Newsroom | 02 November 2015

Cigna Foundation Renews World of Difference Grant to The New York Botanical Garden


Cigna Foundation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758

  • The New York Botanical Garden receives $130,000 for new year
  • In 2014, grant enabled continued research into medicinal plant use
  • Further study, medical training planned for next year

B BLOOMFIELD, Conn. , November 02, 2015 - LOOMFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Cigna Foundation today announced it will award a World of Difference Grant for $130,000 to The New York Botanical Garden, a non-profit that is contributing to the field of ethnobotany, studying the relationships between people and plants.

The grant adds to existing support from the Cigna Foundation to the Botanical Garden, which helped the organization develop a new survey tool and analyze health research with Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities, as well as to train medical students and residents from health institutions in New York City at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Metropolitan Hospital Center Emergency Department and New York Medical College. In 2014, the Cigna Foundation awarded a $100,000 World of Foundation grant to launch the work.

"We're pleased to continue our support to The New York Botanical Garden. Our work together has allowed the Garden to provide important insights into the use of plant remedies, and to further the medical community's understanding of plant use among the Latino and Caribbean populations," said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation. "This work is designed to make a major impact on medical caregiving for underserved immigrant communities."

The Cigna Foundation grant will make the next phase of the Garden's work possible, including pioneering research into the nature of Latino and Caribbean immigrants' self-medicating practices with herbs through original research. This research — led by Dr. Ina Vandebroek, the Matthew Calbraith Perry Assistant Curator of Economic Botany and Director of the Garden's Caribbean Program — will fill a gap in contemporary health care literature, and will make plant samples available on the Garden's C. V. Starr Virtual Herbarium as a reference for health care professionals and patients alike. The Garden also will develop curricular materials for cultural competency training of health care professionals and medical students, and will disseminate information about the training program throughout the national health care delivery system.

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 The New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891, the Botanical Garden is one of the world's preeminent centers for studying plants at all levels, from the whole organism down to its DNA. Garden scientists conduct fundamental research on plants, algae, and fungi globally, as well as on the many relationships between plants and people. A National Historic Landmark, the Garden's 250-acre site is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world and the largest in any city in the United States, distinguished by the beauty of its diverse landscape and extensive collections and gardens, as well as by the scope and excellence of its programs in horticulture, education, and science. Learn more: