Making Health and Well-Being Our Responsibility

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Making Health and Well-Being Our Responsibility

By Jeffrey Bloss, Astellas USA Foundation Board Member

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 6:20pm

CAMPAIGN: Astellas USA Foundation

CONTENT: Article

For Jeff Bloss, giving back is more than a phrase – it’s a responsibility. As an Astellas USA Foundation Board member, Jeff explains how Astellas USA Foundation supports Living Smart by helping people in our communities access the health & well-being programs they need.

“One thing you quickly realize in the healthcare business is the importance of access. No matter how impressive the science or how terrific the products, society can’t reap the benefits of therapies and treatments unless people can access them. That’s why we can’t be satisfied with just discovering new medicines and making them available – we must make sure communities have the chance to use them. I consider it part of my responsibility to give back to society in a way that makes a big impact.

My experience as a veteran and physician has also shaped my passion and perspective on the importance of access to health. I worked in the Air Force for the first 17 and a half years of my career, and was very active in patient care, clinical research and basic science research. I decided that I wanted to continue that line of work, so when I parted ways with the military, I pursued my passion for research and taking care of patients.

Social responsibility has always been at the core of my belief system, because I believe that every individual and corporation has the responsibility to give back to society. Working with Astellas USA Foundation has enabled me to do so in one of the most valuable ways possible. For all of us in the healthcare industry, turning science into value for patients is more than just a phrase – it is our responsibility – and we must do what we can to help ensure access.

However, there is always more need than resources any one company can provide. It is critical we focus on the process, the integrity and the criteria by which we fund organizations, rather than the “who” or “how.” Astellas USA Foundation focuses on the specific areas of Health and Well-Being; Disaster Response; and STEM education programs. So far, our focus on these specific areas has helped with funding to vaccinate more than 200,000 children in Latin America against the measles; provided funding for more than 4,500 free health screenings for athletes with intellectual disabilities at Special Olympics Illinois; and funded the delivery of medicine, medical supplies and technical support to clinics through an organization that is serving more uninsured and underinsured patients.

Astellas USA Foundation Board members play a critical role in holding Astellas USA Foundation to a clear, transparent process. We support the strategy development and governance to ensure grant selections that are fair and nonbiased.

With Health and Well-Being, our goal is simple yet powerful – enrich the quality of life for all people by helping them access the medications and support they need. The organizations we partner with allow us to reach the communities we serve, both at home and abroad. Our focus concentrates on not only helping with support for immediate medical access, but also for the implementation of healthy practices for today’s youth, so that they grow into healthy adults and support a more sustainable future.

Astellas USA Foundation also appreciates the efforts of Astellas employee volunteers to help increase access to critical care and preventative medicine, and advance our Living Smart Program. Living Smart means not only taking responsibility for our own health and well-being, but also working together to build the health and well-being of our communities and the people living in them.

I’m proud to serve a Foundation that shares my passion to give back and make this world a better place. By filling these gaps of care and supporting healthy living, we’re doing just that.”