Garth Graham, M.D. ’01, M.P.H. ’01, was named president of the Aetna Foundation, the independent philanthropic arm of Aetna, a global health care solutions company, in September. A national expert on health disparities and health care quality, Graham served as deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Prior to joining Aetna, Graham was assistant dean for health policy and chief of health services research at the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville. There, he served as principal investigator on a number of grants and initiatives looking at innovative approaches, such as tele-health, home-based care, and coordinated medical teams, to improve health outcomes for underserved and hard-to-reach populations.
A frequent writer and editor, Graham has been widely published, including in peer review journals. He is the author of the book The Role of Decentralization in Strengthening Equity in Healthcare. He has taught at the University of Florida School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Stanford University.
The Aetna Foundation focuses much of its grant making on combating health inequities. The Foundation’s initiatives include increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables for people living in low-income neighborhoods, diversifying the health care professions, and prenatal care for at-risk expectant mothers. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed more than $427 million in grants and sponsorships, including more than $14.6 million awarded in 2012.