Cigna Partners with Wake Forest School of Medicine to Advance Equity and Equality

$250,000 donation will create endowed scholarship fund to support under-represented populations in advancing their careers

April 27, 2021

Global health service company Cigna is partnering with the expanding Wake Forest School of Medicine to promote diversity and inclusion in health care education. Through a donation of $250,000 to the School, Cigna has established an endowed scholarship which will help support diversity and inclusion among students, as they embark on a career in medicine. 

The Cigna Scholarship Fund is an endowed scholarship that provides partial tuition funding to students enrolled in or intending to enroll in the MD degree program at Wake Forest School of Medicine each year. The scholarship aligns with Cigna’s Building Equity & Equality Program, established to accelerate the company's work to improve diversity, inclusion equity and equality for communities of color. 

“Expanding the pipeline of diverse medical providers is a critical part of Cigna’s work to advance health equity,” said Mike Triplett, president of Cigna's U.S. Commercial business. “We’re proud to partner with Wake Forest on this program that we believe will be a catalyst for change, yielding greater access to education and quality health care for all by building and sustaining a more diverse medical community.”

“We are committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion in our student body as part of our commitment to the future of health care. We are excited for the opportunities this scholarship will afford our students, and in turn the patients they will serve, for years to come. We are very pleased to have Cigna’s support in the future of health care for our region and beyond,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D., FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health, dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine and chief academic officer of Atrium Health Enterprise. 

“Cigna is committed to improving the health of the people we serve, and this scholarship enhances equitable opportunities for the next generation of providers,” said Charles Pitts, Cigna market president for the Carolinas. “This investment in education at Wake Forest School of Medicine helps to create more opportunities for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers so they can better meet the needs of our diverse communities.” 

Media contact:  

Joe McCloskey,, 336-716-1273