Newsroom | 02 December 2015

Cigna Foundation Renews World of Difference Grant to Community Solutions


Cigna Corporation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758

  • Community Solutions receives $125,000 for work in Hartford neighborhood
  • In 2014, grant focused on identifying barriers to health
  • Socioeconomic data used to create community-based health system
  • Community Health Worker pilot planned for next year

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., 02 December, 2015 - The Cigna Foundation today announced it will strengthen its support to Community Solutions with another World of Difference Grant for $125,000. Community Solutions is a non-profit that is helping to turn around the health and well-being of Northeast Hartford, Connecticut, one of the poorest areas of the state and the country.

In 2014, Community Solutions received two grants from the Cigna Foundation, which funded an intensive social intervention program that included neighborhood-wide data collection. This initiative, called Pulse Northeast, provided an in-depth view of the health and socioeconomic challenges facing residents of this neighborhood to directly inform the design of a neighborhood health system. The findings led to the development of the pilot phase of the Community Health Worker initiative - which will kick off in 2016 - and shed light on new payment arrangements for preventive care and care coordination services with the state of Connecticut.

"Cigna and the Cigna Foundation have found a strong partner in Community Solutions, as we work together to improve health and well-being in a community close to where many of our employees live and work," said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation. "Our work is offering us a chance to explore the underlying socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health, and to help residents remove the barriers that keep them from meeting their health goals, which will measurably improve the quality of their lives."

Figliuzzi noted that Cigna and Community Solutions are looking at how employment status affects health, how substandard housing contributes to chronic health conditions, and how residents can overcome barriers to receiving needed social services.

The new Cigna Foundation grant will make it possible for Community Solutions to organize, track the progress of, and accelerate the Community Health Worker pilot in Northeast Hartford designed to improve the well-being of at least 500 chronically ill residents. Over the next two years, Community Solutions will convene Connecticut state agencies, Cigna, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Harriott Home Healthcare Services, and other partners to deploy local residents as Community Health Workers. These local health navigators will provide care coordination services to residents with poorly managed chronic conditions.

Community Solutions and its partners expect to achieve a 90 percent success rate among chronically ill residents in Northeast Hartford, and will measure improved health outcomes and experience of care, based on baseline data, along with more efficient use of health care resources with a cost savings analysis.

"Health is about so much more than what happens in the hospital. Cigna's commitment to working with us and other partners to refine our emerging approach to community-based health in Northeast Hartford is exciting and forward thinking," said Rosanne Haggerty, president and CEO of Community Solutions. "By weaving together all of the health and social supports that exist in this community around our most vulnerable neighbors, we believe we can create a shift to a healthier neighborhood that will improve lives and lower public costs dramatically."

To read more about Cigna Foundation's work with Community Solutions, and to view a video about this program, visit the Cigna 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 supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

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 89 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

About Community Solutions

Community Solutions is a national non-profit organization that uses existing resources to help communities solve the social problems facing their most vulnerable neighbors. Most recently, the organization coordinated the highly successful 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement of communities that moved more than 100,000 chronically homeless Americans into permanent housing between 2010 and 2014, saving taxpayers an estimated $1.3 billion. Community Solutions also coordinates the Brownsville Partnership, a neighborhood-based effort to improve health and employment prospects in one of Brooklyn's most struggling neighborhoods. Led by MacArthur Fellow and Hartford native, Rosanne Haggerty, the organization also consults internationally on homelessness and poverty.