Newsroom | 26 April 2016

Cigna Foundation Commits $2 Million to Nonprofit Partners Who Provide Community Health Navigation


Cigna Foundation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758

  • Guiding the nation’s most vulnerable through health care, social services systems
  • Focusing on individuals at risk: children, racial and ethnic minorities
  • Working to ensure health equity in communities nationwide

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., 26 April, 2016 - The Cigna Foundation today announced it will commit $2 million in World of Difference grants over two years for nonprofit partners providing Community Health Navigation. The grants will focus on nonprofits that are guiding at-risk individuals – including children, racial and ethnic minorities – through the complex health care and social services systems.

By making Community Health Navigation a priority, the Cigna Foundation is taking an expansive approach to connecting personal health with community health. This approach starts with traditional goals and metrics – such as decreasing the use of emergency rooms for non-emergency services and then identifying the need for non-medical necessities such as food, safe housing and transportation.

“The Cigna Foundation recognizes that the future health care system must integrate with social services to address needs beyond the traditional scope of medical care. Through our nonprofit partners, we’re providing trusted sources to help individuals access the full range of services they need to enjoy better health,” said David Figliuzzi, Cigna Foundation executive director. “The Foundation’s goal, over time, is to help build health navigation models that communities everywhere can use to maximize health equity for their people.”

The Cigna Foundation’s emphasis on Community Health Navigation responds to The Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 Scorecard on State Health System Performance, which looks at how low-income people and racial and ethnic minorities fare in their ability to access care, the quality of their care, and their likelihood of living a long and healthy life. The scorecard notes equity gaps, defined as the difference between how a state's vulnerable population does compared to the U.S. average. For the equity gaps based on race or ethnicity, more states worsened than improved in 2015.

The following nonprofits have received 2016 Cigna Foundation World of Difference grants for providing Community Health Navigation:

  • La Clinica del Pueblo, Washington, D.C., for its Tu Salud en tus Manos (Your Health in your Hands) project. Administered by Community Health Workers, Tu Salud en tus Manos will provide obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease prevention programs for low-income Latinos in the Metro D.C. area. Many of the Community Health Workers are Latinos who have faced the same barriers to accessing health care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, for its Meeting the Healthcare Needs of At-Risk Youth project, a collaborative approach between the hospital and Chicago Youth Programs. Lurie will create a tool to assess a child's mental health, family structure, and environmental influences. The results will allow clinicians to provide appropriate interventions as early as possible and track patients’ outcomes over time. Lurie also will develop a database of community-based resources where patients and families can be referred for supportive services, such as tutoring, mental health care, housing support, food assistance and more; and will provide medical and supportive services, including mental health counseling, transportation, and an emergency fund, to help eliminate barriers to care and provide immediate assistance in times of crisis.
  • Siloam Family Health Center, Nashville, for its Community Health Outreach: An Innovative Program to Address the Health Care Needs of Nashville’s Foreign-Born Poor project. The goal of Siloam Family Health Center’s Community Health Outreach initiative is to establish community health networks that promote health and health access among refugee populations in Nashville. Siloam’s program will develop community health leadership within four faith congregations: Bhutanese, Burmese, Egyptian, and Hispanic. Two individual Community Health Workers within each community will be identified and trained to provide health education services and assist people in accessing local health care resources.
  • Lifetrack Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota, for its Families Together Community Health Worker Pilot project. Families Together works with 100 families and 400 children annually. Over a two-year period, Lifetrack will integrate a Community Health Worker into their home visiting services.
  • Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, for its TEEN HEED: An Adolescent Peer- Led Diabetes Prevention Intervention Using Novel Health Technologies program. Mount Sinai Hospital will develop and pilot test a peer-led diabetes prevention intervention for at-risk ethnic minority youth in East Harlem called Teen HEED. The goal of the program is maintenance or decrease in body mass index, improved dietary, physical activity, and weight control behaviors, and decrease in diabetes risk.
  • Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, for its Health and Aging Department Health Legacy Program for Women in six churches in underserved neighborhoods of Chicago. This is a 12-session, six-week curriculum designed to change health behaviors among African-American women. Participants complete the “Take Charge of Your Diabetes” education curriculum, also known as the Stanford University Diabetes Self-Management Program.
  • Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, for its program to improve health for Mexican Americans and Latinos in the Atlanta region. The program includes development of outreach workers to help this metropolitan community.
  • Community Solutions of Hartford, for its Northeast Hartford Community Partnership. The project aims to improve neighborhood public health in tandem with boosting economic security.

Other grants will be announced later this year and in 2017. Similar work is underway in Memphis through a Cigna Foundation multi-year grant to Methodist Bonheur Hospital Foundation, and includes the support of local churches and a Community Health Navigator in the Riverview Kansas neighborhood.

For more information on the Cigna Foundation, go to

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