Aetna Contributes $60,000 to Support Culturally-Informed Services in Southeast Michigan’s Diverse Communities

Aetna Better Health of Michigan, a CVS Health® company (NYSE: CVS), has announced donations totaling $60,000 to ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) and Centro Multicultural La Familia. These funds are aimed at providing culturally-informed services, workshops, and resources for under-resourced communities in Southeast Michigan.

“Aetna Better Health is committed to investing in the sustainable futures and continued success of all communities, and we recognize the importance of providing resources that resonate with those they’re intended to serve,” said Teressa Smith, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Michigan. “We’re proud to support these organizations’ efforts to improve the well-being and development of diverse communities in the Detroit area. Together, we can continue to bolster initiatives that effectively serve and authentically represent under-resourced populations.”

With Aetna’s funding, ACCESS will deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate emergency services to help families in crisis achieve stability. Engaging culturally familiar case workers, ACCESS assists individuals and families with applying for food and housing assistance, enrolling in healthcare, applying for unemployment benefits, providing translation/interpretation services, and navigating the public benefits system.

“At ACCESS, we’re committed to the development of diverse communities through community service, cultural and social entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyles, education, and philanthropy,” said Maha Freij, President and CEO of ACCESS. “Aetna’s support will help our team address systemic barriers to access for low-income, immigrant, and refugee communities in Southeast Michigan by providing timely emergency services from a dedicated team committed to preventing life-altering events and finding long-term solutions to meet basic needs.”

The donation also supports Centro Multicultural La Familia’s initiatives to address food insecurity, promote healthy eating habits, and provide workshops with nutritious meals rooted in the culinary traditions of diverse communities. Through a culturally-focused food pantry, Centro Multicultural La Familia aims to bridge the gap by offering foods that Latine families traditionally consume, which are often overlooked by service providers. Additionally, the organization will use the funding to expand after-hours services and offer workshops on workforce development, interview skills, and other life skills to help people build successful futures.

“Food is the bedrock of communities across the world, but diverse cultural cuisines are often neglected in traditional food services,” said Sonia Acosta, Ph.D., President and CEO of Centro Multicultural La Familia. “Our goal is not only to meet the nutritional and cultural needs of those we serve but to also provide opportunities to develop communities through relevant programs that bridge resource gaps and present individuals with services they can not only utilize, but also identify with.

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