Novartis employees across Canada join global colleagues for 14th annual
Community Partnership Day

Spending the day volunteering at and raising money for community organizations in their local communities

DORVAL, QC, May 14 /CNW Telbec/ - In a spring tradition that has become well entrenched at the company over the past 14 years, employees of Novartis from across Canada are today joining their colleagues around the world in taking time away from their work to contribute to community organizations.

More than 220 employees from the company's head office in Dorval will help out at variety of Montreal and Montreal West Island organizations. They will be joined by over 50 other colleagues based across the country in sales positions or working for divisions headquartered elsewhere.

"Community Partnership Day is an important way in which Novartis lives up to its commitment to people and communities in which we operate. It is one of our four pillars of corporate citizenship," said Tom Rossi, President and CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. "It's important to give back to the communities where our employees live and to expose them to the incredible work that is done every day by these great organizations."

Two new activities are on a busy schedule for Dorval-based employees of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada. A group of employees will be taking seniors from the Centre d'hébergement de Dorval long-term care facility on a bowling outing, a welcome change for the residents, many of whom are limited in their mobility and activities due to disabilities. The second new activity is for a Novartis team to go to Parc des Rapides in LaSalle to do a spring cleanup of the grounds.

Again this year, Dorval employees will be helping out with cleaning, painting and various other chores and activities at 12 other organizations: Harvest Montreal, Share the Warmth, the West Island Palliative Care Residence, the Omega Centre, the Teapot 50-Plus Centre, West Island Women's Shelter, Centre Multi-ressources de Lachine, the West Island Assistance Fund, Welcome Hall Mission, Carrefour d'Entraide de Lachine, West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped and the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre.

Employees will also be holding a fundraising car wash on the grounds of the company headquarters in Dorval, with the money raised going to the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre.

In Mississauga, Ontario, headquarters of CIBA Vision, employees will be busy with a variety of activities during the week of May 17 to 21. These include: mulching and tree-planting at Mullet Creek Park, litter pickup at the same park and in the area around their Torquay Mews building, as well as helping at the Dam Youth Drop In Centre Young Moms' Program, the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides kennels and office, the Eden Food Bank and the Leisure World Chelsea Park Long-Term Care Facility.

Novartis sales representatives located in various towns and cities across Canada will also be volunteering at hospitals, oncology clinics and other community organizations.

This is the 14th year that Community Partnership Day has been held by Novartis at its facilities around the world as part of its commitment to improving people's lives. Another major part of the Novartis global philanthropy effort is its programs to get medicines for diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis and leprosy to patients who need them. In 2009 these programs helped 79 million patients worldwide, with medicine donations valued at US$1.5 billion.

In Canada, Novartis contributes to a wide range of charities, patient groups and community organization, with its Grants and Donations program. Along with Community Partnership Day, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada employees are also keen participants each year in the "Run for the Cure" for breast cancer research, including a "Ride for the Cure," a four-day fundraising bicycle journey from Toronto to Montreal.

About Novartis Group in Canada

The Novartis Group in Canada consists of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Novartis Animal Health Canada Inc., Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc., CIBA Vision and Sandoz Canada Inc.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2009, the Company invested close to $110 million in research and development. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs more than 750 people in Canada and its headquarters are located in Dorval, Quebec. It was named for the sixth time as one of the "50 Best Employers in Canada" for 2010. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.

About Novartis

Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2009, approximately US$ 7.5 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 100,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.com.

SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Silvie Letendre, Executive Director, Communications, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Cell. (514) 449-7872, silvie.letendre@novartis.com


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