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CVS Health’s Aetna donates $9.3M to fund behavioral, social care needs of youths

The funding will support community-based organizations providing CSED waiver services.
cvs health aetna youth

CVS Health's Aetna Better Health of West Virginia has provided $9.3 million to 10 residential and community-based service providers across the state that deliver behavioral health services and support social care needs of West Virginians, particularly for Children with a Serious Emotional Disorders in foster care and their biological or foster families.

Aetna previously announced a commitment to help residential facilities prepare children and their families to transition to home- and/or community-based settings. The latest commitment will support local community-based organizations that serve members after they have transitioned.

West Virginia’s CSED waiver program provides eligible children and teens with serious behavioral or mental health needs with a range of intensive behavioral health services and supports. The goal of the program is to assist children with severe emotional disorders by helping them remain with their families, in their homes and communities, with a support network, while receiving the services they need to improve outcomes.

[Read more: CVS Heath's Aetna enters insurance exchange marketplace in 12 states]

“Aetna’s latest funding will primarily support local behavioral health services, such as in-home therapy and crisis intervention for children and families, with the goal of keeping kids at home and in their community,” said Todd White, CEO of Aetna Better Health of West Virginia.

“West Virginia is enabling more children with a CSED waiver to live in a caring family environment with the opportunity to build loving relationships while receiving needed behavioral health treatment locally,” said Kathy Szafran, executive director of Mountain Health Promise, Aetna Better Health of West Virginia. “Building community capacity and educating biological and foster families to support these kids at home, especially in the rural areas that make up most of the state, helps to keep kids and their families together, allowing them the time to heal and grow.”

In addition to funding behavioral health organizations, Aetna is funding organizations that tackle social determinants of health, such as access to holistic care, service capacity and workforce development, that children and their families face. Many of these organizations plan to:

  • Expand prenatal education programs;
  • Develop community care clinics on school campuses;
  • Establish scholarships for nursing students;
  • Launch learning facilities that offer virtual and in-person trainings for a variety of health professions; and
  • Cultivate programs that address food insecurity, management of chronic health conditions, workforce shortage issues, access to care and more.

 West Virginia organizations receiving Aetna community investments include:


  • Board of Child Care
  • NUSkool Scholars
  • KVC West Virginia, a subsidiary of KVC Health Systems
  • Lily's Place
  • St. Mary's Medical Center
  • Marshall Health/Department of Family Medicine
  • Facing Hunger Foodbank
  • CAMC Foundation
  • Community Care of West Virginia
  • Williamson Health and Wellness Center

“There is a vast need for nurses and other clinical positions across the United States and throughout West Virginia,” said Kristi Arrowood, executive director of St. Mary’s Medical Center Foundation. “Aetna’s investment in our nursing school will allow us to expand and renovate our learning center, upgrade equipment, and provide nursing scholarships that will increase class sizes and expedite more clinical specialists into local communities.”

[Read more: CVS Health to acquire Signify Health for $8B]

Aetna Better Health of West Virginia is the sole managed care organization for the state’s Specialized Managed Care for Children and Youth contract. The statewide contract covers the physical and behavioral healthcare services for children and youth in the foster care system and individuals receiving adoption assistance, as well as children in the CSED waiver program. The health plan has administered CSED waiver programs for members in West Virginia since March 1, 2020.

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