Newsroom | 14 April 2015

Cigna Foundation Embraces Health Equity in World of Difference Grant Program


Cigna Corporation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758

  • Encouraging nonprofits working in health equity to apply for grants
  • Working to help disadvantaged people in the U.S. and around the world
  • Using grants to help people overcome barriers to health and security

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., April 14, 2015 - The Cigna Foundation today announced that it will tackle the health equity challenges around the globe through its World of Difference grant program, and is seeking applications from nonprofits in the United States and around the world. The Cigna Foundation will work with dedicated nonprofit partners, and use the knowledge and expertise of Cigna's professionals, to help people overcome barriers to their health and well-being related to factors such as ethnicity, race, gender, age, education, economic status and place of residence.

"Our purpose is to be a positive force for change in the lives of individuals and communities throughout the U.S. and around the world," explained David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation. "Our work in health equity revolves around the belief that everyone deserves a chance to be healthy and secure, and that we can help to remove the barriers people face to achieving their best health. We've heard the global health equity call-to-action, and we're prepared to dedicate our financial and people resources to it."

Last year, the Cigna Foundation created the World of Difference grants to provide significant financial and professional support to nonprofit organizations working to improve women's health, children's wellness, senior care, and health equity. This year, health equity is the top priority for Cigna Foundation funding. Health equity falls squarely within the area known as the social determinants of health, defined by the World Health Organization as the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, as well as the system that deals with illness in that environment. To improve health equity, programs need to consider the conditions of daily life for those who struggle to be healthy and well.

The World of Difference grants will invest in non-profit initiatives related to health education, research, direct medical services, and prevention. A few examples of recent health equity partners that the Cigna Foundation selected for World of Difference grants include the following:

  • Community Solutions, working to reduce emergency room use and improve life in a Hartford, Connecticut neighborhood;
  • The University of Maryland HAIR program, providing colorectal cancer prevention information to African-Americans through barbershops and hair salons;
  • The New York Botanical Garden, teaching the medical community how to understand and speak with Latino and Caribbean patients about their use of plant-based remedies;
  • The Healthy Smiles Mobile Dental Foundation, providing oral health services to underserved children in California;
  • Arogya World, creating and distributing chronic disease prevention information through mobile phone apps in India.

The World of Difference grants range from $50,000 to $150,000. To be considered, programs must be innovative and must show impact and clear metrics. Pilots with new concepts will be considered. Priority is given to programs that are sustainable and scalable, with the potential to expand. Nonprofits must be highly collaborative, and proposals should include opportunities for Cigna skills-based volunteerism and the use of Cigna expertise.

Non-profit organizations working in health equity and wishing to apply for a grant are invited to visit the website:

About the Cigna Foundation

The Cigna Foundation, founded in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation is committed to working together with nonprofit organizations that are creating innovative approaches to improving the health and security of individuals and communities everywhere. The Foundation's primary grantmaking focus is on health equity, with an emphasis on sharing the expertise and energies of Cigna's people with our nonprofit partners

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 85 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit