Aetna Recognized by the National Business Group on Health for Reducing Disparities in Care

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) was honored today by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) with its inaugural “Award for Innovation in Reducing Health Care Disparities.” Aetna was among six organizations recognized for their commitment to racial and ethnic equality in health care and outstanding support for a culturally diverse workforce. The inaugural awards were presented today at the National Business Group on Health’s 2011 Business Health Agenda held in Washington, D.C.

“Aetna is to be commended for its innovative approach to addressing disparities among its members and its employees,” said Helen Darling, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “A growing number of employers are recognizing how important it is that their health care benefits and health improvement programs meet the needs of a culturally diverse workforce. Aetna is uniquely positioned to play a significant role in this space as both a large employer and a leading provider of health and related benefits.”

“Aetna is pleased to be recognized by the National Business Group on Health for our 10-year commitment to reducing disparities in care,” said Wayne Rawlins, M.D., M.B.A., national medical director, racial and ethnic equality initiative at Aetna. “We are focused on addressing health issues that are more prevalent among ethnic and racial minority populations by researching, developing and working with the medical community to deliver culturally appropriate care to our members.”

Aetna has established a solid foundation in the realm of racial and ethnic disparities as both an insurer and an employer of nearly 34,000. Its efforts include:

  • Appointing Dr. Rawlins as the lead clinician focused on identifying areas where disparities exist among minority members and spearheading programs that lead to more equitable health care.
  • Being one of the first insurers to capture race and ethnicity information voluntarily provided by its members. Aetna now has racial and ethnic data for nearly six million currently active members.
  • Implementing care delivery programs for members that are culturally oriented in areas such as maternal and child health and breast health.
  • Offering company-supported and employee-managed Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Aetna ERGs have helped reduce barriers to collecting racial and ethnic data on a voluntary basis to help create more culturally focused disease management and wellness programs.
  • Awarding over $30 million in grants in the last decade through Aetna and the Aetna Foundation to support programs that address racial and ethnic equity in health care, including $1.24 million in 2010.

To learn more information about Aetna’s commitment to reducing health care disparities and encouraging diversity among its workforce, visit

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see To learn more about Aetna's innovative online tools, visit

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues and to being the voice for large employers on national health care issues. The Business Group, whose 320 members include 66 of the Fortune 100, identifies, develops and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 55 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit


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