Newsroom | 13 July 2016

Let’s Get Dental Care Back on the Road for Disadvantaged Children in California

Contact:

Cigna Foundation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758
Gloria.barone@cigna.com

  • Cigna Foundation, Healthy Smiles Foundation set up crowdfunding site
  • $150,000 needed to repair Healthy Smiles mobile clinic for school year
  • Cigna Foundation to match funds up to $75,000
  • Only 1 in 5 children in Central Valley, Calif. receive dental care
  • Donate through Healthy Smiles crowdrise fundraising website

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. & FRESNO, Calif., 13 July, 2016 - The Cigna Foundation and the Healthy Smiles Foundation hope to get a broken mobile clinic back on the road in time for the upcoming school year in Central Valley, California, where only one in five children receive dental care. Today, to meet their goal, they launched a crowdfunding website on crowdrise to raise money from individual donors and donor teams on the internet.

Over the past 22 years, the Healthy Smiles Mobile Dental Foundation has provided ongoing oral health care to approximately 50,000 underserved children at school sites. But with one of their mobile clinics out of operation, Healthy Smiles feared it would have to put the brakes on delivering dental care to parts of Central Valley this fall.

“Healthy Smiles asks your help to raise these funds over the next few months so that we can repair the mobile clinic for the upcoming school year. We’re honored to have the Cigna Foundation provide a challenge grant, dollar-for-dollar match of up to $75,000, in support of our fundraising efforts. Together, we can help thousands of students in need receive preventive and restorative dental care,” said Dr. Michael Alijani, chief dental director, Healthy Smiles Mobile Dental Foundation.

In Central Valley, tooth decay is the number one chronic illness in children, five times more common than asthma and seven times more prevalent than allergies. Left untreated, tooth decay can affect eating, speech, learning, self-esteem and overall health and quality of life. Regular checkups are important, as tooth decay is preventable.

“When we heard that the Healthy Smiles mobile clinic was no longer able to serve children in California, we asked how we could help,” said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation. “This crowdfunding campaign is an example of the organization’s innovative thinking to raise critical funds. We’re excited to partner in helping to meet the $150,000 goal.”

The Cigna Foundation is a proud supporter of the Healthy Smiles Mobile Dental Foundation through its World of Difference grant program, and last year provided a $103,000 grant to help provide ongoing oral health services to more than 2,500 underserved children in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Merced Counties in California.

To help repair the Healthy Smiles mobile clinic and bring dental care to California children this fall, donate through the Healthy Smiles crowdrise website. Follow the success of the crowdfunding project at #SupportHealthySmiles on Twitter and Facebook, and click to learn more about Healthy Smiles .

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 www.cigna.com.