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Skills-based volunteering allows employees to engage with the community and make meaningful change.

Our world and our expectations have dramatically changed over the past two years. Both COVID-19 and ongoing social justice issues forced many of us to reconsider what's important and meaningful in our lives. Our relationships with businesses and employers are no exception.

Consumers and employees alike increasingly expect more from businesses. People expect the organization and corporate leaders for whom and with whom they work to be purpose-led and to reflect their values. Leading the charge are those who straddle the line between CEO and consumer — employees.

Medtronic employees pack personal protective equipment to aid global health.

Even as production of ventilators ramped up fivefold to keep up with COVID-19 demand, our employees in Galway, Ireland, still found time to deliver care packages to the isolated elderly in their community.

People from every corner of the world have a passion to contribute to society — and that doesn’t go away when they come to work. To support and amplify those passions, we create opportunities for our employees to use their unique skills as a force for good. These opportunities, combined with individual efforts, help create long-term solutions to some of healthcare’s and society’s biggest challenges.

Not just a day job: skills-based volunteering

As the leading global healthcare technology company, our employees’ health technology expertise can dramatically change health outcomes in communities.

When the global pandemic struck Rice County, MN, HealthFinders Collaborative looked for new ways to care for the more than 5,000 underserved people supported by the nonprofit. This was especially challenging, as many of those patients didn’t trust or were unfamiliar with virtual care offerings. With the help of the Medtronic Foundation and employee volunteers, the HealthFinders team improved their virtual care delivery and coordination method. Together, they analyzed the existing digital visit systems and the needs of patients and community health workers. In just one year since the HealthFinders COVID-19 response project was completed, more than 29% of the HealthFinders patient population transitioned to virtual video visits.

When we worked with HealthFinders, we helped them unlock a new, human-centered approach focused on collaboration and rapid iterations of concepts and solutions. As Medtronic volunteers, we have a baseline knowledge of the healthcare space that made it even easier for us to move quickly.”

 

–Lizz Wright, Senior Human-Centered Design Strategist, Medtronic Innovation Lab

With the rise of virtual care accelerated by the pandemic, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) saw both a need and an opportunity to modernize its tech systems. The goal? Reducing HIV prevalence and improving public health in KHPT’s region of India. KHPT’s key change agents, community health workers, needed a dashboard and monitoring system to ensure they reached the right people with care at the right time. Working in partnership with the Medtronic Foundation, Medtronic engineering and IT teams volunteered for a three-month project to assess the KHPT mobile app interface and recommended comprehensive changes to the user experience, data visualization, and support for community healthcare workers.

In FY21, all Medtronic Foundation partners adapted their care models throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, health workers at the BRAC organization in Bangladesh and the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) blended virtual and in-person offerings. Through our skills-based partnership program, Global Innovation Fellows, Medtronic employees helped KHPT develop digital health tools for community health workers and link patients to primary care.

Our efforts will help the community health workers at KHPT in putting their best foot forward and ensuring better health outcomes for the community.“

–Dr. Kumar Anshul, Assistant Manager, Marketing Communications & Commercial Excellence, Medtronic

In addition to our skills-based volunteering program, the Medtronic Foundation addresses health access issues through community engagement, grant funding, and disaster relief efforts. Through a virtual train-the-trainer COVID-19 response program with Project HOPE and the American Heart Association, the Medtronic Foundation and employee volunteers helped 3,000-plus people learn how to better care for themselves and patients through a pandemic.

Beyond COVID-19, natural disasters also exacerbate healthcare disparities. Whether we’re creating donation drives for flood victims in Indonesia or helping communities rebuild health infrastructure after hurricanes, Medtronic employees answer the call.

When disaster strikes, Medtronic employees are there to help rebuild.


Within our organization, there are as many causes to champion as there are employees. The Medtronic Foundation supports them through community engagement programs such as:

Medtronic volunteers pack supplies in South Africa as part of our efforts to further global health.
  • Community Impact Champions: The champions are volunteer leaders trained by the  Medtronic Foundation to use storytelling to engage fellow employees in volunteering activities. More than 379 employees in 44 countries volunteered for training in FY21.
  • Matched Giving: The Medtronic Foundation matches Medtronic employee and retiree donations made to any eligible nonprofit up to $5,000 annually.
  • Volunteer Grants: A revamped program enables employees to volunteer with eligible nonprofits to earn money for causes important to them. For every 10 volunteer hours, employees can earn $200 (up to 50 hours, $20 per volunteer hour, maximum amount $1,000 per calendar year).
  • Project 6: A companywide kickoff of programming, volunteering resources, and events starts 365 days of giving back to causes that mean the most to Medtronic employees.
  • Power Hours: Employees may give an hour of time from anywhere in the world because we believe simple actions make a difference. For example, our employees participated in Power Hours organized by the Medtronic Foundation to support social justice organizations such as Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and many others. More than 2,700 employees from 44 countries logged more than 4,000 volunteer hours in just one day.

In FY 21:

  • 174,000 employee volunteer hours logged
  • 65+ nonprofits globally partnered with Medtronic Foundation 
  • $103.1M given ($52.9M since the beginning of the pandemic) from Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation
Medtronic volunteers load supplies as part of our efforts to further global health.

As a Mission-led company, we know that developing extraordinary healthcare technologies isn't enough. Through skills-based volunteering and community engagement beyond our day-to-day jobs, we can drive even greater improvement in healthcare outcomes. That is why we support and will continue to support the extraordinary volunteering efforts of our employees. We're not just helping individuals, NGOs, and communities through a moment in time; we're helping them secure better futures.


About Medtronic Foundation
Medtronic plc is the sole funder of the Medtronic Foundation, whose focus is on improving health for underserved populations worldwide, as well as on supporting communities in which Medtronic employees live and give. For more information, please visit medtronicfoundation.org.