Stories and Viewpoints
Lina Andersson, head of CSR Operations and Development, talks about the important work we're doing in communities worldwide.
November 18, 2021
By Jennifer C. Yates
Empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life involves more than providing affordable medicines. Although that’s a magnificent mission, it’s also about helping to create healthier and more sustainable communities. We do this by working with global and local partners on a variety of philanthropic efforts, including supporting education, community programs and better access to diagnostics and treatment. In 2021, we continued to respond to needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as support communities building back from extreme weather, among other things. Viatris helped in ways big and small. We talked with Lina Andersson, head of CSR Development and Operations at Viatris, to talk about these efforts and why they were especially important as the COVID-19 pandemic continued.
Q. As we seek to provide support to communities, how important are partnerships?
A. Partnerships are essential. The needs of communities vary depending on where you are in the world. It’s important that any support is locally sensitive and truly addresses the local needs. So we work with local partners worldwide to provide just that and aim to truly make a difference for each community. Whether through philanthropic giving, partnerships or volunteerism, our efforts and those of all the amazing Viatris colleagues support access to healthcare and education as well as local community programs. Our work leverages common global themes and our capabilities, while addressing unique local needs. The organizations we partner with have expertise in areas spanning access to basic health services or treatments, food insecurity, access to clean water, effects from extreme weather and more.
Q. How has the pandemic affected the work Viatris is doing to help communities?
A. We have worked to be a steady partner during the pandemic, helping to address some of the urgent needs and find solutions for the new normal. The COVID pandemic is sometimes referred to as the inequality virus, and it really is true from so many different perspectives. Therefore, our support has been different across geographies and communities. It has included donations of medicine and medical equipment, oxygen and building healthcare infrastructure, supplying personal protective equipment, food and financial support to a wide range of organizations and programs.
“We have worked to be a steady partner during the pandemic, helping to address some of the urgent needs and find solutions for the new normal."Lina Andersson, head of CSR Operations and Development
We have also provided resources to support the challenges to socioemotional well-being and mental health of populations struggling with the pandemic worldwide. The issue is daunting, and children are especially at risk. This makes our collaboration with Sesame Workshop particularly relevant.
Q. Can you give us some examples from around the world this year of how Viatris has helped communities, and particularly in India where a serious second wave of COVID-19 occurred earlier this year?
A: COVID-19 caused widespread disease and death in India this year, and we worked with urgency, care and compassion to help. We worked closely with the Indian government to help support patient needs as demand for medicines increased, and we worked through our established partner network to provide funding for needed equipment and supplies. We also have a long-standing corporate social responsibility program in India, which allowed us to directly help with on-the-ground efforts.
A recent example, addressing needs amid the natural disasters hitting American communities, is Viatris’ announcement on Nov. 11 of a $1 million donation to the U.S.-based nonprofit SBP, whose mission is to help people recover quickly from natural disasters, events that have been growing in frequency and severity. SBP has been helping residents in the Bahamas and U.S. cities from West Virginia to Louisiana to rebuild after flooding and hurricanes devastated their homes and lives. Safe housing is a basic need with strong ties to a person’s ability to enjoy good health and at Viatris, to be able to help in those situations and help build back communities is part of our mission.
Our donation to SBP will be used to support the group’s Got Your Back fund, which focuses on helping veterans who have been impacted by natural disasters. Several Viatris colleagues traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, recently to visit with a veteran who was getting help from SBP to rebuild his home. We’re proud to help in these efforts and to contribute to building healthier communities.
VideoOur Community Impact Learn more about Viatris’ community impact in our first year.