Newsroom | 27 April 2021

Cigna Partners with Wake Forest School of Medicine to Advance Equity and Equality

$250,000 donation will create endowed scholarship fund to support under-represented populations in advancing their careers

    Winston-Salem, NC – April 27, 2021 – Global health service company Cigna is partnering with the expanding Wake Forest School of Medicine to promote diversity and inclusion in health care education. Through a donation of $250,000 to the School, Cigna has established an endowed scholarship which will help support diversity and inclusion amongst students, as they embark on a career in medicine.

    The Cigna Scholarship Fund is an endowed scholarship to provide partial tuition funding to students enrolled in or intending to enroll in the MD degree program at the Wake Forest School of Medicine each year. The scholarship aligns with Cigna’s Building Equity & Equality Program, established to accelerate the company's work to improve diversity, inclusion equity and equality for communities of color.

    “Expanding the pipeline of diverse medical providers is a critical part of Cigna’s work to advance health equity,” said Mike Triplett, president of Cigna's U.S. Commercial business.  “We’re proud to partner with Wake Forest on this program that we believe will be a catalyst for change, yielding greater access to education and quality health care for all by building and sustaining a more diverse medical community.”

    “We are committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion in our student body as part of our commitment to the future of health care. We are excited for the opportunities this scholarship will afford our students, and in turn the patients they will serve, for years to come. We are very pleased to have Cigna’s support to the future of health care for our region and beyond,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, Chief Executive Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine. Chief Academic Officer, Atrium Health Enterprise.

    “Cigna is committed to improving the health of the people we serve, and this scholarship enhances equitable opportunities for the next generation of providers,” said Charles Pitts, Cigna market president for the Carolinas. “This investment in education at Wake Forest School of Medicine helps to create more opportunities for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers so they can better meet the needs of our diverse communities.”

    About Cigna
    Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth companies or their affiliates, and Express Scripts companies or their affiliates. 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. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 175 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

    About Wake Forest Baptist Health
    Wake Forest Baptist Health (www.wakehealth.edu) is a pre-eminent academic health system based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Wake Forest Baptist’s two main components are an integrated clinical system – anchored by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, an 885-bed tertiary-care hospital in Winston-Salem – that includes Brenner Children’s Hospital, five community hospitals, more than 300 primary and specialty care locations and more than 2,500 physicians; and Wake Forest School of Medicine, a recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research that includes Wake Forest Innovations, a commercialization enterprise focused on advancing health care through new medical technologies and biomedical discovery. Wake Forest Baptist provided a record-setting $580.8 million in community benefits during the 2019 fiscal year, which includes unreimbursed care, charity care, education and research, and community health improvement. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Media contacts
    Joe McCloskey
    jmcclosk@wakehealth.edu
    1 (336) 716-1273

    Courtney Nogas
    Courtney.nogas@cigna.com
    1 (860) 902-5531