Aetna grant supports western Connecticut Community Report Card
Insurer joins WCSU, Danbury Hospital and other partners in biennial community studies

DANBURY, CONN. — Hartford-based insurer Aetna has provided a $15,000 grant to support the joint project sponsored by Western Connecticut State University, Danbury Hospital, social service and public health agencies, and private sector businesses to provide biennial reports on the health and well-being of residents in the Greater Danbury and Housatonic Valley region.

The project continues and builds upon the initial Community Report Card (CRC) released in January 2009, which provided statistical studies and analyses of community demographics, economic need, educational benchmarks, and physical and mental health for 10 communities in the area. The CRC steering committee, cochaired by WestConn Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Linda Rinker and Danbury Hospital Director of Public and Government Relations Andrea Rynn, has set a goal to prepare future Community Report Cards on a biennial basis.

The 2009 report measured and evaluated a total of 37 key indicators for factors such as incidence of major diseases, public health, dropout and graduation rates, households below poverty level, pregnancy, suicide, and health insurance access. Towns participating in the Community Report Card project include Danbury, Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield and Sherman.

Rinker observed after release of the initial report that the CRC project has given governments, health care providers and social service organizations in the region an important new source of information and data to assess the present well-being of the community and to plan and coordinate efforts to address unmet needs. Rynn noted the Report Cards will help to stimulate community discussion and policy action by “giving us a roadmap to move into the future.”

By continuing to monitor indicators studied in the previous report and expanding the scope of the survey in future studies, the CRC project aims to provide a more comprehensive basis for evaluating program effectiveness and establishing emerging trends. Michael Johnston, chief executive officer of the United Way of Western Connecticut, has described the Report Card as “invaluable in helping us to identify new trends and issues that require attention, as well as providing a benchmark for measuring our success in tackling our community’s challenges.”

Aetna joins a team of sponsors funding the Community Report Card project that also includes WestConn, the United Way of Western Connecticut, Danbury Hospital, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Fairfield County Bank, Poland Spring, Savings Bank of Danbury, and Union Savings Bank.

For more information about the Community Report Card project, access the CRC Web site at

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.



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