Global Patient Week 2023
Uniting us and reigniting our passion to do more for patients.
This September, we marked our 9th annual Global Patient Week. It is an integral part of our culture, providing the opportunity for colleagues to unify globally and reignite our passion to always do more for patients.
Throughout Global Patient Week, several global and local events were attended by our colleagues in the UK and Ireland, and we all took the opportunity to pause and reflect on who we are working for, and celebrate the impact of our people and innovations.
Patients are our purpose
We kicked off the week with a global broadcast event hosted by Chairman and CEO Giovanni Caforio. Shortly after, we welcomed back our Country 2 Country 4 Cancer UK and Ireland ride team, who have raised this year nearly £34,000 for our two locally nominated charities – Maggie’s and the Irish Cancer Society. Our Uxbridge site was the finishing line for this year’s ride, which saw more than 90 Bristol Myers Squibb colleagues from across Europe and the UK and Ireland ride 2,200km from Munich to London in support of European cancer organisations. As part of this celebration, we were honoured to be joined by the families and friends of our riders, a representative from Maggie’s and a cancer patient who accesses one of Maggie's local support centres.
On Tuesday, we joined our global Bristol Myers Squibb community for a thought-provoking LinkedIn Live discussion with Chairman and CEO Giovanni Caforio and Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer Chris Boerner, moderated by Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer Cari Gallman. The discussion delved into topics surrounding the question "What drives our leaders to do more for patients each and every day?", with the participants reflecting on the evolution of Global Patient Week through the years. Back in the UK, our Moreton site hosted a session exploring some of the work of two now-retired Bristol Myers Squibb scientists who were recently inducted into the ‘’Heroes of Chemistry Hall of Fame’’, a prestigious award which recognises scientists who’s work benefited humankind.
Wednesday kicked off with an expert panel event on health inequalities hosted by Jagtar Dhanda, our Director of Policy, Advocacy and Government Affairs. He was joined at our Uxbridge site by Ceinwen Giles, Co-CEO of Shine Cancer Support; Joel Rose, CEO of Cardiomyopathy UK and Dr. Pinkie Chambers, University College London (UCL) and University College NHS Foundation Trust.
At the core of their discussion were the stories of two patients, one living with cardiomyopathy and the other living with prostate cancer, who kindly shared their experiences of living with their conditions and the differences in care they faced during their health journey. The panel explored various themes and challenges which led to unequal access to care and diagnosis, then deliberated on how health seeking behaviour is impacted by gender, age, cultural background, language, and socio-economic status, drawing on their expertise to give valuable insights relative to the experiences of the two patients.
All panel members agreed that understanding these individual patient experiences and taking a data-driven approach to addressing health inequalities is crucial. A collaborative approach that reflects true patient experiences at every step is fundamental.
Wednesday also marked World Patient Safety Day, which this year focused on recognising the crucial role patients, families, and carers play in the safety of healthcare. Several activities were organised at our Uxbridge site by the UK and Ireland Patient Safety team, such as afternoon tea, games and other activities including trivia and a scavenger hunt.
On Thursday, our Europe Capability Centre (ECC) in Chester hosted an insightful session on CAR T cell therapy, which provided attendees the opportunity to learn more about progress at the Leiden site, Bristol Myers Squibb’s first European facility dedicated to CAR T production. The event ended with an interactive challenge, where colleagues worked together to uncover the faces of some of our patients by building a giant 500-piece puzzle.
As Global Patient Week closed for 2023, there were several other opportunities for colleagues to connect globally and locally, leaving us inspired and determined to continue to innovate and research to improve and address health challenges for patients.
There is a critical need for the health and care system to take an inclusive approach that reaches the most underserved communities, ensuring equitable access to care. Our work does not stop with medicines. Through meaningful partnerships and collaboration, we strive to find ways to put patients first, address areas of unmet need, and increase the quality and access to care for patients in the UK and Ireland.