DEERFIELD, Ill., and SANTA BARBARA, Calif., September 22, 2016 – Driving Your Health (Manejando tu Salud), a mobile health program that deploys medical teams to communities in Mexico City with limited access to health services, was launched today by The Baxter International Foundation and the global humanitarian organization Direct Relief.
“This unique collaboration brings healthcare services directly to those who are unable to access care due to lack of transportation, the cost of transportation or the inability to take time off from work to get their healthcare needs addressed,” said Stacey Eisen, Baxter International Foundation President. “The Foundation is proud to be able to support the local community in this way and bring quality healthcare to more people.”
Funded by a $2.25 million grant from the Baxter International Foundation -- and working in collaboration with the Mexican Association of Malta, House of Friendship for Children with Cancer I.A.P. and Mexican Association of Diabetes, Mexico City A.C. -- the three-year initiative aims to provide direct healthcare services for 40,000 patients and health education, prevention, and awareness training to an additional 310,000 individuals.
Although Mexico City and the State of Mexico overall have higher living standards than many regions of the country, they have pockets of extreme poverty with many individuals who are often disconnected from available health services.
“Driving Your Health recognizes that, for too many people, the benefits of healthcare are beyond reach, and that new approaches are needed,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief president and CEO. “Direct Relief is delighted to collaborate with Baxter on this initiative to improve the health and lives of those in need.”
A mobile unit comprised of 4 doctors and 10 nurses will travel to 50 different locations each year to screen and provide essential health services to people in need. Program staff will also provide pediatric oncology patients with transportation to medical facilities that specialize in the treatments they require. The program will train doctors to support patient self-management of chronic diseases, as well as provide hundreds of thousands of individuals with educational resources. To maintain the program at the end of three years, Direct Relief will develop local sponsorships and general fund raising, hire a Director of Corporate Relations for development and local program management and establish a Mexican Mobile Health Advisory Board.
These efforts will be supplemented by the contributions of Baxter employees in Mexico City and its surrounding manufacturing facilities in Mexico volunteering their technical expertise, assisting mobile medical teams during patient screenings, and packing personal care kits.
“Consistent with Baxter’s mission of saving and sustaining lives, this program allows us to provide the underserved people in our local community with access to much-needed health services,” said Jaime Upegui, Baxter Mexico General Manager.
Baxter provides a broad portfolio of essential renal and hospital products, including home, acute and in-center dialysis; sterile IV solutions; infusion systems and devices; parenteral nutrition; biosurgery products and anesthetics; and pharmacy automation, software, and services. The company’s global footprint and the critical nature of its products and services play a key role in expanding access to healthcare in emerging and developed countries. Baxter’s employees worldwide are building upon the company’s rich heritage of medical breakthroughs to advance the next generation of healthcare innovations that enable patient care.
About Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation
Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation are committed to saving and sustaining lives. Every day, Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where employees live and work. The company focuses on advancing three core areas: improving access to healthcare; fostering tomorrow’s innovation and serving its communities. Baxter works closely with public and private partners around the world to ensure people have access to the healthcare they need, to develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing care, and to create long-lasting impact in Baxter’s communities. The Baxter International Foundation supports initiatives and organizations that make a positive, lasting impact on increasing access to healthcare for the disadvantaged and underserved.
About Direct Relief
Direct Relief provides humanitarian medical aid in Mexico, the United States, and more than 70 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief has earned a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, has been named among the world's ten most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors' Award, the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation and the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit http://www.DirectRelief.org.