Today, Aetna (NYSE: AET) announces its sponsorship of the 2012 National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Scientific Research Award. This award recognizes individuals who made significant contributions to the understanding of mental illness, and the advancement of treatment for those who live with such illnesses. “Our involvement supports our six year relationship with NAMI, along with Aetna’s long history and commitment to helping members improve their mental health and well-being,” said Mark Friedlander, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer of Aetna Behavioral Health, and child and adolescent psychiatrist. “This research award is closely aligned with our focus of evidence-based care, as well as our commitment to improve clinical programs that help people live healthier lives. We are pleased to continue our support for NAMI and their efforts around recognizing those dedicated to research and treatment.” This year’s research award recipient is Nancy Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry, and director of Psychiatry Iowa Neuroimaging Consortium at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Andreasen is being recognized for her efforts around using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify the brain functions of those living with mental illness. Her well-known research provides insight into how the brain impacts the language, emotion and creative process. She is also among the first to suggest that schizophrenia is linked to abnormal brain development. On Thursday, November 15, 2012, Dr. Nancy Andreasen will be presented with the 2012 NAMI Scientific Research Award during an award ceremony held in Washington, D.C. This ceremony also will recognize members of Congress whose advocacy and leadership have had a major impact on the lives of people with mental illness. Proceeds from the reception will benefit future and existing NAMI programs. “We continue to work on grant funded research that reflects our commitment to improve the efficiency of clinical programs and tools for members utilizing mental health benefits. This research helps us impact health outcomes for members while demonstrating the value of our products,” said Friedlander.
About AetnaAetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 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, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.