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CIGNA Reaches across borders to improve healthcare

CIGNA is supporting a program that is searching the world for solutions to improving health care. The Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) was created through an unrestricted grant from the CIGNA Foundation to the Wye River Group on Healthcare (WRGH), a non-partisan group known as a catalyst for constructive health care change. Initially, this three-year program will bring together leaders from government, health care, business, philanthropy and academia to discuss and advance better practices in health care among industrialized nations. The CIGNA Foundation’s one million dollar contribution to create the GKEN underscores CIGNA’s commitment to helping to shape the future of affordable, quality health care. “With a global economy, it is important that groups not work in isolation as they address health care reform. Just as public policy decisions depend on reaching across the political aisles, meaningful study of health care requires reaching across borders,” said H. Edward Hanway, chairman and chief utive officer of CIGNA Corporation. “This is an exciting opportunity to better understand the health care financing and delivery systems of other countries as well as our own.” Through this work, the GKEN will explore health care systems around the world to discover what works well and why, and will examine how to replicate successful models that address health care challenges and improve health care quality. Issues to be considered include cost, delivery, administration, public health and the workforce. Over the three-year period, the GKEN will identify better practices in health care, such as process changes, use of technology, and new roles for doctors and other members of the provider community. This information will form the basis for the health care knowledge exchange and will be delivered through a robust internet site. As examples of better practices are approved by the GKEN, they will be compiled, formatted into case studies, and catalogued for publication and distribution on the GKEN website. The GKEN also will promote these better practices through speaking engagements, printed materials, events and other channels, including the development of an electronic newsletter. The GKEN will meet twice a year to discuss areas of shared interest among its global members. “This initiative will build on the strength of existing international exchanges by partnering to promote cross-cultural knowledge exchange among the leadership of nations. We are pleased to have received the support from the CIGNA Foundation and welcome this commitment to creating and maintaining a global communication platform designed to improve health care here and abroad,” said Jon Comola, chief utive officer for WRGH.

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