100 GSK Employees Embark on Global and Local Long-Term Volunteer Assignments

One hundred GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) employees are now beginning long-term assignments (up to six months) with 46 nonprofit and non-governmental organizations in 35 countries. These volunteers will bring needed expertise to organizations working to address serious health challenges through GSK’s skills-based volunteer program, PULSE.

“Our company and our employees are committed to helping to improve the quality of life for people around the world,” says Ahsiya Posner Mencin, Director, PULSE Volunteer Partnership, GlaxoSmithKline. “Through our PULSE volunteer program, GSK employees use their professional skills and expertise to create sustainable solutions for important health issues. They return to GSK with strengthened leadership skills, a broader world view, and a greater connection to our mission of helping people to do more, live longer, and feel better.”

The PULSE program enables our employees to work full time with the organizations and to bring their professional expertise and knowledge. For instance, Megha Kochhar, from GSK’s marketing department in India, improved communications and digital media for Save the Children in New Delhi, helping them to meet fundraising and awareness goals.  She returned to GSK with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment.  Similarly, PULSE volunteer Doug Mackie, from GSK’s Information Technology department in the US, improved the IT communications systems for the OGRA Foundation in Kenya, ultimately enabling the delivery of critical healthcare services to some of rural Kenya’s most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. He brought back to GSK new knowledge about IT systems in the developing world, and an improved appreciation for being “patient-focused,” one of GSK’s core values.

Most employees who participate in PULSE work independently, while some work together in teams. For example, in 2013, four volunteers with experience in HR, Sales & Marketing, Research & Development and Project Management will be working together at the Philadelphia Education Fund to help in advancement of their goals related to STEM (Science, Technology, Education & Math) education.

Also in 2013, fourteen employees have been assigned to Save the Children, with whom GSK has recently established an ambitious new partnership to save the lives of one million of the poorest children in the world over the next five years. Many of these volunteers will work on the strategic direction for this partnership. One employee will work in the Democratic Republic of Congo to improve the distribution and supply chain for vaccines and another will work at their head office in London to establish a framework to measure the impacts of the partnership.

Douglas Rouse, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Save the Children said: “PULSE provides a unique opportunity for Save the Children to benefit from the expertise of GSK employees. In many cases the PULSE volunteers help to provide strategic direction, skills and knowledge that we may not have previously had the opportunity to develop. Over the past four years Save the Children has benefitted from 31 highly skilled GSK employees working in over 20 countries globally and we are looking forward to welcoming a further 14 this year. The invaluable insight these volunteers provide is helping us to save even more children’s lives.”

GSK and Save the Children have already been working together for eight years on a number of public health projects, including our initiative to reinvest 20% of the profits we make in the least-developed-countries in community programs to strengthen healthcare infrastructure, primarily through the training of community health workers. Ivy Peterson recently returned from a PULSE assignment with Save the Children.  Watch her describe why she is so excited about this new collaboration.


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