Aetna donates $75k to Four Directions student program
New England Council member Aetna Foundation has recently announced it will donate $75,000 to Four Directions Summer Research Program, an initiative hosted by fellow NEC members Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The Four Directions Summer Research Program is an eight-week intensive in which Native American undergraduate students interested in a medical career are invited to gain hands-on experience in the field. Students who take part conduct research projects and receive career development training from professionals at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The program covers all travel and living expenses for participating students, which is made possible in part by donations from all three organizations. The program, in its 21st year, is dedicated to providing Native American students with not only the skills needed to pursue a degree in the medical field, but the confidence and resources to achieve it.
Aetna has provided funding to the program since 2007, donating a total of $375,000 over the years. This year, Aetna provided Four Directions with a check at “Aetna Day” at Fenway Park in which Aetna executives threw out the first pitch and invited local children from Boston YMCA to attend the game.
“The Aetna Foundation is proud to support programs that help build a more diverse generation of health care professionals, and we believe the Four Directions program will help these emerging medical leaders close the health care gaps in communities across the nation,” said Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Connecticut-based insurance company.
Four Directions will undoubtedly continue to benefit students and help improve the health care in many communities that need it most. The New England Council commends Aetna, Brigham and Women’s, and Harvard for collectively working to support students and promote diversity in the medical field.