COMMUNITY

 

We pride ourselves on the role we play in the communities where we live and work.

We work with communities, from those within close proximity to those much further away. Our approach to doing so is to always listen to local needs and find ways to invest in areas relevant to our business and the skills of our people.

Health Consumer Organisations

Health Consumer Organisations (HCOs) are not-for-profit organisations that represent the interests and views of consumers of health care. Sometimes referred to as patient groups, HCOs provide support services and information to patients, families and carers. HCOs also fund research as well as advocate for improved standards of care and enhanced access to treatment. AS a result, HCOs often work in partnership with a range of health professionals and healthcare providers with the aim to minimise the impact of ill health on the Australian community.

The Australian pharmaceutical industry has worked collaboratively with HCOs for many years to provide information and support to help patients understand and manage their health and wellbeing. Our industry also works with HCOs toward advancing dialogue around healthcare issues to support optimal delivery of healthcare.

A Working Together Guide assists both HCOs and the industry in working together appropriately in a transparent and accountable way. It was developed by the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (the national peak organisation for consumers) and Medicines Australia (the national association representing the prescription medicines industry). MSD endorses the Guide, using it along with the detailed supporting materials in the Working Together Manual as a framework to develop and maintain our HCO relationships.

Charities, sporting events and awareness days

We support a variety of charities around Australia which gives a truly national focus to our corporate responsibility program.

We have a workplace giving system that allows staff to contribute through pre-tax donations from their salaries, for example, a donation of $10 equals a reduction of only $6.50 in pay. Employees can see the impact of their donations through this electronic workplace giving platform.

MSD also matches staff donations to these charities dollar for dollar up to a capped amount.

Sporting events and awareness days

MSD takes part in a number of charitable sporting events each year. This is an opportunity to support charity and share the passion and enthusiasm that MSD employees are known for.

Some of these sporting events include: the MS Sydney to the Gong bike ride, the Kosciusko Walk for Rare Cancers Australia and the Melanoma March for the Melanoma Institute Australia.

The awareness days we support include National Close the Gap Day, Million Paws Walk, and MOvember.

Volunteering

Our volunteer program grants staff up to 40 hours of paid time a year to work in community projects. Employees can choose which charity they would like to volunteer with – and this may be with their colleagues or on their own. Opportunities for skilled volunteering and overseas volunteering are also regularly provided to employees.

Here are just some stories of our staff giving back to the community by volunteering:

A day at the Salvation Army

Daniela McEvoy, Senior Professional Representative, Oncology

Australia is known as the lucky country and Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city. At the other end of this elite scale live the homeless. There are people living in our parks and under our bridges that seek refuge every day at The Salvation Army’s Hamodava Café. The café, part of The Salvation Army’s Melbourne Project 614, is a welcoming venue providing breakfast, lunch, coffee and tea, as well as support to people from all walks of life, especially those living on the margins of society.

On our day of volunteering, our team arrived with some trepidation; it was going to be a new experience for most of us. We were involved in different areas of work: taking orders, clearing tables, back of house operations such as meal preparation, delivery and cleaning up including dishes where required.

The café was extremely busy. We served around 400 people aged from six to 70, providing both breakfast and lunch. This was far more than a soup kitchen, this was a place where Melbourne’s most marginalised could feel safe, accepted and part of a community. Many of those receiving a service are extremely thankful and others who were unwell were confused, irritated and at times very boisterous. We met some of the most amazing and intriguing men and women who are really doing life tough. We are all looking forward to our next volunteering venture.

Brightening Christmas with shoeboxes of goodies

Kevin Nam, Medical Information Associate

Helping to bring Christmas cheer to children in poverty in many countries, who might never have received a gift before, proved to be a very satisfying volunteer project.

My colleague Louise Chappelow and I organised two days of volunteering in October for Operation Christmas Child, a project of the charity Samaritan’s Purse that involves packing a shoebox of gifts to be sent to each child. There were 15 MSD volunteers in total across the two days, including our Managing Director Riad El-Dada.

We spent the day in the Samaritan’s Purse warehouse sorting through donated gifts for orphans and impoverished children. The experience was very rewarding and fun. Being surrounded by the enthusiasm and energy of fellow volunteers in the warehouse, you could not help but smile while working.

I have only been with MSD for 1.5 years now, but I feel I am very lucky to be part of an organisation and culture that not only allows me to give back to the community through volunteer leave but also encourages it.

Volunteering and giving back to the community reminds me why I chose to work in the field of healthcare and pharmaceuticals – to help people.