Compass is proud to be associated with the top biopharmaceutical companies in the world. While these companies pave the way with advanced pharmaceutical treatments and research to battle the most serious of illnesses, but their philanthropic dedication is awe-inspiring as well. With the holiday season in full swing, we wanted to give praise to three of our clients’ efforts to give back.
Roche is a Swiss biopharma company that was established is 1896 and has been an integral part of industrial manufacturing of medicines for over a century. Since its expansion, Roche has also supported and created philanthropic initiatives that reach communities across the globe. Below are some of the biggest nonprofits that they support:
- The International Committee of the Red Cross | One of Roche’s oldest initiatives (1918) that is still active today is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Since 2006, Roche has supported the Red Cross in their efforts to create more accessibility to water in violence-affected countries to promote proper sanitation and maintain sustainable living environments.
- Phelophepa Healthcare Trains | Phelophepa is a free mobile healthcare clinic that travels to rural areas in South Africa. Established in 1994, they began a partnership with Transnet to continue refurbishing and building additional trains starting in 2010s to present day. With Roche as the main external sponsor, Phelophepa has been able to provided resources and support during the COVID-19 pandemic, including protective and sanitizing equipment. Over 16,000 people were vaccinated and over 127,000 patients received basic healthcare.
- UNICEF | Roche has partnered with UNICEF since 2003 to provide access to education for children with disadvantaged backgrounds in countries throughout Africa and Asia. Recently, Roche’s contributions allowed UNICEF to provide early childhood education programs across Ethiopia. Other initiatives such as Child-to-Child and Accelerated School Readiness have provided low-cost alternatives for young children’s school readiness in communities where formal pre-primary education are nonexistent or unavailable.
- Habitat for Humanity | This organization focuses on rebuilding disaster-resistant housing for vulnerable families affected by natural disasters. Roche began this partnership in 2016, helping the organization to not only build housing, but also train community members and establish a Housing Support Service Centre.
- Roche Charities | In addition to sponsoring external nonprofits, Roche has created other internal initiatives for their employees to partake. The Roche Employee Action & Charity Trust (Re&Act) is an independent entity that supports early childhood education, capacity building and youth development in low and middle-income countries. The Roche Children’s Walk is the primary funding source for Re&Act and is the signature global employee event to support humanitarian aid for vulnerable children.
Genentech is a Bay-Area biotech company that chases groundbreaking science to discover and manufacture medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases since 1976. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US in 2020, it exposed serious gaps in access to quality healthcare, education and opportunities among Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other communities of color. Genentech has since put in efforts to use their philanthropic initiatives to address systemic racism in the healthcare industry and STEM education pathways by creating several grants and programs.
- The Health Equity Innovation Fund | this fund is aimed to reduce racial disparities in healthcare access, quality and outcomes. Based on their Health Equity Study, it revealed a major need for medically disenfranchised patients. Genentech addresses this issue by building trust and community engagement in clinical trials between communities of color and healthcare providers. Training on unconscious bias and accountability with healthcare providers is also part of the solution in order to achieve high-quality care for all patients.
- The Diverse Future of STEM Fund | this fund reinforces Genentech’s commitment to racial equality for underrepresented students of all ages from K-12 to postgraduate. This includes providing training, mentorship, and resources to physicians and researchers of color pursuing careers in science and medicine.
- FutureLab | the racial disparities stand out when it comes to education, even in a city as diverse as South San Francisco. 51% of South SF students are underrepresented in the sciences. Although schools in the area have higher graduation rates than the overall California average, only 1 in 3 students go on to attend a 4-year university. Studies also show that half of students will lose interest in STEM subjects by 8th grade, revealing a gap in engaging students as they start looking for job opportunities. FutureLab is Genentech’s STEM education initiative that supports all students in the South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) by encouraging them to learn about science, improve college readiness and inspire them to pursue careers in STEM fields. FutureLab offers 4 programs for students at various stages of education: Gene Academy for elementary school, Helix Cup for middle school, Science Garage for high school and FutureLab Scholarships for college students.
BioMarin is the youngest of our aforementioned clients, having opened its doors in 1997. Their key focus is genetic discovery that will improve the lives of those suffering from rare genetic diseases. Their philanthropic commitments include initiatives that emphasize disease awareness and education. These include patient support programs, an annual scholarship called RARE Scholars that supports students living with rare disease and empower patients with continued education, and other grants and funding opportunities. Below are two external initiatives that BioMarin is partnering with:
- Biotech Partners | This is a Bay Area nonprofit that focuses on helping underrepresented students in the biotech field to attain personal, academic, and professional development experiences through in-classroom instruction and paid internships within the biotech and health industries.
- Mill Valley Film Festival | This event is hosted by the California Film Institute (CFI) to promote film as art and education, inspiring and building the next generation of filmmakers and audiences through the CFI education program. BioMarin is a Festival Circle sponsor with the Film Festival.
Compass is very proud to support Roche, Genentech and BioMarin in building out their teams and culture. With the initiatives each company carries out, we hope this inspires other people and companies to expand their efforts in giving back to their communities not just through the holidays, but throughout the years to come. From all of us at Compass Consulting, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!