Finding Connections to Patients
In its offices worldwide, Bristol-Myers Squibb asks a question that helps employees visualize the patients whose lives depend on their work: “Who are you working for?”
“You may not see the patient who is benefitting from our science, but certainly you know someone in your life, in your mind or your heart who has been touched by serious disease,” says Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Judge. “Remember that person when you’re working every day to help patients prevail.”
Since the company adopted the mantra in 2014, employees have shared more than 1,000 stories about loved ones who have faced cancer and other serious illnesses Bristol-Myers Squibb is working to treat.
As the company began sharing patient stories in videos and on posters displayed throughout offices, “Who are you working for?” became ingrained in company culture and sparked an outpouring of emotion. Soon, employees were asking if they could hear more patient stories. The idea of Global Patient Week emerged as a way to further recognize the importance of the company’s work and the employee-patient connection.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Judge says. “That emotional bond has proven to be very strong and defines who we are as a company.”
Honoring Patients Around the World
During last year’s Global Patient Week, employees at Bristol-Myers Squibb locations worldwide showed their support for patients, both inside and outside the office, in events connected directly and indirectly to the program.
In the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer Ride, relay teams of Oncology employees biked 2,800 miles from Oregon to New Jersey to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer, which funds cancer research.
The American ride inspired a European counterpart, the Country 2 Country 4 Cancer Ride. Bristol-Myers Squibb employees, including novice cyclists and cancer survivors, biked in last year’s inaugural 2,400-mile relay ride to support the Union for International Cancer Control, an advocacy organization for cancer patients.