The Gold Corporate Council, a group of leading healthcare companies who have aligned with the Gold Foundation to elevate humanism in healthcare, have all stepped up to make important contributions during this pandemic.
“In the midst of this pandemic, which threatens millions of lives and the stability of our modern world, each of our Gold Corporate Council members has responded rapidly, coming to the aid of patients, healthcare professionals, and the global need for widespread testing and effective treatment of COVID-19. The Gold Foundation is grateful for their efforts and for their steadfast commitment to humanism in healthcare, which is essential to helping us all get through this crisis,” said Richard I. Levin, MD, President and CEO of the Gold Foundation.
The Gold Corporate Council represents some of the world’s foremost healthcare companies: BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), CVS Health, Henry Schein, Inc., IBM Watson Health, Medtronic and Quest Diagnostics. In the coronavirus pandemic, all of the Gold Corporate Council members are modeling their commitment to humanistic healthcare practice and have rapidly deployed their expert employees, medical equipment, testing capabilities, and other resources to help limit the spread of COVID-19, increase testing, protect clinicians on the front lines, and save lives.
Several of their most significant contributions include:
Quest Diagnostics expanded critical testing of COVID-19 with its own lab-developed test.
Medtronic is working to provide healthcare teams around the world with ventilators and other essential products they need to treat patients. The company has publicly shared ventilator design specifications to accelerate efforts to increase global ventilator production. The Medtronic Foundation has pledged $11.2 million to assist in global COVID-19 relief efforts.
BD has announced a new test to help detect COVID-19, which is waiting emergency-use authorization, and has committed $1.1 million to seven nonprofit organizations to help in the worldwide fight.
CVS Health has opened its first testing site in a store parking lot and has adapted many of its services to virtual or delivery options to help reduce the spread of the virus.
IBM has been trusted by clients and governments in crises for 109 years and during the COVID-19 crisis has been taking every measure to ensure that IBMers stay safe, healthy and ready to help while ensuring continuity of service and delivery for client mission-critical operations and looking for opportunities to adapt and advance business in this new reality.
And Henry Schein, Inc., the world’s largest provider of solutions for office-based health care professionals, is the private-sector lead of the Pandemic Supply Chain Network. Henry Schein has been actively involved in managing the limited supply of PPE and has launched a COVID-19 resource center to keep its many health care clients well informed. The Company also recently announced the availability of a Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) point-of-care antibody rapid test.
The Gold Foundation is proud of our Gold Corporate Council members’ responses in this historic crisis.
Please see below for detailed summaries on the important efforts of each of the Gold Corporate Council members.
Note: Efforts to help in the pandemic are evolving rapidly. Please check each company’s website for the most up-to-date and complete information.
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)
As one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world, BD is deploying its capabilities, expertise and scale to address critical health needs related to coronavirus – from its diagnostic offerings to identify COVID-19, to real-time informatics and electronic surveillance technology, to essential medical devices to support patient care. Specifically, BD:
- Announced new products to help aid in the detection and identification of COVID-19, including a molecular test for the detection of COVID-19 for clinical laboratories in countries recognizing the CE mark.
- Partnered with BioGX to announce that the companies have submitted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) requests to the FDA for new diagnostic tests that would increase the potential capacity to screen for COVID-19 by thousands of tests per day.
- Participated in a recent White House meeting with CEOs of private sector partners who have been involved in the effort to expand access to COVID-19 testing and test development.
- Is urgently undertaking additional clinical studies to validate multiple swabs and saline as a transport medium. BD’s intent is that these swabs may be used for nasal collection and to include a self-collection process. We currently expect results and subsequent submission under the EUA process to the FDA in the coming weeks.
In addition, BD is deploying $1.1 million in cash and product donations to seven non-profit organizations – Direct Relief (which also collaborates with the Gold Foundation), the International Medical Corps, Americares, the World Health Organization-United Nations Foundation COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Project HOPE, the CDC Foundation and the Wuhan Red Cross – to advance their work to contain COVID-19, support healthcare workers and treat patients in countries throughout the world.
Read the full BD Statement on COVID-19.
CVS Health works every day to help people on their path to better health. This has never been more important.
CVS on March 19 opened its first testing site in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmcy in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Public Health Service, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration. The goal is to serve as a model for testing.
As a temporary measure, to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, MinuteClinic will require an on-line appointment to schedule a visit and will not be accepting walk-in visits. Learn about other measures to protect patient safety at MinuteClinic.
CVS Pharmacy is also waiving charges for home delivery of prescriptions to help patients avoid visiting their local CVS Pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.
In response to the urgent and increased health care needs of Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, CVS Health is accelerating a plan to fill more than 50,000 full-time and part-time positions across the country.
Read more in CVS Health’s COVID-19 Resource Center.
Henry Schein, Inc.
Henry Schein, Inc. operates through a centralized and automated distribution network, with a selection of more than 300,000 health care products that support health care around the globe. The Company’s network of trusted advisors provides more than 1 million customers globally with valued solutions that improve operational success and clinical outcomes.
Henry Schein, Inc. is working to help address the shortages of PPE (personal protective equipment) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company is dedicated to getting more product into the hands of those who need it most—health care professionals.
Henry Schein, Inc. also announced the availability of an antibody rapid blood test, known as Standard Q COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test, intended to be administered at the point of care. The test delivers results within 15 minutes from a pinprick with no instrumentation required.
“Henry Schein is committed to providing health care professionals with quality products they can rely on to care for patients,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein. “Henry Schein has played a key role in providing point-of-care testing to health care professionals, and is now responding to the urgent need for wide availability of rapid point-of-care testing for COVID-19. This pandemic is an unprecedented situation, and making rapid diagnostic tools available to health care professionals is critical for detecting and mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.”
Health care professionals can use the results of the test, along with a patient’s medical history, symptoms, and results of other relevant testing, to make informed decisions about patient treatment and care. Henry Schein, Inc. is working through multiple channels to distribute the tests in the U.S. as quickly as possible in response to the urgent need for rapid, accurate testing. The Company’s initial focus will be supplying the tests to health care professionals.
Henry Schein, Inc. is the private-sector lead of the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, a public-private partnership created in 2015 to improve the efficiency of the PPE supply chain. Through this network, Henry Schein, Inc. is advocating to ease the global supply chain so that product can begin to flow again.
The Company also launched a COVID-19 Resource Center that features a collection of links and downloadable infographics to help health care professionals prepare and effectively communicate with their staff and patients as the outbreak continues to evolve.
Read ongoing updates from Henry Schein, Inc. on the Company’s response to COVID-19.
IBM Watson Health
IBM announced with the White House a new effort to make an unprecedented amount of computing power available to help government and academic researchers better understand COVID-19, its treatments and potential cures. In addition, Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, is working with US national labs to simulate the growth of the coronavirus and speedily find drug compounds that can fight it. IBM has also developed a new and precise “incident map” for our Weather Channel app and on weather.com to make it possible for people to see, on a county level, visualizations of data –from confirmed cases and potential outbreak areas to availability of tests. Trusted data is also behind IBM’s Watson Assistant for Citizens “chatbots,” which bring together analytics and speech recognition to help deal with an unprecedented flood of requests from citizens. IBM’s Watson Health unit is making the IBM Clinical Development system available without charge to research organizations to help accelerate potential treatments for COVID-19.
Learn more about IBM Watson Health.
As the spread of COVID-19 disrupts life around the world, Medtronic’s ventilators, respiratory filters, oxygenation machines and pulse oximeters are being used by healthcare professionals on the front lines of this fight. These and other critical medical technologies are helping to sustain life for those patients with severe respiratory illness brought on by the virus.
Medtronic has taken steps to help address this global public health crisis and will continue to do so by:
- Focusing on providing access to our products. Medtronic is in 150+ countries around the world – all with varying needs. Medtronic employees are in ongoing communication with healthcare providers, suppliers and governments to provide resources to the best of our ability. We are working hard to deploy as many ventilators as possible to assist with the increasing needs of hospitals globally.
- Supporting the needs of our healthcare partners. Medtronic field employees, who work with customers in hospital settings, are collaborating with healthcare providers in new ways – such as video chat for technical support and training – to make every effort to reduce exposure. In situations where employees continue to work in clinical settings, such as supporting the installation of medical technology used to treat patients recovering from COVID-19, we are following the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and local hospital guidance to prioritize safety while helping doctors, nurses and care teams. Medtronic is also deploying remote monitoring solutions that will help limit exposure for patients, healthcare staff and Medtronic employees.
- Donating medical supplies and supporting non-government organizations (NGO). To date, Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation have committed $11.2 million to COVID-19 relief efforts across the globe, including product and monetary donations. The Medtronic Foundation is working closely with other nonprofits to help fund the health needs of communities through grant-making initiatives and will be announcing additional financial contributions as well as volunteerism efforts soon.
- Implementing employee remote work options and increased safety measures to help mitigate the spread of the virus. For employees who can work remotely, we’ve shifted to a global work-from-home approach. In other roles such as manufacturing and distribution, we have increased sterilization and cleaning measures, all while practicing social distancing and prescribed hygiene measures like regular handwashing.
- Offering resources and support for our employees. In addition to offering work-from-home programs, we are also providing other resources to support our employees around the world.
In addition, Medtronic has has publicly shared ventilator design specifications to accelerate efforts to increase global ventilator production.
“As a global healthcare leader, Medtronic is committed to helping support impacted communities across the globe,” said Omar Ishrak, Medtronic chairman and chief executive officer. “Our longstanding Mission calls on us to maintain good citizenship as a company as we aim to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life for people around the world. This guides our work every day and we are determined to do everything we can to care for our employees, their families, and their local communities as we address this global health crisis collectively.”
Quest Diagnostic’s top priority is always the health and safety of our patients, employees, and the communities we serve. As a national provider of laboratory testing, Quest has played a critical role in expanding the availability to testing for COVID-19.
On March 17, Quest Diagnostics received emergency use authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 RNA, Qualitative Real-Time RT-PCR test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory specimens from individuals suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider.
Quest Diagnostics has performed and reported results of nearly 550,000 COVID-19 tests to providers and patients across the United States, provide testing from 12 laboratories. Through these laboratories, Quest is able to perform more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests a day.
“In times of national health crises, quality laboratory testing is absolutely critical to mobilizing effective public health response,” said Steve Rusckowski, Chairman, CEO and President of Quest Diagnostics. “Quest’s national scale, diagnostic expertise and innovation, and relationships with half the country’s physicians and health systems is a vital complement to the efforts of the CDC and other public health labs to contend with a growing number of suspected COVID-19 cases in the United States. We applaud the FDA for providing the flexibility for innovative, quality lab developed tests to be brought to patients and providers quickly to advance effective response to the coronavirus outbreak.”
COVID-19 testing is based on specimens collected by healthcare providers at their offices or other settings. The company is not testing for COVID-19 at Quest Diagnostics patient service centers or other phlebotomy sites; individuals who suspect they may have COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider for a test.
In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Quest is strengthening the already-rigorous safety procedures in their patient service centers. New precautions include:
- Providing gloves to patients to use touchscreen kiosks
- Making masks available to patients with cold or flu symptoms
- Disinfecting all surfaces more frequently
- Washing hands more frequently
- Enhanced COVID-19 safety training for employees
Learn more about Quest Diagnostics’ testing and response to COVID-19.
This page was updated on April 16, 2020. Please visit the individual company websites for the latest updates.