PHILADELPHIA, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly one hundred GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) employees will be setting out for long term (up to six months) assignments in 2012 with 52 nonprofit and non-governmental organizations in 25 countries. These volunteers will bring needed expertise to organizations working to address serious societal challenges including those in the health education and environmental sectors through GSK's skill-based volunteer program, PULSE.
Commenting on the PULSE Volunteer Partnership, Claire Thomas, SVP, Human Resources, said: "GSK's mission of helping people to do more, feel better and live longer is achieved not only by developing medicines, vaccines and consumer products, but also through employee volunteerism. PULSE makes a difference for communities in need, and it is a life-changing experience for our employees who gain an enhanced understanding of the global environment in which we operate. This flagship program is evolving our company's culture into one that is more open-minded, generous of spirit, and focused on individuals of all income levels throughout the world."
Since the launch of the PULSE Volunteer Partnership in 2009, nearly 300 GSK employees from 33 different countries have volunteered with 70 nonprofits in 49 countries. Watch this video to learn more about their experiences. Follow the journey of our 2012 volunteers on the PULSE blog.
Through a new initiative called PULSE Pillars, GSK will be focusing on multi-year, multi-volunteer projects, strengthening our contribution in key areas: malaria, access to healthcare, and children's health and education. For the next several years, PULSE will send up to 30 volunteers each year to work on Pillar projects with the following organizations: AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation), Ogra Foundation, Philadelphia Education Fund and Jhpeigo.
Commenting on this partnership, Darren A. Spielman, Ph.D., Executive Director, Philadelphia Education Fund said, "The Philadelphia Education Fund has been thrilled at the success of the GlaxoSmithKline's PULSE Volunteer Partnership. To have talented professionals who bring a private sector sensibility to our nonprofit work has become invaluable in advancing our goals related to STEM [Science, Technology, Education & Math]. We are delighted to receive additional volunteers through the PULSE Pillar project this year."
Ogra Foundation, one of Western Kenya's leading medical emergency and relief organisations, has been hosting PULSE volunteers for over three years. Dr H O Mc'Obewa, Executive Director from the Ogra Foundation said, "Through their technical expertise and professional skills, past PULSE volunteers have enabled Ogra Foundation to fast track our strategic plan. In particular, volunteers have helped us to increase our visibility and scope, as well as to build capacity through staff training. We feel privileged and lucky to be part of this special program."
Recent PULSE assignments included training NGO staff in Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya in preparation for upcoming AIDS vaccines trials, and improving the efficiency and quality of services for a free health clinic in North Carolina. A PULSE volunteer Len Friedland, VP and Head, Clinical and Medical Affairs, who worked with Rotaplast on sustainable, quality improvement activities as well as medical missions for cleft palate surgeries in India and Bangladesh says, "This experience has enriched my learning and I feel very fortunate to work at GSK where volunteer work is encouraged and where our goal is to run a responsible, values-based business."
PULSE photos are available on Flickr.
GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information go to us.gsk.com, follow us on twitter.com/GSKUS or visit our blog (www.morethanmedicine.us.gsk.com/blog/).