- Annual volunteer event to commemorate creation of Novartis in 1996 now benefits hundreds of charities in 55 countries
- More than 20,000 associates worldwide engage in voluntary activities in their communities
- Novartis event emphasizes ongoing commitment to Corporate Citizenship
Thousands of Novartis associates in 55 countries will engage in volunteer activities to benefit people in their local communities in celebration of the company's Community Partnership Day. Most of the events are set for Wednesday, April 21, with some locations scheduling their activities in the coming weeks or later in the year. This year marks the 14th Community Partnership Day -- a day underscoring the ongoing Novartis commitment to Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Social Responsibility. The Novartis Community Partnership Day further commemorates the 1996 creation of Novartis as a global leader in healthcare solutions. About 14,500 associates worldwide joined in the event in 2009, aiding a wide range of charitable causes in their local communities. Novartis associates are lending a hand in the world’s largest markets -- and in countries where the company has a smaller presence. Some big efforts are planned in the United States, China, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, India and Russia. But Novartis volunteers also will have a real impact in countries as diverse as Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Slovakia, Bangladesh, Argentina and the West Indies. Examples of volunteer service as part of this year's Community Partnership Day:
- More than 4,500 associates across Switzerland plan to join in 220 volunteer projects. In the Basel headquarters area, 3,825 associates are serving in more than 200 projects, such as assisting disabled children for excursions, restoring old houses in an Ecomusée in France, supporting the Trinational Environmental Center, creating improvements in the old St. Johann railway station in Basel, and working in nature conservation projects. Elsewhere, Novartis associates will raise money for a medical charity in Nyon, take elderly people on a boat tour of Lake Geneva, assist a children's trip to the Bellinzona castles, and clean up and beautify public facilities in Locarno
- As in past years, United States associates will host a variety of activities across the country: volunteering at the Victory Junction Gang camp in North Carolina, sorting and packaging donated food items into backpacks for children in New Jersey, painting and landscaping along the banks of the Charles River in Massachusetts -- just a few of the many initiatives planned across the US in the coming weeks. Other associates will organize additional activities in October, as part of the year-round commitment of Novartis to Corporate Citizenship
- Some 350 associates in Japan will work with the Guide Dog Society for people with disabilities, spruce up a residence for families of children being treated in hospitals, clean parks and streets, assist with a Novartis-sponsored orchestra concert, and raise funds for polio vaccines for children in developing countries
- About 100 Novartis associates in Turkey will collect clothes, books and toys for children in need; donate blood through the Red Crescent; donate needed medicines to a children's hospital in Ankara; and engage with families of children with leukemia. Another 200 associates will participate in similar activities in May
- Some 150 Novartis Egypt associates are engaging with children and the elderly. In schools, associates will help students with handiwork, art projects and sports competitions. Associates will donate much-needed supplies and equipment to orphanages for the disabled and share in the children's activities. Visiting geriatric centers, associates will focus on providing companionship for the residents
- In Bangladesh more than 80 associates have organized an all-day activity for spinal-injury patients in a rehabilitation center, as well as a school for impoverished children. Patients and children will join in arts activities, as well as wheelchair sports
- Novartis associates in Slovakia will deliver clothes, toys and books - as well as fruits and sweets - to children in a foster home in Bratislava and spend a day working on improvements to the building and grounds
- In Saudi Arabia associates will donate blood for young cancer patients at King Faisal Specialist Hospital
- Ninety Novartis associates in Argentina will organize fun activities for children, disabled people and the elderly in several centers, and contribute needed supplies.
- About 200 associates in Austria will provide fun, educational field trips for children and disabled persons from orphanages and schools; deliver coffee and cakes, with an afternoon of music and dance, for residents of three homes for the elderly; and replant areas damaged by storms or avalanches.
- In the West Indies, Novartis associates will take children on a field trip to the zoo in Curacao, assemble a playground in Jamaica, and organize sports and a party for Special Olympics participants in the Bahamas.
- Associates in Morocco will paint, garden and make other improvements in a social center for elderly and homeless people.
Community Partnership Day has grown steadily as a way for Novartis associates worldwide to give back to our communities. Associates in each country choose volunteer activities according to local needs -- whether medical, environmental, social or material. The number of associates participating includes those employees taking part in initiatives such as 'green month' in China -- an effort to reduce carbon footprint by encouraging associates to recycle, use public transportation and more. About Novartis Novartis assists people who cannot afford healthcare through a variety of efforts worldwide. In 2009, 79.5 million patients around the world benefited from Novartis access-to-medicines programs that were valued at USD 1.51 billion. These initiatives range from drug donation and research programs to combat neglected diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and leprosy in developing nations, to patient assistance programs that help cancer patients receive the most innovative and effective treatments. 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, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 44.3 billion, while approximately USD 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.