GRDC News - April 2004

Dr. David Satcher Receives Aetna Voice Of Conscience Award
Aetna has presented Dr. David Satcher, former surgeon general of the United States and Dr. Satcher Receives Aetna Awardcurrent director of the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine, with the 2004 Aetna Voice of Conscience Award, honoring his commitment to eliminating disparities in health care and health outcomes.

Aetna Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe, M.D., presented the award Feb. 13 at a ceremony at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. It includes a $50,000 grant to charities of Dr. Satcher's choice. Dr. Satcher has chosen the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities at the Morehouse School of Medicine to receive the $50,000 donation. The award is given in conjunction with the National Conference for Community and Justice.

"As Surgeon General, Dr. Satcher spearheaded an effort to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health, an initiative that was incorporated as one of the two major goals of Healthy People 2010," said Dr. Rowe. "At the Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Satcher has continued to be a leader in eliminating disparities in health. We are pleased to recognize Dr. Satcher's long-standing commitment to this critical public policy and health care quality issue."

Aetna has taken a leadership role in working to address racial and ethnic disparities. In 2003, the company provided nearly $3 million in funding to programs focused primarily on addressing disparities in health and disease prevention.

"Health care challenges continue, even as our country becomes increasingly diverse," said Sanford Cloud Jr., NCCJ president and CEO. "Among them are disparities in health care across racial and ethnic divides, access to quality health care, a shortage of doctors in certain communities, and shortages of nurses and other health care professionals. Along with Aetna, we are proud to honor Dr. Satcher's commitment to eliminating health care disparities and addressing these critical issues."

The Voice of Conscience Award was established by Aetna in 1993, after the death of tennis great and humanitarian Arthur R. Ashe Jr., who served for more than a decade on the board of directors of Aetna and the Aetna Foundation.

Catholic Family CenterPast winners of Aetna's Voice of Conscience Award include The Honorable Alan C. Page (1994), Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1998) and Ambassador Andrew Young (2002).

"It is a special honor for me to receive Aetna's Voice of Conscience Award recognizing my efforts toward the elimination of disparities in health," said Dr. Satcher. "Arthur Ashe was a great friend, and I am sure that he would be proud of the leadership that Aetna is providing in this area."

Dr. Satcher is the director of the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine. He was the 16th surgeon general of the United States and served a four-year term from 1998 to 2001. The National Center for Primary Care works to promote excellence in community-oriented primary health care and optimal health outcomes for all Americans, with a special focus on underserved populations and on the elimination of health disparities.

Morehouse School of Medicine is a historically black institution located in Atlanta. Founded in 1975, the institution provides medical education to those who seek to increase access to health care and to eliminate health disparities among the nation's underserved individuals and communities. It is one of six independent, private institutions in the Atlanta University Center that serves more than 14,000 African-American undergraduate, graduate and professional men and women. Morehouse School of Medicine is a 501 (c) (3) organization that has graduated more than 750 health professionals since 1981. Its Internet address is

The National Conference for Community and Justice, founded in 1927, works through more than 55 regional offices, in 32 states and the District of Columbia. NCCJ promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education.




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