Baxter International Inc.'s (NYSE: BAX) ScienceWork education initiative achieved a milestone with the opening of Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA), a new Chicago high school dedicated to preparing students for healthcare careers. The school will focus on providing Latinos with education and preparation to pursue careers that meet the nation's healthcare needs. Baxter also continued its commitment to sustainable product design with the introduction of a new dialyzer, and was named 2010 Medical Products Industry Leader of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the ninth year.
Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy Provides Latinos with Healthcare Education
Baxter is collaborating with several partners including Instituto del Progreso Latino, the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council and the Renaissance Schools Fund to launch the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA) - the city's first charter health science career academy - to address the shortage of Latinos in the healthcare field and to support Chicago's efforts to provide high-quality education options. Located on the city's southwest side, the school welcomed its first class of ninth graders on September 7 and will serve 600 students when fully enrolled.
IHSCA is unique in that it fully integrates the health sciences into all core subjects to create the next generation of doctors, nurses, scientists, technicians and healthcare professionals; provides students with a rigorous college prep curriculum for success in competitive colleges and universities; and offers the opportunity for students to earn professional certification for high-wage entry-level positions in the healthcare field, such as pharmacy technicians and physician assistants.
'The Academy's rigorous health science program will help ensure that future generations are prepared to pursue rewarding careers that meet the nation's increasing healthcare needs,' said Robert L. Parkinson, Jr., Baxter's chairman and chief executive officer. 'As a science- and technology-based healthcare company, Baxter has a responsibility to ensure that current and future students have every opportunity to learn and be inspired by math and science.'
Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing minority population in the United States, expected to triple by the year 2050 to constitute more than a quarter of the total U.S. population, according to projections from the Pew Research Center. However, Latinos are underrepresented in healthcare careers, with 3 percent of nurses, 3.4 percent of pharmacists, 3.8 percent of physicians and 5.3 percent of physician assistants of Latino descent, according to the 2000 U.S. Census and the Health Resources & Services Administration.
'So many of our children grow up hoping one day to become a doctor, or a nurse, or a veterinarian,' said Juan Salgado, president and chief executive officer, Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy. 'Through Baxter's support, we can connect our students' passion for math and science into well-paying careers in medicine, nursing, informatics and biotechnology.'
The July 2009 report 'Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow,' from the President's Council of Economic Advisors, predicts that 'expansion of health coverage could lead to increased demand for workers,' as a result of healthcare reform. Between 2000 and 2016, the report projects that healthcare practitioner occupations will grow 35 percent and healthcare support jobs will grow 48 percent.
With start-up funding and hands-on support provided by several partners including Baxter, the Renaissance Schools Fund and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, the Instituto Health Science Career Academy will place a heavy emphasis on math and science and offer job shadowing and internship programs in an effort to prepare students for success.
In 2008, Baxter launched ScienceWork: Expanding Minds with Real-World Science, a multi-year partnership with the Chicago Public Schools to support teacher training and student development in healthcare and biotechnology. ScienceWork provided an initial investment to IHSCA to help open and sustain the school, and the company plans to supplement this investment with Baxter-sponsored lab tours, lectures and career days for IHSCA students.
Baxter's Sustainability Efforts Recognized by Dow Jones Sustainability Index
Baxter has been named 2010 Medical Products Industry Leader of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America). This marks the 12th consecutive year that the company has been listed in the DJSI and the ninth year the company has been named Medical Products Industry Leader since the launch of the DJSI in 1999.
Baxter's leadership position resulted from top scores across a number of performance areas including bioethics, code of conduct, talent attraction and retention, and social and environmental reporting.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, derived from the Dow Jones Global Index, are the world's first benchmarks tracking the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. The DJSI World Index tracks the financial performance of the top 10 percent in each of 57 sectors out of the 2,500 largest companies in the Dow Jones Global Index in terms of social, economic and environmental performance. The DJSI North America Index includes the top 20 percent of the 600 largest North American companies in the Dow Jones Global Index.
Sustainable Design of New Dialyzer Offers Environmental Benefits
Baxter's new XENIUM+ synthetic dialyzer offers increased environmental benefits when compared to the company's XENIUM family of dialyzers, including decreased carbon emissions, natural resource use and biohazard waste. Dialyzers are filters that clean the blood of dialysis patients whose kidneys can no longer perform that life-sustaining function.
XENIUM+ is 15 percent lighter than previously developed Baxter dialyzers, resulting in the potential for reduced fuel consumption in shipping and biohazard waste removal. Each case of XENIUM+ dialyzers uses approximately one-third less cardboard in its packaging, reducing natural resource use and waste removal requirements. The carbon footprint is lower during the life cycle of this product when compared to previous generations, due in part to its polypropylene rather than polycarbonate casing. Also, all materials used in XENIUM+ are free of bisphenol-A.
Currently XENIUM+ is commercially available in Italy, France and Sweden. Additional country launches are planned in 2011 and 2012, depending on market needs and timing of regulatory approvals.
Baxter continually works to address environmental and social issues across the life cycle of its products, ranging from sustainable design and bioethics during research and development, to efficient use of energy and materials during manufacturing and transport, and finally, responsible repair, refurbishment and recycling at product end-of-life.
For further details regarding the initiatives described above, including photographs and graphics, please see the Smart Marketing Page at the following link: http://www.businesswire.com/smp/baxter-prepares-latino-students-for-health-careers.
Baxter's commitment to sustainability spans three decades. The company is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and has been recognized by Corporate Knights as one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World and by Corporate Responsibility magazine as one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens. Baxter was also ranked first in the healthcare category of Newsweek's inaugural Green Rankings in 2009. Baxter is a member of the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, the Business Environmental Leadership Council of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the Chicago Climate Exchange, the U.S. EPA's Climate Leaders, and the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association. Baxter endorses the Ceres principles and is an organizational stakeholder of the Global Reporting Initiative. See Baxter's sustainability report for more information.
Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.