The Aspen Global Innovators Group and the Aetna Foundation Launch New Fellowship for Building Healthy Communities

September 17, 2018

Applications are now being accepted for the one-year fellowship program, which will be hosted by the Aspen Institute

Contact: Gina Rogari
Program Manager, Aspen Global Innovators Group
The Aspen Institute |+1-202-736-3519

Washington, DC, September 17, 2018 – The Aspen Global Innovators Group at the Aspen Institute and the Aetna Foundation have launched a new fellowship for community leaders addressing health inequities through the lens of the social determinants of health. Five fellows will be selected to participate in a curated, one-year program focused on public speaking, writing, and networking to develop their voices as experts in the field of the social determinants of health.

“We know that where you live impacts how well and how long you live. Research shows that 60 percent of a person’s life expectancy is driven by factors outside of the doctor’s office, like access to clean water, physical activity, and healthy food,” said Dr. Garth Graham, President of the Aetna Foundation and Vice President of Community Health for Aetna, Inc. “The fellowship program will support individuals that are already making a difference in their respective communities, helping them to do even more in their local areas and spreading the word on their positive work.”

In the US and across the globe, people are taking community-building in their own hands, bringing fresh produce to food deserts, demanding better public locations for physical activity, and advocating for clean water, public safety, and quality health services.

The goal of the Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship is to recognize these leaders as experts in the field of the social determinants of health. Through new conversations and ideas on cultivating healthy communities to major public platforms, including Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health and Aspen Ideas Incubator, the Fellowship can help cultivate a global network of community health leaders.

“The Aetna Foundation and the Aspen Global Innovators Group are committed to amplifying the voices of leaders making an impact in their communities,” says Peggy Clark, Executive Director of the Aspen Global Innovators Group. “We need to bring these changemakers to the forefront of the conversations happening in the US and around the world about how social, economic, and environmental factors impact health in our communities.”

Applications to the Fellowship are now being accepted through the program website at Applications will be open through November 15, 2018. Five fellows will be selected and notified by December 15, 2018.


The Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna (NYSE:AET). As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who volunteered 520,000 hours in 2017 alone. For more information, visit

The Aspen Global Innovators Group

The Aspen Global Innovators Group widens access to health and prosperity for people living at the world’s margins. Our network of innovators brings overlooked challenges into plain sight, then creates programs, policies and partnerships to address them. Breakthrough programs include: New Voices Fellowship, which brings expert voices from emerging countries into the global development discussion; AMP Health, which works with health leaders in under-resourced countries advancing to the last mile; the Artisan Alliance, supporting the world’s most untapped start-up community; and Spotlight Health, a premier creative forum on health at the Aspen Ideas Festival. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, CO; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit



View Comments