Aetna, a leading global health care solutions company, has appointed Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H. as President of the Aetna Foundation. 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.
“As a physician, policymaker and health services researcher, Dr. Graham brings a deep understanding of today’s health care issues, particularly those affecting minority and underserved populations. With Dr. Graham at the helm of the Aetna Foundation, we will continue to play a pivotal role in using philanthropy to get to the root causes of health inequities and develop new approaches to improve the lives of people in America’s diverse communities,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna’s chairman, CEO and President, and Chairman of the Aetna Foundation.
“Aetna’s commitment to quality health care for underserved communities is impressive,” said Graham. “I am honored to lead the Aetna Foundation and further its work to enhance quality health care practices and improve public health.”
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 the health outcomes for underserved and hard-to-reach populations.
From 2004 to 2011, Graham led HHS’s health disparities efforts, where he introduced new national grants programs to combat health disparities, guided the development of the first federal action plan released by the Obama administration to eliminate disparities and steered the effort that for the first time helped close the disparity gap in flu vaccination rates for minority children. He also served as Co-Director of the HHS Public Health Systems Quality Program.
Graham received his medical degree from Yale University, School of Medicine and his Master’s degree in Public Health from Yale School of Public Health. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida International University in Miami. He is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.
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.