Feb 21, 2022
Meet Cigna's 2022 Community Ambassador Fellows

At Cigna, we’re committed to giving back to the global communities in which we live and work.

And, we encourage our employees to do the same through our Community Ambassador Fellowship program. Each year we choose up to 15 Community Ambassador Fellows to represent Cigna and complete a project to positively impact the health, well-being and peace of mind of the individuals in the communities where we live and work. Eligible employees have the opportunity to submit a project proposal and be selected for a Fellowship for up to three months, during which time they are on paid leave, and receive up to $20,000 to support the execution of the project. 

Past Fellows have done important work to reduce infant and maternal mortality in Rwanda, provided suicide prevention and crisis resources to LGBTQ youth in Sioux Falls, reduced social taboo around menstruation to help girls in India attend school, and helped veterans heal physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually through technology.

In 2022, Cigna Community Ambassador Fellows will undertake a wide variety of projects across the globe. Meet them below, and read more about their upcoming projects.

Sheldon Blattner will partner with The Opioid Foundation to provide education and awareness around addiction in two rural Michigan communities.


Darlene Byrd will partner with Making a Change Group to develop and institute a Leadership Development Academy for high school students in Chester, Pennsylvania.


Heather Corraccio will partner with UPchieve to implement a new, maintainable whiteboard solution to help low-income high school students in Connecticut.


Laura Del Cano will partner with Proyde to provide humanitarian and psychological support to Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon.


LaShell Eikerenkoetter will partner with Solidarity Economy St. Louis to address mental and physical wellness, equity in business, and community violence in Black communities in St. Louis, Missouri.


Katelyn Gately will partner with The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) to provide the military community in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with health, well-being, and peace-of-mind tools through a Yoga Therapy Program.


Joan Gitau will partner with the Heels4Pads Foundation to provide young girls in Nairobi, Kenya, with necessities such as sanitary towels to save them from sexual exploitation.


Mena Gurung will partner with SEWA Asian Indian Family Wellness (SEWA-AIFW) to teach South Asian women in Minneapolis, Minnesota, job skills to build economic self-sufficiency.


Brandy Camille Huff will partner with The Norma J. Morris Center to use marketing and communications strategies in Atlanta, Georgia, to increase referrals, engagement, and support to help adult survivors of childhood abuse.


Rhonda Lively will partner with Santa In Uniform to provide socio-economically challenged youth in Trion, Georgia, access to golf to improve their health, well-being, self-control, personal development, mobility, and etiquette.


Leslie Martin will partner with Winning The Fight (WTF) to teach families in Flower Mound, Texas, how to safeguard medication in their homes.


Kristal Ruiz will partner with Mind Blank to equip employers and employees in Brisbane, Australia, with skills to identify mental health issues.


Smitha Shetty will partner with Asset India Foundation to provide a gender sensitization curriculum to students across India to fight abuse and inculcate healthy gender norms.


Susan Werner will inculcate with LitShop to improve nutritional, emotional, and physical health for girls and gender-expansive youth in St. Louis, Missouri.


Shu-Ju Yang will partner with Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care (CACCC) to bridge easier and earlier end-of-life conversations with Chinese Americans.