Aetna has been recognized for the integrated approach to helping members with diabetes manage their condition. The Healthy Outlook Program® Caring for Diabetes provides various outreach services to members with diabetes. Aetna employees in the Jacksonville Florida location recognizes that funds are needed to continue the research by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation so that one day a cure could be found. Employees participate in the Annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fund raising activity titled Walk to Cure Diabetes.
Teresa Mitchell, National Project Manager for Provider Services Center has for several years volunteered to lead the fundraising activities around this initiative. What is especially noteworthy is that each year Teresa has lead the efforts, the contributions to the event have increased each year. In 2005 a total of $35,789 was raised. In 2006, she exceeded the $37,500 goal. It was in 2007; Teresa took a deep breath, rolled up her sleeves and began the journey to coordinate the largest fund raising local event at the Aetna Jacksonville Florida location. She exceeded the goal and raised $56,256.13.
To begin the fundraiser, Teresa recruited team captains to represent the various business units to ensure each employee could be given the opportunity to donate/and participate in the walk. Once she sent the note to the Jacksonville site to recruit for team captains, 19 employees responded; 4 more than in the prior year. Teresa provided valuable coaching to all captains. She created a list of 24 items Team Captains must attend to – in order to be successful. Various activities to raise money occurred. For instance, Panera Bagels were a big hit. Teresa would be at the bakery at 5 am to pick up hundreds of bagels and have the display ready for employees arriving at 6 am. Teresa placed many outreach calls to local companies to support the fund raisers. You would see Teresa coming to work with hundreds of cookies donated that were placed in with BBQ lunches being sold so the employees would have a dessert with their purchase. Teresa's energy and enthusiasm began to spread. Eventually, individual teams within the business units would challenge each other with fund raising activities.
While Teresa devoted many hours to this great cause, she still remained active as a Middle School Parent Teach Student Association Treasurer, Honorary Team Mom for the Middle School Basket Ball team, and serves on the finance committee at her church. Also noteworthy was right after the Juvenile Diabetes Campaign; Teresa coordinated efforts for a very successful Sickle Cell Foundation Campaign rising over $9,000.
Mark LaBorde, General Manager Aetna Insurance Company said, "The countless hours of personal dedication by Teresa, and for others in Jacksonville that worked to make this fund raiser a success, the Jacksonville Aetna location donated $56,256.13 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation."