Using skills they’ve developed on the job, employees at companies worldwide are making a difference for the communities and constituencies they serve. Some take advantage of corporate citizenship initiatives and sanctioned employee volunteer programs. Meanwhile, others harness their expertise and passion on projects that resonate on a personal level—whether nearby at home or halfway around the world.
Taken together, it’s easy to see how, and why, many Abbott employees have transcended nine-to-five hours to help others lead healthier and more productive lives. The stories of Dan Schmitz—who was recently featured in Fortune’s “Heroes of the 500”—as well as Sudarshan Jain, Steve Lichter and Mike Sheehy show how some of Abbott’s own achieve unparalleled success in their careers and personal lives. Here are their stories:
For 26 years, Dan Schmitz has developed healthy nutritional products for everyone from infants to athletes to seniors at Abbott Nutrition. But Dan's impact on human health and development goes well beyond his day job. In countries such as Haiti and India, Dan shares his nutrition science expertise through two strategic programs that combine Abbott expertise and Abbott Fund support to help leading non-profits Partners In Health (PIH) and PATH. These partnerships fight severe malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies that affect billions, especially children.
In Haiti, Dan and a broader team of more than 50 Abbott experts are helping PIH to produce two products at a new facility: Nourimanba, a locally sourced, peanut-based medical product that fights severe malnutrition in children; and fortified peanut butter, which will be sold commercially by PIH to help support sustainable facility operations. These efforts are helping address critical needs in post-earthquake Haiti, including poverty, malnutrition and agricultural development. For more information on this innovative partnership and Dan's contributions, visit PartnershipinHaiti.org or explore more in coverage from CBS News and The New York Times.
As the managing director of the Healthcare Solution Business of Abbott’s Established Pharmaceutical Division in India, Sudarshan Jain leads a team of more than 5,500 employees and plays an important role in improving access to medicines in the large and diverse country.
Together with his wife, Vanmala, Sudarshan started the Kuprkabi Foundation and the Kuprkabi Ceramic Design Studio. The endeavor combines the couple’s expertise in management and design to help economically disadvantaged social groups—such as women living in poverty, boys who have dropped out of school and mentally challenged adults—achieve personal success by earning their own livelihood and gaining confidence.
Currently, more than 100 women are involved in the Kuprkabi Foundation’s skills development workshop where they earn $50–$100 per month while taking care of their families. Located in a western suburb of Mumbai, the Kuprkabi Foundation and the Kuprkabi Ceramic Design Studio implement integrated, end-to-end programs in ceramic craft and art, establishing micro enterprises, and the marketing and promotion of eco-friendly products. For more information about the Kuprkabi Foundation and the Kuprkabi Ceramic Design Studio, click here.
A business trip to South Africa in 2005 took Steve Lichter, Vice President Operations, Established Pharmaceuticals, through a small AIDS-ravaged village called Lesideng. Accustomed to a systems-oriented environment of complex pharmaceutical operations, Steve was shocked by what he saw: a community in which the systems had failed, wiping out virtually an entire generation and leaving behind only orphaned children and the elderly.
Steve returned home from South Africa determined to help the people of Lesideng rebuild their community. He knew the task would take much more than charitable donations from afar. It would require strategy, infrastructure and systems—and after 31 years in pharmaceutical operations, he was just the person to do it.
Steve founded Lesideng Soup Kitchen (LSK), a non-profit corporation to create awareness and raise funds to get Lesideng back on its feet. Seven years later, LSK has served hundreds of thousands of meals to children and adults and supports a number of children affected by HIV/AIDS by providing healthcare, education and other basic necessities.
LSK is focused on sustaining the community beyond today. The organization is currently sponsoring the education of seven university students, who have committed to come back and serve in the community. In addition, LSK helps fund a school attended by 120 students, many of whom are orphaned. A local coordinator helps manage the organization, keeping Lichter connected to the community. For more information about Steve Lichter and the Lesideng Soup Kitchen (LSK), click here.
Calling Mike Sheehy dedicated to raising money for cancer is an understatement—he’s unstoppable. Mike has raised nearly $80,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of San Diego, and he has completed not one, but two unbelievable running feats: First, he set the Guinness Book of World Records mark for the most miles run in seven days at 405. Second, he completed a 500-mile Ultra Run (more than a marathon every day for 17 days), crossing from California into Arizona.
Mike’s mission began when a friend was diagnosed with leukemia. He wanted to do something about it, so Sheehy joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training and started running. In 2012, he set a separate goal to run the five World Major Marathons (New York, Boston, London, Berlin and Chicago) in a calendar year.
When he tried to complete the fifth race in New York, it was cancelled as a result of Hurricane Sandy, but that didn’t stop Mike; he helped hurricane victims by donating blood and volunteering with fellow runners to hand out supplies with the National Guard and FEMA. While running, Mike also visits hospitals along the way to thank doctors and nurses and visit with patients going through treatment. For more information about Mike Sheehy’s incredible feats, enjoy this coverage from NBC News San Diego.
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