News - December 2005

Aetna and Health Power Team Up to Address Disparities in Minority Health Care

A leader in its focus to eliminate disparities in health care, Aetna has joined forces with Health Power to provide health-related information to minority populations. Health Power, a leading resource for minority health issues, offers informative, easy-to-use and culturally appropriate information on topics like disease prevention, early detection and control through a website whose rapid growth and development was assisted by an Aetna grant.

"We continue to lead the field in an effort to eliminate health care disparities and provide the best and most comprehensive opportunities for care." said Cheryl Pegus, M.D., Aetna’s national medical director for Program Development, Sales and Marketing.

According to three studies recently published by the New England Journal of Medicine, evidence exists that African-Americans still receive less medical attention than whites. Because racial and ethnic disparities are an ongoing problem, the need is great for increased awareness of issues related to minority health care. The Health Power website is a tool that can raise such awareness, as it contains information on many topics pertinent to multicultural health care. Topics include:

  • Food and Fitness - a channel devoted to recipes, cooking tips and fitness
  • Preventive Health - a resource about the best ways to stay healthy
    Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Teen Health and health for other age groups
  • Race, Ethnic and Culture - information devoted to the interests and needs of specific groups
  • Mental and Spiritual Health - an overview of key mental conditions, and issues related to spiritual health
  • Our Major Killers and Disablers - a look at the risks and conditions that most threaten the health of people of color, and what can often be done to prevent or reverse them.

Aetna’s collaboration with Health Power supports its ongoing commitment to reducing disparities in health care. For the last three years, Aetna has focused on reducing disparities in health care among racial and ethnic populations through an integrated business and philanthropic approach. Aetna’s comprehensive business efforts include enhancing cultural competency within its clinical staff, collecting on voluntary, self-identification basis racial and ethnic information from members, and working with external national experts to develop outreach programs to improve access to quality care. These initiatives are designed to help Aetna create more culturally focused disease management and wellness programs. They also allow the company to identify disparities, support and encourage new research, and test new approaches to reducing disparities in health care.

"Our collaboration with Aetna helps us reach and educate more of the population at-risk for disparities in their healthcare," said Norma J. Goodwin, M.D., founder and president of Health Power. "Health Power is committed to empowering people of color with information that will help them live longer and healthy lives."

For more information, visit Access to the Health Power website is also available through the Aetna website:

As one of the nation’s leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 14.435 million medical members, 12.976 million dental members, 9.117 million pharmacy members and 13.662 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 684,000 health care professionals, including over 405,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 4,135 hospitals. For more information, please visit (Figures as of June 30, 2005.)

Health Power is a national New York State-based nonprofit corporation committed to improving the health of people of color through: health information, health promotion, technical assistance to organizations, and partnering with the public, nonprofit and private sectors to achieve mutually agreed upon purposes.


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