boys & Girls Clubs to reach hundreds of additional young people through innovative and effective programming. The grants will support programs that are focused on preventing underage substance misuse, including tobacco and vaping products, while also providing guidance on how to improve the overall health of youth in these communities.
"We know how important it is to teach healthy behaviors from a young age in order to ensure that young people have the tools and refusal skills they need to stay away from harmful habits like smoking," said Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President, Community Health & Impact, CVS Health and President, Aetna Foundation. "We believe the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence and Hartford are uniquely equipped to help us evaluate the best approaches to educate young people about the dangers of substance misuse and teach healthy lifestyle choices. From there, we'll aim to replicate the successful approaches across other relationships and geographies."
The majority of the funding will help deliver "Positive Action" - a nationally acclaimed prevention program originally developed through partnerships between prevention specialists and Boys & Girls Clubs around the country to more young people in these communities. Participants in the "Positive Action" program are exposed to a variety of activities designed to hone their decision-making and critical thinking skills and help them learn how to avoid and resist alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and premature sexual activity.
"Positive Action is a comprehensive strategy that helps young people better navigate the challenging path from childhood to adulthood," said Nicole Dufresne, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence. "We are confident that the youth and teens who participate in this program will be armed with the crucial knowledge needed to lead a healthy lifestyle and have a great future. And we truly appreciate the support from both the CVS Health Foundation and Aetna Foundation, who have consistently been great community partners to us over the years."
These grants are part of CVS Health's commitment to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation. Through Be The First, the company and its foundations have committed to invest $50 million over five years to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation. These grants support efforts around healthy behavior programming for young people to ensure they have the tools and refusal skills they need to lead the healthiest lifestyle.
These grants also celebrate the long-standing commitment Boys & Girls Clubs have on helping our youth to be the best that they can be. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence is the longest continuously operating Boys & Girls Club in the country and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford were the first ever Clubs to be formed. In addition to previous grants to the Boys & Girls Clubs in Hartford and Providence, CVS Health and Aetna colleagues regularly volunteer at locations throughout the home states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. The hundreds of colleague volunteer hours support large-scale annual events for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Hartford and Providence, as well as day-to-day interaction with young people participating in programs at these locations.
About the Aetna Foundation
The Aetna Foundation is an independent charitable and philanthropic affiliate of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS). As a national health foundation, the Aetna Foundation promotes wellness, health and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who volunteered 670,000 hours in 2018 alone. For more information, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.