Cigna (NYSE: CI) has designated Maria Borrero, founding director of the Hispanic Health Council (HHC), its third GO YOU Award nominee. The nomination comes with a Cigna Foundation grant of $20,000 for the charity.
The Hispanic Health Council, based in Hartford, Conn., works to improve the health and social well-being of Latinos and other diverse communities though programs that address the health disparities that impact the Latino community.
Borrero led the drive to address the barriers Latinos face in health care situations in response to a tragedy, the 1973 death of 8-month-old Rosa Maria Rivera. Rosa Maria’s mother had sought help for her ill daughter at Hartford hospitals, but felt that, because she could not speak English well, the gravity of the child’s illness was not realized. Rosa Maria died of dehydration before she could get the help she needed.
Spurred on by the loss of Rosa Maria, Maria Borrero formed the Puerto Rican Health Committee, a precursor to the Hispanic Health Council. In 1978, the HCC was born and Borrero became its first director. She partnered with anthropologists Stephen and Jean Schensul, who researched the issues in the community that affect health care, and they worked with hospitals to come up with solutions.“Cigna is committed to eliminating health disparities so all of our customers can get the help and support they need,” said David Cordani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cigna, a global health service company, and member of the Cigna Foundation board of directors. “Maria's vision exemplifies what Cigna's GO YOU Award is all about. Her work through the Hispanic Health Council demonstrates the impact a single individual can make to help improve the health and well-being of an entire community, and we are proud to support the Council's efforts to meaningfully address health disparities.”
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