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Baxter Volunteers Create Unforgettable Summer Experiences

Girls Inc. visit to Baxter in Bloomington

During the Girls Inc. visit to Baxter in Bloomington, Ind., participants learn how to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen as demonstrated by a Baxter R&D associate.

Summer might be long over, yet the impact Baxter employees had in camp programs this season remains. Baxter has always prided itself on its commitment to save and sustain lives, which is apparent in not just the work of employees, but also through their involvement outside of the office.

An Unparalleled Getaway

For the past four years, Sandee Matthews and Susan McMurray have led a group of Baxter volunteers to the shores of Raven Lake to prep, clean and paint the facilities at Lions Camp Dorset in Ontario. As a non-profit and government recognized Independent Health Facility, the camp incorporates a state-of-the-art treatment center so campers undergoing hemodialysis can experience a vacation with their loved ones in a conducive environment.

"We often forget that people on dialysis are limited by access to their medical services. Camp Dorset provides them with something they thought they had lost. It's a magical place."

— Sandee Matthews
Baxter employee

"We often forget that people on dialysis are limited by access to their medical services," says Sandee. "Camp Dorset provides them with something they thought they had lost. It's a magical place."

Patients of any age battling renal failure often face many hardships, like the need for easy access to dialysis facilities, resulting in lost vacation time. Camp Dorset provides them with a fully functional dialysis unit, in addition to an unforgettable summer. Seventeen Baxter volunteers originally made the trip with Sandee Matthews, but in June of this year, the program expanded to 20 employees.

"Whether cleaning windows or painting, the Baxter participants are coming away with a better understanding of the patients we service and support," says Sandee. "It's time well spent, and bonds our Baxter family closer as we work hard on something that helps support our patients."

Conquering Fears

Jody Hultman has spent her past 15 summers mentoring young adults in the outdoors, serving as a leader for Round Lake Boy Scout Troop 275. Each summer, Jody leads the group to Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan in the North Woods of Wisconsin.

"It is important for a young adult to experience new activities in unfamiliar settings," says Jody. "The experiences we offer at Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan provide challenges to stimulate a young person physically, intellectually and emotionally."

Jody helps the young adults conquer their fears, whether large or small, like swimming in the lake. The impact on their lives, Jody notes, is immeasurable.

Getting "Rad and Fab" in the Lab

Baxter Women Leaders hosted a one-day camp for young adults with the Girls Inc. organization of Monroe County at Baxter's Bloomington, Ind. facility, providing an opportunity for participants to interact with members of Baxter's R&D team, discuss career objectives, undergo a tour of the site and participate in a hands-on activity in the Baxter lab.

"We provided the girls with an integrated Baxter experience, demonstrating how to put on sterile garments and teaching them how to make ice cream using liquid nitrogen," says Wendy Saffell-Clemmer. "The Baxter team at Bloomington was energized by the positive tone of the visit and enjoyed the town hall discussions and opportunity to highlight their accomplishments."

Girls Inc. is a national non-profit organization that empowers girls to succeed by providing them with the skills and knowledge to set goals, overcome obstacles and improve academic performance. Baxter hosted nine girls in the Monroe County chapter, with appearances by at least 20 different Baxter employees throughout the program at the facility.