Aetna Foundation Awards $240,000 Grant to BET Foundation for Healthy Lifestyle Program for African American Girls
Aetna and the Aetna Foundation announced today that they have awarded a $240,000 grant to the BET Foundation to expand its Health Education & Active Learning (HEAL) Academy to help prevent obesity and promote healthy lifestyles for African American girls between the ages of 10 and 18.
The HEAL Academy is a multi-level, interactive after-school education program that encourages healthy lifestyle changes, physical activity and optimum health. Girls learn why a healthy lifestyle is important and how to make healthy choices through community service projects, coursework and group competition.
“Addressing health disparities and encouraging wellness are important initiatives at Aetna,” said Chairman and CEO Ronald A. Williams. “We have dedicated significant time, effort and resources to focus on the issue and seek solutions. HEAL Academy will encourage regular physical activity and promote healthy lifestyles among young people, and will have a direct and positive impact on the problem of obesity in the African American community. Aetna is proud to support this important initiative.”
The HEAL Academy teaches African American girls to analyze, evaluate and make healthier lifestyle choices, and empowers them with the knowledge, skill and opportunity to become active health advocates for policy changes in their schools, families and neighborhoods.
“The BET Foundation remains steadfast in raising public awareness about the prevalence of obesity and associated health problems among African Americans. We are extremely thankful to Aetna for recognizing our effort by supporting the HEAL Academy and its mission to promote healthier lifestyles among African-American girls,” said Lynda Dorman, vice president and executive director of the BET Foundation. “With the right tools, resources and motivation, we are helping young girls improve not only their long-term physical and emotional health, but also the overall health of their community.”