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Aetna donates more than $500,000 to improve health literacy and support workforce development in Georgia

April 2, 2024 |4 minute read time

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ATLANTA, April 2, 2024 — Aetna Better Health of Georgia®, a CVS Health® company (NYSE: CVS), announced that Aetna has provided $505,000 in donations to 17 community-based organizations across the state to promote health literacy and economic development in Georgia. The donations will help fund programs that provide access to a broad range of health services, as well as support workforce initiatives in the state.

“The first step in empowering thriving, healthy communities is addressing key pillars of health and prosperity,” said Sonya Nelson, division president at Aetna Medicaid. “Through these donations, we affirm our commitment to improving health literacy, supporting mental wellness, advancing economic opportunity and driving workforce development. By supporting these vital areas, we lay the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous future for the communities our company serves in Georgia.”

The donations from Aetna will be used to fund programs that promote health literacy and increase access to health, mental health and social support services for at-risk and under-resourced populations. The organizations receiving donations in these areas include:

  • Dougherty County Family Literacy Council
  • Latin American Association
  • NAMI Georgia
  • Foothills Area Health Education Center
  • Pace Center for Girls
  • Bibb County Education Foundation
  • Highland Rivers Foundation (Community Recovery Partnership)
  • Family Connection - Communities in School of Hancock County
  • Reach Out and Read (Georgia)
  • The Confess Project of America

“Early intervention and support for a person’s mental health can have a profound impact on their long-term well-being and quality of life, and that’s what we’re working to provide for Bibb County youth through our Project AWARE initiative,” said Lasharn Ferroudj, executive director of the Bibb County Education Foundation. “This funding will help our initiative gain the momentum needed to address critical mental health education and support within educational settings, equipping school-aged youth with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to navigate mental health challenges, while also bolstering support systems for students and staff. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Aetna for their commitment to supporting mental health and resilience in Georgia’s youth.”

Other organizations receiving donations will use the funds towards programs targeting economic and workforce development. These include:

  • First Step Staffing
  • City of Refuge
  • 100 Black Men of North Metro Atlanta
  • Jewish Family & Career Services
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter
  • The Corporation of Mercer University (Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center at Mercer University School of Medicine)
  • Wellspring Living

“Atlanta’s Westside has faced a number of challenges in recent years with disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment and crime compared to other areas of Atlanta,” said Bruce Deel, founder and CEO of City of Refuge. “City of Refuge’s Workforce Innovation Hub aims to be a beacon of hope for Westside Atlanta, creating a ripple effect of positive change to combat the high rates of unemployment and the hardships faced by individuals in this area, ultimately providing more opportunities for those impacted by homelessness, domestic violence, human trafficking and foster care to get back on their feet. With this funding from Aetna, our workforce development program stands ready to make a lasting impact on Atlanta’s under-resourced populations.”

“As the demand for nurses in Georgia’s rural and underserved communities continues to surge, it's imperative that we take proactive steps to address the looming impacts of this workforce gap,” said Glenda Grant, executive director of the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center. “With over 30% of the nursing workforce needing replacement in the next five years, the time to act is now. The future of health care in our state hinges on our ability to develop, retain and attract a skilled nursing workforce. At the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center, our program is taking bold steps to address this challenge head-on, offering a practical nursing career pathway for high school students. We’re grateful for the support from Aetna as we continue to pioneer solutions to provide quality care to Georgia’s medically underserved communities.”


About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health company, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of under-resourced populations, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve members in 16 states, including Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information, see

About CVS Health

CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues — including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system — and their personal health care — by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.

Media contact

Robert Joyce

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