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Tour for Diversity in Medicine and Aetna Foundation Rev Up Third Bus Tour to Mentor Med-School-Bound Minority Students

  Tour for Diversity in Medicine and Aetna Foundation Rev Up Third Bus Tour to
  Mentor Med-School-Bound Minority Students

    -- Doctors, Dentists Travel to Six Texas Universities to Advise Future
           Providers& Help Diversify the Health Care Profession --

Business Wire

HARTFORD, Conn. -- February 7, 2013

The Tour for Diversity in Medicine, a volunteer program started by two young
doctors, will launch its third bus tour the week of February 11, this time
traveling to six Texas universities to help minority students pursue careers
in medicine and dentistry. Thanks to a grant from the Aetna Foundation, 15
doctors, dentists and medical school students from across the country will
travel more than 1,000 miles to provide full-day, hands-on workshops to
undergrad students on six different campuses.

The Tour for Diversity in Medicine hopes to help diversify the health care
profession by giving minority students the advice and tools they’ll need to
pursue medical careers. Although African Americans, Hispanics and Native
Americans compose more than 26 percent of the U.S. population, they represent
only 6 percent of practicing physicians and 5 percent of dentists, according
to the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 2011, African-American and
Hispanic students made up only 15 percent of all U.S. medical school
applicants.^1  Yet  research shows that patients who receive care from doctors
of the same background are more satisfied with their care and more engaged in
their treatment.

“Not only does today’s physician workforce not reflect the growing diversity
of our country, but this health equity gap is often most apparent in the
at-risk minority communities that need help most. We are trying to make a
tangible difference by going directly to students and showing them the changes
that they can make for themselves and their communities by considering a
career in medicine,” said Alden Landry, M.D., co-founder of the Tour for
Diversity in Medicine and an emergency department physician at Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “Our tours address the national need for a
more diverse physician population at a grassroots level—school by school and
student by student.”

The week of February 11, the Tour for Diversity in Medicine will travel to the
following universities in Texas:

-- Monday, February 11           The University of Texas at El Paso
-- Tuesday, February                       The University of Texas at San
12                                         Antonio
-- Wednesday, February                     Texas A&M International University,
13                                         Laredo
-- Thursday, February                      Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
14
-- Friday, February 15                     Prairie View A&M University
-- Saturday, February                      Texas Southern University, Houston
16
                                           

“As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, our
nation’s health care providers must be able to respond to the wide variety of
patient perspectives in order to provide the best possible care,” said Gillian
Barclay, D.D.S., Dr.PH., the Aetna Foundation’s vice president and director of
national grant making. “The Aetna Foundation is pleased to be a founding
sponsor of the Tour for Diversity in Medicine and once again support these
dedicated doctors as they help achieve more diversity in the next generation
of health care providers. Our support for the tours is part of our ongoing
work to develop health care leaders from underrepresented communities.”

About 150 students from each school are expected to participate in the
full-day program. There are sessions on the medical school application
process, admissions tests, financial aid, interviewing skills, and an overview
of health disparities. Students will interact one-on-one with mentors who will
offer personal insights and share their experiences about how to build a
successful career in medicine or dentistry.

“We’re excited to be back on the road and traveling to Texas to reach Hispanic
and African-American students. We recognize that many students may not have
the resources or information to seek out medical school recruitment fairs on
their own, so we come directly to campus to help spark interest in health care
careers,” said Kameron Matthews, M.D., J.D., co-founder of the Tour for
Diversity in Medicine and medical director of the Division Street site of Erie
Family Health Center in Chicago. “By offering student workshops with doctors
who come from similar backgrounds, we are helping students overcome perceived
barriers to entering the medical profession and showing them what steps
they’ll need to take to build a fulfilling career.”

Additional support for the Texas Tour comes from the U.S. Army, AAMC, American
Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and American Dental Education
Association. For more information, follow the Tour for Diversity in Medicine
on Facebook and Twitter @Tour4Diversity or visit tour4diversity.org.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm
of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET). Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have
contributed $413 million in grants and sponsorships, including $19.2 million
in 2011. 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 have volunteered more than 2.6
million -hours since 2003. Aetna’s current giving is focused on addressing the
rising rate of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and
ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care.
For more information, visit www.AetnaFoundation.org.

About Tour for Diversity in Medicine

The Tour for Diversity in Medicine (T4D), a project of Hip Hop Health Inc.,
seeks to educate, inspire and cultivate future physicians of diverse racial
and ethnic backgrounds by forming local connections in order to fulfill a
national need. Conceived by former medical student leaders, T4D will bring
premedical enrichment activities to underrepresented minority undergraduate
students in order to assist with the diversification of the health professions
workforce. T4D is a grassroots effort, with its third tour in February 2013
focused on Texas universities. Visit tour4diversity.org for more information.

^1 Diversity in Medical Education: Facts & Figures 2012, The Association of
American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

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Contact:

Aetna Foundation Media Contact:
Marnie Goodman, 860-273-2314
GoodmanM2@aetna.com
or
Tour For Diversity in Medicine Media Contact:
Meghan Amoroso, 703-739-8350
mamoroso@brgcommunications.com