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Aetna grants $100,000 to Bright Star Community Outreach to strengthen educational services in Chicago

January 9, 2024 |3 minute read time

Two young students working on a school project


DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Jan. 9, 2023 – Aetna Better Health of Illinois®, a CVS Health® company (NYSE: CVS), announced that Aetna® has provided a community investment of $100,000 to Bright Star Community Outreach to help support educational services in Chicago.

To encourage parent involvement on Chicago’s southside and to strengthen the education opportunities of the community's youth, Bright Star Community Outreach’s long-standing Parent University and inaugural STEAM program equip parents with tools to support their children and help students excel with a high-quality STEAM curriculum. Studies show high parent involvement in school, fostered by early childhood intervention, promotes positive behavior in adolescents and reduces arrest for violent crime in emerging adulthood.

The support from Aetna will be used to fortify these programs.

“Providing access to education is a key factor in reducing violence and building healthier communities,” said CEO of Aetna Better Health of Illinois Rushil Desai. “Investing in sustainable programming that will provide advanced STEAM education to students and give parents insight into how to support their children is critically important. We look forward to working alongside Bright Star to get educational services to people when and where they need it.”

Located in Chicago’s Greater Bronzeville neighborhood, Bright Star Community Outreach implements community development initiatives that positively impact economic opportunities, mental health services, workforce development, food insecurity, education, and social determinants of health. These efforts are designed to strengthen local families and communities as well as leverage key partnerships with organizations and businesses that share a passion for seeing growth in these areas in Chicago.

“We are grateful for the support from Aetna and its investment in Bright Star’s Parent University and STEAM programming,” said CEO of Bright Star Community Outreach Pastor Chris Harris, Sr. “These funds will allow us to further serve the Greater Bronzeville community through enhanced and sustainable educational program offerings. Investments in underserved and underfunded communities from partners like Aetna continue to help our neighbors thrive in the communities they call home.”

Aetna has awarded over $700,000 in community investments in 2023 to support various Illinois organizations that assist Medicaid members with access to healthy food, job development, housing support, maternal and child health and access to care.

Aetna Better Health of Illinois offers access to quality, affordable health care to individuals through the state's HealthChoice Illinois Medicaid program. The health plan serves over 420,000 members in 102 counties. For more information about Aetna Better Health® of Illinois, visit our website,


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, 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 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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