About the Aetna FoundationThe Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET). Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed $412 million in grants and sponsorships, including $18 million in 2011. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered more than 2.6 million hours since 2003. Aetna’s current giving is focused on addressing the rising rate of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. For more information, visit www.AetnaFoundation.org. About the Women’s Community Clinic Founded in 1999, the Women’s Community Clinic uses an innovative volunteer-based business model to provide affordable and accessible health care services to uninsured and underinsured San Francisco Bay Area women and girls. The Women’s Community Clinic (“the Clinic”) provides affordable, accessible sexual and reproductive women’s health services, outreach and education to uninsured and underinsured women and girls in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Clinic’s Western Addition Health Training Program (WAHT) was founded in 2007 to address health care disparities among African-American women with a special focus on the city’s Western Addition neighborhood. (27% of the neighborhood’s residents are African American, as compared with 6% in all of San Francisco.)
As part of its ongoing efforts to promote health care equity, the Aetna Foundation has awarded a $25,000, one-year grant to the Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco. The funding will help the clinic provide health education and outreach, prenatal care, and health career training opportunities to low-income African-American women and girls in the Bay Area. Specifically, the Aetna Foundation funding will fuel programs at the clinic’s Western Addition Health Training Program (WAHT), which serves uninsured and underinsured residents in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood. Through the grant, the organization will expand access to prenatal care on-site through its partnership with University of California, San Francisco. The grant also provides Western Addition residents with vital workforce and development training opportunities by supporting five paid health career training fellowships and internships. Fellows and interns will get hands-on health career training in medical office operations, health education, lab packaging and tracking, pregnancy and HIV counseling, and clinic management. “The Women’s Community Clinic is working to improve the health of African-American women and increase access to quality prenatal care. The nonprofit also strives to expand diversity in the health care profession,” said Sharon Dalton, vice president of the Aetna Foundation and director of regional grant making. “The clinic is meeting two urgent needs at the same time and creating the foundation for long-term improvements in health care equity.” In the Western Addition community, teen pregnancy rates are higher than city averages. Residents often have limited access to health care resources and information. Overall in San Francisco, African Americans have the highest teen birth rate of any minority group. “We are honored to work with the Aetna Foundation to reduce health care disparities, starting in our own community," said Women’s Community Clinic Executive Director Carlina Hansen. "With this grant, we will be able to provide essential prenatal care, health workshops and hands-on workforce training in the Western Addition. We are incredibly grateful and proud to be able to effect change in this rich and diverse city neighborhood."