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 · By Greg Irace

The Perfect Gift

Like many of you, I watched the 12.12.12 Hurricane Sandy concert on TV, which featured Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and many other musicians who are on my iPod playlist. I was struck by the stories of Hurricane Sandy survivors – some of whom live within a short drive of Sanofi sites in Bridgewater and North Brunswick, N.J. Most of all, I was moved by the performers’ willingness to give of their talents to help New Jerseyans and New Yorkers rebuild. They could easily have a written a check and left it at that, but they gave of themselves.

We’re all now in a season of giving – and what better time to use our skills and talents to help others. We can’t all sing like Alicia Keys or organize a mega-fundraiser, but we can all give something of ourselves – and the simple things, running errands for an elderly friend or watching a neighbor’s children, can make a big difference for those individuals.

Painting a Brighter Future

Sanofi is a very big supporter of employee volunteerism. Our program, in which approximately 1,800 colleagues participated in more than 130 activities over the month of October, was themed Season of Solidarity this year. As part of the annual program, I joined several employees in painting apartments at a Bronx homeless shelter. Most of the shelter’s residents are single mothers and their children who stay up to one year as they reestablish the foundations needed to get back into homes of their own.

We divided into teams, a few of us in each apartment with drop cloths, paint brushes and cans of off-white paint. Four apartments were painted on that late October day, and while we did not meet the occupants, I envisioned them returning to the clean crispness of freshly painted rooms – and hopefully, a feeling of home.

Connecting Community Service with Our Core Commitment

We chose that University Avenue shelter because of its connection to Children’s Health Fund (CHF), an organization supported by Sanofi US. CHF’s mission – to provide comprehensive healthcare to the nation’s most medically under-served children – resonates with us as a healthcare company and as parents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and friends.

Sanofi employees were inspired by a Children’s Health Fund mobile clinic when it visited our Bridgewater, NJ, site this fall. While the doctor’s office on wheels is small compared to brick-and-mortar medical facilities, the impact is large in the communities it serves.

Every Monday, a Children’s Health Fund mobile health clinic van makes a house call to the University Avenue shelter. Among the many services available, sick shelter residents can be seen by doctors and healthy ones can receive preventive care like vaccines. When follow-up care is needed at a hospital or with a specialist, the mobile clinic’s staff helps make arrangements, gives reminder calls and provides transportation – not just a bus voucher. With its mobile health clinic, Children’s Health Fund provides some of New York’s most vulnerable patients with the consistent, competent and compassionate healthcare we would want for ourselves.

I look forward to sharing more about Sanofi; the Children’s Health Fund, for which I chair its Corporate Council; and myself in future blogs. Until then, I wish you good health and all the best this holiday season and in the coming year.


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