FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. and OLATHE, Kan., June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, and Heart to Heart International, a humanitarian medical aid nonprofit organization, announced a joint volunteer initiative to strengthen healthcare in Haiti. A team of 13 BD associates from around the world have volunteered to travel to Haiti for three weeks and work with Heart to Heart partners at medical clinics to improve the country's ability to provide healthcare services for its people.
"Over the years that BD has been sending volunteers to underserved regions such as Haiti, we have learned a great deal about what works best to improve healthcare conditions in these environments – most notably, partnering with excellent on-the-ground organizations such as Heart to Heart," said Edward J. Ludwig, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BD. "Through the BD Volunteer Service Trip Program, we're able to leverage the medical expertise of our employees with the in-country knowledge of Heart to Heart's staff to 'build back better' healthcare for Haitians. Our commitment to Haiti's recovery reflects BD's purpose of 'Helping all people live healthy lives.'"
Following the January 2010 earthquake, BD immediately committed $5 million in product donations to assist in the relief and recovery efforts. To date, BD has sent more than $3.9 million in product donations to Haiti. Heart to Heart has deployed nearly 400 medical volunteers in Haiti, delivered more than $37.5 million (U.S. wholesale) worth of life-saving medical aid, and treated nearly 70,000 people — approximately 2,500 weekly — at clinical sites in Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Fondwa. The BD volunteers are working with medical staff from these locations to build on their existing patient care services by:
- Collaborating with the National Lab of Haiti to develop Standard Operating Procedures for medical laboratories and providing lab training to improve diagnostic practices and disease management
- Constructing laboratories in two urban healthcare clinics and developing a "lab in a box" for satellite and mobile clinics in rural areas to increase access to quality care
- Creating materials for and conducting healthcare worker and patient education on proper hygiene, nutrition and sexually transmitted diseases to help reduce the spread of disease
- Replacing temporary patient facilities with permanent structures to improve care conditions.
American Airlines, which has provided air service to Haiti for 40 years and continues to support the country's rebuilding efforts, donated its services to provide international air transportation for BD's volunteers into Port-au-Prince.
"Partnership is one of our core values and is critical to our mission," said Andre Butler, Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart. "We have partnered with BD for nearly a decade, and this Volunteer Service Trip only deepens our relationship and our ability to strengthen communities throughout Haiti and beyond. BD employees are helping to establish vital lab services and paving the way for future Heart to Heart volunteers throughout Haiti. Their efforts and dedication will impact lives for years to come."
This is the sixth company-sponsored Volunteer Service Trip that BD associates have made to improve sustainable healthcare capacity in medically underserved regions. BD's previous volunteer trips served regions of Ghana and Zambia in sub-Saharan Africa. Beyond the Volunteer Service Trip, BD and Heart to Heart have worked together since 2003, helping people in developing countries and disaster-ravaged areas, supplying and delivering specifically requested medical supplies to communities in greatest need. BD and its associates contribute money, products, talent and time to help people throughout the world treat disease and improve lives by raising health standards.
BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. The Company is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world. BD is focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery and production of new drugs and vaccines. BD's capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world's most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs approximately 29,000 associates in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public. For more information, please visit www.bd.com.
About Heart to Heart International
Heart to Heart International mobilizes and equips volunteers to improve health in underserved communities across America and around the world. Since Heart to Heart's founding in 1992, volunteers have helped deliver aid worth more than $800 million in U.S. wholesale value to 110 countries, including the United States. The organization was named to Forbes magazine's prestigious list of "America's 200 Largest Charities" in 2009 and was recognized as one of the top nonprofits in the categories of donor efficiency and charitable commitment. For more information on its programs and ways to get involved, visit www.hearttoheart.org.
SOURCE BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)