Health and Well-Being Grants

New applications will be accepted beginning August 30, 2021. The application window closes at 5 pm ET on September 24, 2021.

The Cigna Foundation is committed to eliminating health disparities and improving health and well-being for all. For this grant cycle, we’re looking to partner with nonprofits who are addressing the root causes of health inequity, including supporting under-resourced and systemically disadvantaged communities with poor social determinants of health.1

Programs should focus on chronic disease treatment and prevention, mental and/or behavioral health conditions, dental health, wellness programs, and maternal, prenatal, and newborn health.

Application Background

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that the average life expectancy in the United States has fallen 1.5 years, the largest decline since World War II. 2 This is due to many factors such as:

  • A rise in chronic disease which makes treatment and prevention increasingly important. Prevention strategies including a healthy lifestyle can help both address the symptoms of chronic disease, and help avoid or delay the onset of chronic conditions altogether. 3

  • Mental well-being and dental/oral health are also important because of their impact to overall physical health. A good mental state can keep you healthy and help prevent serious health conditions.4

  • Poor oral health is associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. 5

Ensuring the health for future generations isn’t just treating those with existing conditions. This means supporting individual health even before we’re born, which begins with maternal health. The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs found that greater than half of all women of child bearing age have one or more serious risk factors for developing a chronic disease – which can take a toll on the health of a mother and her baby.

A woman checks her phone during a run

Goals

Despite steady improvement in overall health outcomes over the past decade, many under-resourced communities continue to experience substantial health disparities.

Grants will address one or more of the following social determinants of health (SDOH) areas:

  • Increased access to health care, including mental, behavioral and dental health

  • Increased access to primary care

  • Increased health literacy, the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions and follow directions for treatment

Applications that focus on the following programmatic areas will be accepted:

  • Prevention, treatment, and research for chronic diseases

  • Wellness programs promoting exercise, fitness, and healthy lifestyle choices

  • Programs addressing mental and/or behavioral health conditions

  • Dental programs

  • Maternal, prenatal, and newborn health

Eligibility

To be considered, applicants must:

  • Align your funding request with the Community Health Implementation Plan (CHIP) for your community, which accompanies the local Community Needs Assessment (CNA) or Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). To find your community’s plan, visit your local hospital system’s or health department’s website or conduct an internet search. 

  • Request between $50,000-$100,000 per year (multi-year requests are accepted but terms will be limited to three years; grants will be reviewed annually to ensure goals are being met as outlined)

  • Be a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. See the Grant FAQs for more information

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals received by the deadline will be evaluated on all of the following criteria:

  • Relevance to helping achieve shared goal(s) and objective(s) for the selected health inequity or inequities

  • Ability to track racial and ethnic groups served, as well as gender, age group, and geography

  • Regular evaluation and application of learnings for continuous improvement

  • Explanation of the estimated budget

Successful submissions will:

  • Clearly articulate the field of work that will be undertaken

  • Demonstrate experience in working with and understanding health and well-being as relevant to vulnerable, disparate, and/or marginalized communities

  • Describe the project design and evaluation of the proposed work by recognizing and respecting the unique needs and challenges faced by individuals who identify as members of vulnerable, disparate, and/or marginalized communities

  • Articulate the connection between disparities and the social determinants of health (SDOH)

Additional preference and weight will be given to applications that address:

  • Your community health and well-being needs using statistics and trends found locally and nationally

  • The specific SDOH that relate to the focus area(s) selected

  • Collaboration with other groups and entities evidenced by signed documentation (for example, a memorandum of understanding or letter of support) between parties

  • Organization’s culture of learning

  • Creating common language when advancing diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion

Questions?

For additional questions, please contact us at FoundationGrants@Cigna.com.

1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.healthypeople.gov/sites/default/files/PhaseI_0.pdf, accessed July 30, 2021

2BMJ, ‘Effect of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 on life expectancy across populations in the USA and other high income countries: simulations of provisional mortality data’, https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n1343, accessed July 30, 2021

3National Library of Medicine: ‘Healthy lifestyles reduce the incidence of chronic diseases and dementia: evidence from the Caerphilly cohort study’,https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n1343, accessed July 30, 2021

4National Center for Biological information: ‘The Protective Role of Positive Well-Being in Cardiovascular Disease: Review of Current Evidence, Mechanisms, and Clinical Implications’, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5060088/, accessed July 30, 2021

5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘Basics of Oral Health:’ https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/index.html, accessed July 30, 2021