Collaborating with national organizations to build healthier communities

Whether it’s access to clean water, physical activity or healthy food, research shows that 60 percent of a person’s life expectancy is driven by factors outside of the doctor’s office .

Two new collaborations will allow the Aetna Foundation to better address those so-called social determinants of health through recently announced programs with the Aspen Institute and American Hospital Association (AHA).

The relationships with outside organizations advance the Aetna Foundation’s efforts to get local and build healthier communities through initiatives like the U.S. News & World Report’s Healthiest Communities Rankings, the Healthiest Cities & Communities Challenge and Cultivating Healthy Communities grants.

The Foundation and Aspen Institute joint program hopes to develop leaders to address those health challenges through a new fellowship. Five fellows will take part in a one-year program focused on public speaking, writing and networking to develop their voices as experts in the field of social determinants of health.

“The fellowship program will support individuals that are already making a difference in their respective communities, helping them to do even more in their local areas and spreading the word on their positive work,” said Garth Graham, M.D., president of the Aetna Foundation and vice president of Community Health for Aetna.

For more information, including applications to the fellowship, visit the program’s website.

Working with the American Hospital Association (AHA) to close the gaps in health equity, the Hospital Community Cooperative (HC²) challenges 10 hospital teams in diverse communities to address one or more #123forEquity pledge goals, which were developed as part of a national call to action to eliminate health disparities, and one or more of the five domains of the Foundation’s Cultivating Healthy Communities program.

Each team selected for the program will include members from an AHA hospital and the local community.

“We are proud to work with the American Hospital Association and support hospital groups that are devoted to addressing social determinants of health,” said Dr. Graham.

Monday, October 1, 2018