Powered by a Pursuit for Patient Care
Working in an inclusive and diverse environment has provided Angela Rivera with opportunities to learn, grow and share knowledge. The global medical leader for Renal Therapy Services (RTS) shares insights from her wide-ranging career experiences at Baxter.
An interview with Angela Rivera, Global Medical Leader, RTS
Tell me about your current role.
Angela: I work in a global perspectives role where I am responsible for clinical and renal quality. We offer services and deliver care for patients who are in pre-dialysis or on dialysis. I am also a part of the innovations team where I support and help deliver new Baxter products.
Did you always know that you wanted to go into healthcare?
Angela: Yes. I remember when my mom took me to the doctor because I was in severe pain, and the doctor came in wearing his white coat. He said: ‘Don’t worry, it is nothing that I can’t fix and I’m going to help you.’ I remember my mom smiling, and I remember how relieved I was after. When I left I said: ’I want to be a doctor, and I want to help people.’
When did you join Baxter, and what made you want to work here?
Angela: I joined Baxter back in 2001 as a nephrologist, working in one of Baxter's Renal Care Services centers in Colombia. I moved to different positions within the same renal clinic and was then assigned to a project where I monitored the quality of our products. That gave me an opportunity to understand different perspectives, which was really a pathway to other roles within the company. Working at Baxter has given me the opportunity to continue working in quality care for patients.
What does "saving and sustaining lives" mean to you?
Angela: It is my reason for going to medical school. I decided to go down this career path because I wanted to save and sustain lives, and Baxter offers exactly that. I couldn't see myself in a profession where I wasn't able to save a patient. The work I am doing and how Baxter supports the world, it shows that we all need to work together: Baxter, patient and the family of the patient. I learn a lot every day, especially now that I’m working with a team that handles data generation, innovation, and improving the way we treat patients.
Baxter was recently named to the list of Best Companies for Multicultural Women. In your opinion, what is Baxter doing well in terms of recruiting and retaining women of color?
Angela: When I first began my career, I felt like 'the Hispanic person.' I was born and raised in Colombia and always felt this way. When I joined Baxter, one of my managers said to me: 'It's not important how you pronounce things, it's not important what your accent is, what's important is what you say, because you know what you’re talking about.' At that moment I started to feel more confident. When I moved from Latin America to the U.S. it was a big change, and Baxter helped with that transition. The company offered me a lot of training, opportunities and coaching.
How has working in a diverse and inclusive workplace made an impact on you?
Angela: It means everything for me as a professional. I wouldn't have been able to develop my professional career without the support. Whenever I needed it, I received it in the right moment. The company also has a great work-life balance. Being a woman, a mother, has been amazing because there is so much support that the company provides, such as a flexible hybrid work model, even before the pandemic.