Submitted by Boston Scientific
As a leader in health care, Boston Scientific is dedicated to creating healthier communities in a wealth of ways, including large-scale programs like Close the Gap that help increase health equity in the U.S. and global corporate volunteer initiatives such as Season of Giving and a Week of Caring.
Then there’s the Boston Scientific Foundation, a separate non-profit organization that was established to provide strategic, targeted grant funding to enable non-profits to better serve those who need it most.
Read on to learn how the Boston Scientific Foundation and The Boston Scientific Foundation Europe support and sustain the areas where Boston Scientific employees live and work.
1. The Boston Scientific Foundation is a non-profit that works to help other non-profits.
Founded in 2001, the Boston Scientific Foundation is funded by an endowment that was established by private donors. Each year, it bestows grants to non-profit organizations within 60 miles of its largest U.S. facilities in four states.
“One of the key advantages is that we’re able to help smaller non-profits that the larger company cannot and therefore maximize the benefit we’re able to have in very specific communities,” says Dave Knapp, president of the Boston Scientific Foundation.
2. Non-profits that support the Boston Scientific Foundation mission may apply for funding.
Each year, organizations may submit proposals to the Boston Scientific Foundation to be considered for financial grants.
In particular, the Foundation awards grants to organizations that serve the economically disadvantaged in one of two areas: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and programs that improve health.
Recent grantees include Community Servings – which delivers nutritious meals to the chronically ill in the Boston area – and CreateMPLS, which teaches crucial technology skills to students in Minnesota.
The Boston Scientific Foundation also offers an academic scholarship program for children of full-time company employees in the U.S.
3. Boston Scientific employees help to determine which organizations receive grants.
With many deserving non-profits submitting proposals to the Boston Scientific Foundation, it’s up to local community teams made up of over 75 employee volunteers to review them and recommend to the Boston Scientific Foundation Board of Directors how it should best distribute its funds.
“Our employee community teams are basically the engine for the Boston Scientific Foundation,” says Knapp. “They’re helping to make things happen for non-profits in their communities and I’m so inspired that they take their personal time to do this work.”
4. There is also a non-profit organization that specifically serves communities in Europe.
The Boston Scientific Foundation Europe was established five years ago to help non-profits based on that continent and is funded each year by local legal entities of the company in Europe.
The first grantee was Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque for their 5/5 program – a remote learning platform for doctors practicing in underserved African countries to improve the diagnoses of heart conditions in children. The Boston Scientific Foundation Europe has continued to prioritize innovative digital health solutions ever since.
“There’s so much that needs to be done in health care,” notes Simonetta Balbi, president of the Boston Scientific Foundation Europe. “We decided to create this focus so that we could address gaps in healthcare in a specific way and increase our ability to make an impact.”
Similar to the Boston Scientific Foundation, the Boston Scientific Foundation Europe relies on employee ambassadors representing countries across Europe who bring grant proposals to a board that includes six Boston Scientific employees and three senior representatives of patient organizations for their final review.
5. The work of the Boston Scientific Foundation and the Boston Scientific Foundation Europe affects the granters and the grantees alike.
In 2022, the Boston Scientific Foundation gave 34 STEM grants and 21 health grants as well as 118 college scholarships. It also made a one-time grant to Project HOPE to help refugees during the Ukraine crisis.
Additionally, in its first five years, the Boston Scientific Foundation Europe has funded 20 digital health initiatives and reached communities in more than 50 countries in Europe and EMEA, including humanitarian relief efforts for the people of Ukraine, Turkey and Syria.
Balbi and Knapp both say that the work they do to help people in need brings great personal reward.
“One project I loved this year is that we funded a mobile STEM bus in Indiana,” says Knapp. “In rural communities, people have to drive many miles to find resources for students to learn coding and other key skills. This bus can go from location to location to develop STEM talent at a high level.”
For Balbi, it’s the pediatric projects that are most moving.
“We are supporting a French hospital, the Centre Pediatrique de Cote, that takes care of seriously disabled children, many of whom cannot speak,” she says. “Our grant is funding special tablets so they can communicate. When we visited the hospital, we met a little girl that was using the technology to communicate with her eyes. She’s a great candidate for this tablet and we’ll be able to help her receive it.”
Learn about the work that Boston Scientific does to support its communities through donations and volunteer programs.
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Boston Scientific transforms lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. As a global medical technology leader for 40 years, we advance science for life by providing a broad range of high performance solutions that address unmet patient needs and reduce the cost of healthcare. For more information, visit www.bostonscientific.com and connect on Twitter and Facebook.
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