CEO Giovanni Caforio at Bristol Myers Squibb’s Global Patient Week.

The question that's become our call to action

Chairman and CEO Giovanni Caforio reflects on the importance of Bristol Myers Squibb’s Global Patient Week

September 04, 2019     
By Giovanni Caforio, Chairman and CEO

Who are you working for? That’s a question we at Bristol Myers Squibb began asking ourselves six years ago. It was one of many ways for us to keep patients at the center of all we do. The answer — be it a close family member or treasured friend — is always deeply personal and reminds us that we can make a profound difference in the lives of others.

Since our founding in the 1800s, patients have always been our guiding star at Bristol Myers Squibb. Those needing new therapies and their caregivers have long inspired us to push ahead on the frontiers of medical science, and to work with both speed and passion to bring forward life-changing therapies. I am very proud of how today’s generation of employees has embraced our commitment to patients. 

Each September, we reaffirmed that commitment through our Global Patient Week, which serves to galvanize our dedication to patients and remind us of our duty to them. Now in its fifth year, this week-long employee event is a highlight of our company’s calendar, as well as one of the most meaningful initiatives I’ve experienced in my 19 years with Bristol Myers Squibb.  

Of course, the patients are what makes Global Patient Week special. So do our 24,000 employees, who routinely go “beyond the call” to help those who are seriously sick. 

CEO Giovanni Caforio joins patient Mitra (on left), and her mom Faranak, who is a scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

CEO Giovanni Caforio joins patient Mitra (on left), and her mom Faranak, who is a scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb.

Last year, when we asked employees to share stories on our company’s website about the patients who inspire their work, hundreds responded with deeply moving accounts and beautiful photos. We’ll continue that tradition again this year as we embark on Global Patient Week 2019 beginning Sept. 23. 

During this week I am often asked, “Who are you working for?”  I think of my family, my friends and so many patients I’ve been privileged to meet during my career. Names like Evan, Jennifer, Joseph, Joti, Leslie and Stan come to mind. It is humbling to hear their stories of courage and resilience. They always remind me why our work is both important — and never finished. 

Who are you working for? It’s not just a question. For all of us at Bristol Myers Squibb, it’s our call to action — because when it comes to the needs of patients, now and in the future, there is always more to do.

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