Volunteerism by local businesses key to success of international relief and development organization
MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Volunteers play a vital role in helping Health Partners International of Canada increase access to medicine and improve health in the developing world. To underscore its appreciation of volunteers during National Volunteer Week, HPIC's President Glen Shepherd was on hand to thank a volunteer employee team from GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (GSK), a top corporate partner in HPIC's volunteer program.
GSK's volunteer team is one of dozens of corporate teams that come to HPIC's international medical aid distribution centre in Mississauga to pack mobile medical kits called Physician Travel Packs (PTPs). Each year hundreds of Canadian healthcare professionals and other humanitarians go on medical missions in the developing world equipped with PTPs. In 2011, more than 1,000 packs were sent to 48 countries, providing treatments for over 500,000 children and adults. Every pack is assembled by volunteers, either on corporate teams or one of HPIC's 75 regular volunteers.
"GSK has been our top corporate partner in our volunteer program," said Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC. "GSK has made a remarkable contribution by sending volunteer teams of employees on a regular basis. Participation by their employees reduces our operating costs and helps us increase access to medicine in the developing world."
In 2011, GSK employees gave more than 365 hours packing 240 Physician Travel Packs (PTP) destined for 30 different countries including Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Last year GSK also provided an employee for a full-time six-month volunteer assignment through their PULSE Program, which provides GSK employees an opportunity to use their professional skills and knowledge during an extended immersion experience with a non-profit or non-governmental organization. "HPIC benefitted by having a highly qualified professional working on a very specific project at no cost," said Shepherd. "We learned a new inventory management process that is contributing to quicker deployment of donated medicines and supplies."
"GlaxoSmithKline's mission of helping people do more, feel better and live longer is achieved not just through medicines and vaccines, but also through employee involvement," stated Paul Lucas, President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Inc. "GSK encourages employees to become involved with deserving causes in their local communities, and we are proud to be a leading contributor to HPIC through product and financial contributions, as well as our employee volunteer efforts."
As one of HPIC's founding donors and leading contributors, GSK has been involved in the mission of HPIC since 1994 in a variety of ways. Apart from providing volunteers, GSK has donated over $30 million in needed medicines and almost $800,000 in financial support.
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Senior Director, Communications, HPIC