Lifelong Advocate for People with Disabilities

Baxter's enABLES business resource group fosters inclusion and belonging for employees, caregivers and advocates of those with visible and nonvisible disabilities, while helping Baxter better represent the diverse needs of the patients and the caregivers we serve. In honor of December 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we chatted with enABLES co-president Zach Wiles, who shared his thoughts on disability inclusion at Baxter.

Q: Tell us about your role at Baxter.

Zach: I joined Baxter about two years ago through its acquisition of Hillrom, where I'd worked since 2016. I'm currently part of Baxter's Project Management Office and am the acting manager at a plant where we manufacture a variety of cardiology devices like cardiographs, stress-test systems and heart monitors.

Q: What led you to become involved with the enABLES business resource group? 

Zach: Volunteering on behalf of people with disabilities has been a part of my life since I was a little kid. Growing up, my mother managed a group home for people with disabilities, so I got to interact with that community a lot and developed some great friendships with them. During college I was the crew chief for the Trans America route of the Journey of Hope, a bicycle ride from Seattle to Washington, D.C. that raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. So, I guess you could say I have a deep, personal connection to helping this group.

Baxter employee stands outside next to another person.Q: What does the enABLES business resource group (BRG) do especially well to help Baxter foster inclusion and belonging?

Zach: I think the enABLES BRG is especially impactful in bringing awareness to the vast diversity of disabilities – physical, cognitive, seen and unseen – and in partnering with organizations in the community to lift up people who are differently abled. 

Q: What would you like people living with disabilities, or who have family members with disabilities, to know about working at Baxter?

Zach: Baxter works hard to create an inclusive work environment where everyone can feel like they belong, and strives to be an employer of choice for people affected by disabilities. It's definitely a journey, but we're working toward that goal by identifying opportunities for improvement and making a difference by supporting and volunteering for organizations that support this mission.

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