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Aetna Recognizes Sacramento Covered and Sacramento Self-Help Housing with Community Heart Awards and $50,000 in Donations

May 17, 2022 | Health Insurance |4 minute read time

John Foley and Tahirih Kraft are presented with the Aetna Better Health of California’s Community Heart Award by Aaron Starfire of Aetna Better Health of California.
Funding will help individuals experiencing homelessness address barriers to safe and affordable housing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Aetna, a CVS Health® company (NYSE: CVS), acknowledged the local contributions of Sacramento Covered and Sacramento Self-Help Housing by presenting each with Aetna Better Health of California’s Community Heart Award and a $25,000 donation. 

Aetna Better Health of California’s Community Heart Award honors organizations and unsung heroes for their extraordinary work, service and contributions to positively affect California’s underserved communities. Sacramento Covered and Sacramento Self-Help Housing received the awards for their dedication to providing unhoused individuals in the Sacramento area with care coordination and greater access to health care. 

“We’re committed to positively impacting the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in the Sacramento area that need support,” said Kelly Munson, President, Aetna Medicaid. “Championing  community partners like Sacramento Covered and Sacramento Self-Help Housing activates more personalized support and connected resources, which are critical to empowering those on a path to stability.”

Homelessness is a significant challenge for the community and is increasing. Research from California Steps Forward shows that approximately 12,000 people experienced homelessness in Sacramento in 2021.

“For decades, these organizations have focused on homelessness and targeted the social barriers to good health,” said Verne Brizendine, CEO of Aetna Better Health of California. “Aetna’s support is recognition of their commitment to driving understanding of a more complete picture of what those who experience homelessness are facing and doing something about it.”

Sacramento Covered and Sacramento Self-Help Housing support populations in the Sacramento area:

  • Sacramento Covered helps connect people to health coverage, nutritious food, medical, dental and behavioral health providers, transportation to medical appointments, housing services, language interpreter services and other critical resources. Their Community Health Workers meet clients in homeless encampments, on the streets, in shelters, at hospitals, and in clients' homes to provide intensive outreach and case management.

    “With Aetna Better Health's donation, Sacramento Covered will be able to better support the housing needs of our clients experiencing homelessness,” said Kelly Bennet, CEO, Sacramento Covered. “This grant will augment our flexible housing fund we can use for client-identified needs like furniture, security deposits, rental application fees and other expenses that help move them into more stable housing situations.”

  • Sacramento Self-Help Housing assists individuals and families who have insufficient resources for affordable, safe and permanent housing. Their programs include permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, financial education, a tenant-landlord helpline, housing counseling and community development.

    “Homelessness is a big challenge for the Sacramento region,” said John Foley, CEO, Sacramento Self-Help Housing. “We have never seen so many unhoused people in Sacramento, and sadly many have significant health issues. Through this generous donation, we’ll be better able to tackle the challenge of homeless encampments, helping to relocate individuals living on the street or in tents to living with a roof over their head.”

Under its California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative, the state authorized Enhanced Care Management and 14 Community Support Services, including housing navigation and deposits, to address social determinants of health for people in need. Aetna Better Health of California is proud to provide Enhanced Care Management and was the first Managed Care Plan in California to offer all 14 Community Support Services to qualified Medi-Cal members.  

About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health company, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of the most medically vulnerable, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has particular 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 approximately 2.8 million people in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, 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 employees 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. Learn more at

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Robert Joyce