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CIGNA: $250K Available To Non-Profits For Public Health Outreach In The Territory

    CIGNA’S Scott Evelyn

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BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — The Cigna Foundation today announced that $250,000 in grants are available over the next three years to non-profits in the U.S. Virgin Islands with community health workers helping those living with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

Community health workers are trusted members of the community who understand the challenges within their community, and who help community members access and use health care and social services, the Cigna Foundation told the V.I. Free Press.

“We’re pleased to offer support to the U.S. Virgin Islands to tackle some of their most pressing health problems,” said Scott Evelyn, Cigna’s business manager for the territory. “This is vitally-important work, as the region compares poorly to the health status of Americans living on the [U.S.] mainland.”

Cigna provides health and dental coverage to Virgin Islands government workers on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.

“I strongly encourage eligible non-profits to take advantage of this opportunity,” Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp said. “We have made wellness initiatives a priority, and it’s my hope that we can continue to do more locally in terms of prevention and improving our quality of life. We must focus on addressing the chronic illnesses that plague our community – particularly high blood pressure and diabetes.”

Interested organizations are asked to send proposals outlining their programs to by May 1.

Once all ideas are reviewed, the Cigna Foundation will contact organizations with whom it wants to explore relationships.

“It’s our hope that our support can, in part, address the health disparities caused by social and/or economic barriers to health in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation. “We look forward to working with non-profits to help meet the urgent health needs of the region and help improve quality of life.

GOV. KENNETH E. MAPP: “I strongly encourage eligible non-profits to take advantage of this opportunity. We must focus on addressing the chronic illnesses that plague our community – particularly high blood pressure and diabetes.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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