Cigna (NYSE: CI) celebrates its 18th year as a national sponsor of the March of Dimes Walk for Babies with one of its own leading the way. Shalini Wittstruck, a Cigna employee for eight years, along with her husband and son, are the 2012 March of Dimes National Ambassador family.
Shalini, her husband, Shane, and their son, Kieran, age 6, are traveling the country talking about the importance of preventing preterm birth, a cause that resonates with Cigna's mission to help people improve their health and well-being.
Cigna is furthering its support with a tab on its Facebook page spotlighting Shalini and her family. For everyone who clicks on a button on the page, the Cigna Foundation will donate an additional $5 up to $10,000. This is on top of the more than $26 million the company and its people have thus far given to March of Dimes over the past 18 years.
"I never thought I was in danger of having a baby born preterm and I never thought of pregnancy as a life or death event,” Shalini Wittstruck said. “The research funded by the March of Dimes helped Kieran survive and become the curious, playful, friendly 6-year-old he is today. Cigna is an important supporter of March of Dimes and of my family’s journey to help ensure that some day all babies will be born healthy."
“Having a Cigna employee and her family as the national ambassadors for this year’s March of Dimes campaign is a true honor for us as a company,” said Cigna medical director Dr. Dick Salmon, co-chair of Cigna's March of Dimes campaign. “Preterm birth affects us all, from the mom and dad to the employer who loses valuable production as his or her employees worry about the health of their babies. The mission of the March of Dimes, to give all babies a healthy start and to make prevention of preterm birth a top priority, perfectly aligns with Cigna's objectives. We are proud to sponsor their efforts.”
Cigna employees and their friends and families will take part in March for Babies walks in Philadelphia, Hartford, Dallas, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and in other cities and towns throughout the country. The March for Babies is the March of Dimes signature fundraiser - with over 900 walks nationwide. Last year more than 4,500 people walked with Team Cigna and together raised $1.17 million for March of Dimes.
About Cigna and the Cigna Foundation
The Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.