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Press Releases

June 09, 2021

Brigham Health, Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation, and Cigna Take 617 Million Steps in Support of Trauma Survivors

Brigham Health and Cigna announce the successful completion of the 2021 Step Up for Stepping Strong challenge, a month-long program held in May in which 5,360 participants from 31 teams took 617 million collective steps in support of trauma survivors. In honor of the community’s virtual participation, and surpassing the 500 million steps goal, Cigna is making a $100,000 gift to support The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The Stepping Strong Center fuels the continuum of trauma research and care—from prevention to recovery to rehabilitation—to benefit civilians and military personnel worldwide who have suffered from the devastation of traumatic injuries. Audrey Epstein Reny, together with her family, established the center at the Brigham to honor her daughter, Gillian, a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. “It’s inspiring to see thousands of people from across the world come together year after year to help turn tragedy into hope for survivors of traumatic injuries,” says Reny. “We are proud to say that the sense of community and shared purpose of our global participants is stronger than ever.”

Through the combined efforts of the Stepping Strong Center, Brigham Health, and Cigna, the presenting sponsor, participants learned about the societal impact of trauma; received health, wellness, and nutrition information; and were encouraged to do their part to help reach the 500 million step collective goal.

“Despite the disruption we all experienced during the past year, Step Up for Stepping Strong continued to bring people together as a community to support trauma survivors while creating awareness for healthy lifestyles,” says Mark Butler, president for Cigna’s New England market. “Cigna is proud to work alongside the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at the Brigham for the fourth consecutive year on this wonderful program that fosters healing and peace of mind.”

Brigham Health Interim President and Chief Medical Officer Sunil Eappen, MD, MBA, adds, “We are grateful to partner with Cigna once again to promote healthy lifestyles and transform the lives of trauma survivors.”


Brigham Health is composed of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization. BWH is a 793-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare. BWH has more than 4.2 million annual patient visits and nearly 46,000 inpatient stays, is the largest birthing center in Massachusetts and employs nearly 16,000 people. The Brigham’s medical preeminence dates back to 1832, and today that rich history in clinical care is coupled with its national leadership in patient care, quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, and its dedication to research, innovation, community engagement and educating and training the next generation of health care professionals. Through investigation and discovery conducted at its Brigham Research Institute (BRI), BWH is an international leader in basic, clinical and translational research on human diseases, more than 3,000 researchers, including physician-investigators and renowned biomedical scientists and faculty supported by nearly $666 million in funding. For the last 25 years, BWH ranked second in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) among independent hospitals. BWH is also home to major landmark epidemiologic population studies, including the Nurses' and Physicians' Health Studies and the Women's Health Initiative as well as the TIMI Study Group, one of the premier cardiovascular clinical trials groups. For more information, resources and to follow us on social media, please visit BWH’s online newsroom at


Established by survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings, The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital inspires robust collaborations across medical disciplines and institutions while providing funding to accelerate trauma research, train the next generation of medical leaders, pursue injury prevention initiatives, and inspire community members to come together—all with a goal of helping patients with traumatic injuries step strong once again. Learn more at, where you will find links to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.


Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth companies or their affiliates, Express Scripts companies or their affiliates, and Life Insurance Company of North America. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 185 million customer relationships around the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit