I’ve mentioned before how great the Aetna Foundation is, and all the great things it does for the community, but I wanted to share one of the foundation’s latest projects.
According to a recent news release, Aetna has made a $300,000 grant to the National Academy Foundation (NAF), to help create a brand new high school curriculum that will prepare students from high-needs, urban schools for careers in health care.
“Studies have shown that health care professionals from low-income, minority populations are more likely than those from affluent backgrounds to practice medicine among medically underserved and safety net population groups,” said Anne C. Beal, M.D., M.P.H., president of the Aetna Foundation. “If we are to be successful in eliminating racial and ethnic disparities that persist in health and health care, we need to widen and diversify the pipeline of students training for careers in medicine and health care.”
The program’s courses have been designed to focus on the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics while encouraging students to pursue health-related professions. According to Aetna, the Academy of Health Science is expected to be implemented across the country starting in 2015 in about 65 schools that eventually will serve up to 26,000 students.
The Aetna Foundation funding will be used to write two courses for ninth graders – Health Careers Exploration and Global Health – that will serve as foundational building blocks for the Academy of Health Sciences’ demanding four-year curriculum. The two courses will be developed by leading curriculum experts and health care professionals.
The promotion of racial and ethnic equity in health and healthcare is one of the Aetna Foundation’s key goals, and it is so exciting to see a program such as this take off and give the next generation the tools it needs to succeed!
For more information, visit www.AetnaFoundation.org.