Pfizer Inc.This summer, Maria Machado, a supply chain expert from Brazil, will make an extended visit to Africa – unlike any trip she’s taken before. Maria and 15 of her colleagues at Pfizer, Inc. are part of a now 5-year-old skills-based corporate volunteerism program, the Pfizer Global Health Fellows.

Machado works in Pfizer's Global Manufacturing Division, ensuring medicines reach their final destination. She will travel to Mozambique in Africa to support Population Services International (PSI), an organization that provides healthcare in developing countries. Machado will advise PSI's supply chain to deliver health products and services in underserved communities. "Dealing with Brazilian trade has given me first-hand experience in delivering medicines in under-resourced settings. I can use my skills to directly impact the way PSI gets medicines and services to areas in Mozambique that normally wouldn’t have access to quality healthcare."

Today, Pfizer is celebrating five years of sending its employees around the world to work on the front lines of healthcare, combating devastating diseases and improving access to healthcare for underserved communities. Pfizer is sending 16 new Fellows this year to countries as far away as Mozambique, India and Panama. To date, Pfizer has deployed 171 Fellows to 34 countries to work with non-governmental organizations and governments to serve those most in need.

Pfizer also announced a pilot expansion of the Global Health Fellows program to work with underserved communities in Europe and the United States to expand its commitment to improving access to healthcare. Through existing work with small- to mid-sized healthcare organizations in these regions, Pfizer identified a need for the expertise and experience its employees could bring to improve efficiency and impact. It is also clear that millions of people in Europe and the U.S. experience significant access challenges, and Pfizer employees are dedicated to addressing these problems by every means possible.

"We are happy to support the Global Health Fellows program, a flagship of our overall philanthropy platform, Pfizer Investments in Health," comments Robert Mallett, Pfizer's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Public Affairs and Policy. "This program is a unique social and business model that creates lasting impact. Global Health Fellows add tremendous value to our business, just as they do for the communities in which they work."

A major business benefit of Global Health Fellows is the development and growth opportunities for employees. Employees are challenged to learn and practice new skills which they can apply in their jobs and other philanthropy settings. Their support of Pfizer’s overall philanthropy platform is returned through opportunities to expand their skill sets and bring innovative ideas back to Pfizer.

Pfizer funds transportation, lodging and other expenses to send its employees around the world to work side-by-side with health organizations. During the Fellowship, Pfizer maintains its employees' positions at the company, ensuring the Fellows can focus on the work at hand.

Core to its success is Pfizer’s partnership with health NGOs around the world. Pfizer and its partners match employees based on how the employee’s skills can impact specific health challenges. Employees work directly with the partner, leveraging their skills in Information Technology, Nursing, Facility Operations, Health Worker Training, Public Health Communications, Marketing, Finance and more. The knowledge and expertise that Fellows share leaves the NGO stronger and more equipped to sustain long-term impact, even after the Fellow has completed their assignment.

"Our partnership with Pfizer has helped us improve family health around the world by adding specialized expertise to our organization," said Al Siemens, CEO and Chairman of Family Health International. "Since 2004, 19 Fellows have trained nurses, adapted HIV/AIDS prevention strategies and managed data to help us operate efficiently. They are invaluable in helping us advance our mission."

Pfizer Global Health Fellows is the cornerstone of Pfizer’s philanthropic platform, Pfizer Investments in Health. This strategic philanthropy platform aims to Treat patients, Teach prevention and patient care, Build capacity in healthcare systems and Serve local communities and governments to improve access to care.

About the 2008 Global Health Fellows

In this round of deployment, Global Health Fellows are working with the following organizations:

  • Access Project, Columbia University (Rwanda)
  • Accordia Global Health Foundation (Uganda)
  • African Medical and Research Foundation (Kenya American Cancer Society (South Africa)
  • CARE International (Tanzania)
  • International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (India)
  • IntraHealth International (Namibia)
  • mothers2mothers (South Africa)
  • Pan-American Health Organization (Panama)
  • Population Services International (Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya)
  • U.S. Agency for International Development/PEPFAR (Lesotho, Namibia)
  • Wateraid (Tanzania)

About Pfizer Investments in Health
At Pfizer, we strive to positively impact the health of people around the world. We partner with others and invest the full range of our resources – people, skills, expertise and funding – to improve global health. Our philanthropy platform, Pfizer Investments in Health, invests these resources through a coordinated approach that contributes to society in ways beyond medicines:

Treat: Focusing on improving Patient access to medicines and healthcare services

Teach: Working with Providers and communities to expand healthcare worker training and patient education on disease prevention and treatment options

Build: Strengthening the Organizational capacity of health partners to support prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care

Serve: Advocating and sharing best practices in the Public Health Community to improve healthcare for the underserved

Through these targeted strategies, we not only invest in effective and sustainable improvements in healthcare delivery, we also empower our colleagues, strengthen relationships with our stakeholders and make a positive impact on society and our business.

About Pfizer
Founded in 1849, Pfizer is the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company taking new approaches to better health. We discover, develop, manufacture and deliver quality, safe and effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease for both people and animals. We also partner with healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the world to expand access to our medicines and to provide better quality health care and health system support.

At Pfizer, approximately 85,000 colleagues in more than 150 countries work every day to help people stay happier and healthier longer and to reduce the human and economic burden of disease worldwide.