People & Places
DR. ANNE C. BEAL
“My mother was a single mom, so I grew up without health insurance,” says Dr.
Anne C. Beal, newly appointed
president of Aetna Foundation,
the philanthropic arm of health
insurer Aetna (No. 48 in The
DiversityInc Top 50 Companies
for Diversity®). “I remember even
as young as 10 having a real understanding of, if I got sick, what
it might mean financially to my family.”
That’s what drove Beal to healthcare, first as a
pediatrician delivering services to children living
in homeless shelters and then as a researcher with
interests in racial/ethnic disparities and quality
care for children.
Previously, she was assistant vice president of
The Commonwealth Fund’s program to improve
healthcare quality for low-income patients.
“You can’t look at the healthcare system that’s
not functioning … not providing good quality and
say, ‘Despite that background, we want to focus
on vulnerable patient populations to address
disparities.’ You have to say: ‘How’s the healthcare
system doing in general?’ Then ‘How’s the healthcare system doing in particular for vulnerable
patients?’” Beal explains.
Beal, who also is the author of “The Black
Parenting Book: Caring for Our Children in the
First Five Years,” joined Aetna Foundation because its longstanding commitment to addressing
disparities is so closely aligned with her values.
Aetna and Aetna Foundation have contributed
more than $359 million in grants and sponsorships and coordinated millions of employee
volunteer hours since 1980.
Beal would like to focus on improved care
for patients who have two or three chronic
conditions and see different specialists. “How
do we make sure those providers are talking to
each other? It’s a huge problem right now,” she
says. “It also makes sense to look at pockets of
healthcare excellence in the United States and
ask, ‘How can we do that and replicate it across
the country? How do we make that available to
more patients?’” —By Gail Zoppo
Dr. Anne C. Beal Aetna Foundation
DONNA M. GRIFFIN
In previous positions at Chubb Corp., Donna M. Griffin was responsible for the insurance company’s global operations and processes. Today, she
has an even more critical role for the company’s
future: chief diversity officer.
Griffin, whose title also includes senior vice
president, is a 25-year Chubb employee. In her
new position, where she reports
directly to CEO, Chairman and
President John Finnegan, she gets
to do what she likes best—work
“My heart and soul went into
the people part of it,” she says. “I
always played big in the diversity
space and was one of the first
women leaders here ... I’ve been a
role model for women coming up.”
Griffin grew up in Rhode
Island and intended to become a teacher. But
when she graduated from college, there was an
oversupply of teachers and a friend suggested the
insurance industry. She learned on the job and
benefited, she says, from her ability to implement changes.
A past member of Chubb’s Gay Lesbian
Employee Network and the founding corporate sponsor of the company’s Black Employee
Network, she also has served on the Women’s
Development Council and has been involved in
many outside activities for women, including
the advisory board for the Rutgers Institute for
The employee groups are critical for the company, she says, as recruitment sources and for use
in marketing initiatives.
“We leverage their knowledge and expertise
with market segments that we might be successful in. We have 10 employee groups, and 20
percent of our employee population participates
in them,” she says.
Griffin believes her knowledge of the company, her access to senior leaders and her deep commitment to Chubb’s values of cultural inclusion
will serve her well in what she sees as her final
assignment for the company before retiring.
—By Barbara Frankel
Donna M. Griffin