The impact of Baxter Colombia resonates far beyond the country’s borders, emerging as a hub to serve patients seamlessly in southern Latin America and provide employees with transformative experiences. To 40-year Baxter employee Libardo Gómez, Baxter has been like a second home, helping him progress both personally and professionally.
“Baxter has been like a university, equipping me with both professional and interpersonal skills that help me improve in all aspects of my life,” Libardo said. “At Baxter, you learn critical values and how to work as a team, improving yourself for a better future.”
Libardo’s story at Baxter began when he was just 16 years old accompanying a friend who was a superintendent at Baxter during that time. Since his career at Baxter began in 1977, he has joined a long list of friends and family members that have previously worked or currently work at Baxter, including his wife, brother and two sisters-in-law.
Colombia has played a pivotal role in the history of Baxter. Its Cali site, which opened in 1956, was among the first Baxter facilities outside the U.S. and the first in Latin America. Initially starting with just nine employees, Baxter Colombia now has expanded to more than 1,800 employees with operations spanning across the country to bring essential medical technology to its residents.
At a ceremony in early July in Cali, attended by more than 120 guests including government officials and journalists, Baxter was awarded with the National Order of Industrial Merit by President Juan Manuel Santos for its sustained and thriving presence over 60 years. The award was received by Baxter CEO Joe Almeida and Jaime Alberto Upegui, General Manager of Baxter Colombia.
“In Colombia, we continually demonstrate that we not only manufacture locally with the highest global quality standards that generate value for the region, but also drive innovation throughout the company to enable patient care in other countries. Our employees are fully committed to leading and defining the future of healthcare in our country.”- Jaime Alberto Upegui, General Manager of Baxter Colombia
“In Colombia, we continually demonstrate that we not only manufacture locally with the highest global quality standards that generate value for the region,” Jaime said, “but also drive innovation throughout the company to enable patient care in other countries. Our employees are fully committed to leading and defining the future of healthcare in our country.”
Recently, the team in Colombia was also recognized with a Chairman’s Award, which is Baxter’s highest honor for commercial excellence. Baxter Colombia has consistently been a source of breakthrough innovations for the country’s patients, including the first intravenous solutions with a “closed system” that decreases risk of infections; the first peritoneal dialysis treatment for end -stage renal disease patients, a home based therapy that increases patient quality of life; and recently, the first ready-to-use parenteral nutrition solution for pediatric patients that addresses critical nutrition needs of vulnerable pediatric patients in a safe and effective manner.
“It felt just like yesterday that I began working here,” Libardo said. “But I feel just as motivated and excited every day. It motivates me because it’s my passion, always thriving with an opportunity to learn and then passing that on to my colleagues.”