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Abbott is Inspiring a Blood Donation Movement

What do soccer and blood donation have in common? Cristiano Ronaldo is passionate about both.

Cristiano Ronaldo
In October 2015, Abbott (No. 14 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) and Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo launched the BE THE 1 Donor movement to inspire people to donate blood, especially first-time donors. Since then, the movement has gained momentum around the world.

So far, more than 80 blood and plasma centers in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Northern Ireland, Kuwait, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States have embraced the campaign.

Here are some ways blood and plasma centers have helped bring BE THE 1 to life:

- It starts with getting the word out: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) unveiled a variety of BE THE 1 advertisements to encourage people to donate. The DHA also hosted a press conference and provided mobile blood-donation stations across the city to promote the campaign. As a result, blood donations in Dubai increased by 37 percent, with 40 percent of donations coming from first-time donors.

Appearing in Dubai's Al Bayan newspaper

- Resolve to help others: At the beginning of 2016, the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service launched BE THE 1 to encourage people to make blood donation a New Year's resolution. After giving blood, donors were invited to take selfies next to pop-up stands featuring Cristiano Ronaldo.

- Appeal to soccer fans: The Danish Blood Donor Association played the BE THE 1 video featuring Ronaldo at various soccer matches to inspire new donors.

- Drive to donors: The National Blood Transfusion Service in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria, hosted its first community blood drive with a BE THE 1 bus to encourage people to become regular, voluntary donors. According to the World Health Organization, an adequate supply of safe blood can only be assured by a steady base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors. These donors are also the safest group as the rate of blood-born infections is lowest among this group. Currently, only 10 percent of blood donations in Nigeria are from voluntary donors. The National Blood Transfusion Service in Ibadan hopes to change that trend through ongoing activities like blood drives with the BE THE 1 bus.

Driving the message across Nigeria

- There's an impact around the world: For example, in the cases of Kuwait and Zambia, the launch of this program helped these regions to experience a 30 percent increase and a 22 percent increase in donations, respectively.

In addition to the countries mentioned above, BE THE 1 activations are also underway in Belgium, Switzerland, Thailand, and many more locations.

Inspiring donors at a Red Cross blood-donation center in Thailand

It's not just about blood — plasma is needed, too

Plasma, which is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood, carries out a variety of functions in the body, such as blood clotting, fighting diseases and other important functions. When donated, this component is used to produce therapies that treat people with rare, chronic diseases and disorders such as primary immunodeficiency, hemophilia and a genetic lung disease, as well as in the treatment of trauma, burns and shock. In 2016, the BE THE 1 movement also started encouraging people to consider plasma donation. Similar to blood donation, the plasma donation process is safe. The first appointment will take about 2 hours, while return visits can take about 90 minutes.

Why blood and plasma donation are so important

- Blood is not just used for emergencies, but also for the treatment of chronic conditions, such as sickle cell disease or cancer.

- Approximately 1,200 plasma donations are needed to treat one patient for hemophilia.

- While donating blood or plasma takes time, when put into perspective, this single act can help a number of people.

- The blood or plasma used for emergencies or treatments needs to be on the shelf beforehand.

Join the movement!

To join Cristiano Ronaldo and become a part of BE THE 1 movement, follow these easy steps:

1. Visit www.bethe1donor.com

2. Click on the "Join the Movement" button to share on Facebook that you're part of the movement

3. Click on the "Donate Blood & Plasma Now" button to find where you can donate

4. Click on the "View & Share" button to watch and share Cristiano's video on Facebook

Abbott: Ending the AIDS Epidemic is Within Reach

At the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, it was hard to imagine ending the AIDS epidemic.

Originally Published by Abbott.

As we approach the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, on December 1, we celebrate the tremendous progress made, and focus on working together to banish this epidemic to the history books.

Shooting for the Goal

While there is not a cure for HIV, we have made significant progress in testing and treating the virus, plus monitoring how people are responding to treatment – moving us closer to ending the epidemic. Today, three out of four people living with HIV know their status, a vital first step to getting treatment. And thanks to sustained access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), people with HIV are living longer and healthier lives.

As we work together to continue the fight against this global epidemic, goals have been set to reach specific targets so that AIDS is no longer a threat to our public health. To meet these targets, experts from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) established the 90-90-90 plan to step up the HIV response so that by 2020:

  • 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status
  • 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained ART
  • 90 percent of all people receiving ART will have viral suppression

To make these goals a reality, the global health community must accelerate efforts for people to get tested, putting outreach programs in place that meet the needs in different parts of the world.

Testing is Key

For more than 30 years, Abbott has helped in the fight against HIV and AIDS. We're especially proud of our scientists who worked nonstop to develop the first HIV blood test, approved by the U.S. FDA in 1985, and of our team of Virus Hunters who relentlessly search the globe for signs of new strains of the virus.

Abbott's broad range of tests span the entire continuum of care for people at risk for HIV or living with the virus whether they are getting treatment at a public health clinic in Chicago or living in a remote village in Uganda. Abbott's tests are also used to screen more than 60 percent of the world's blood supply, helping keep it safe from infectious diseases.

While significant progress has been made, one challenge in reaching the 90-90-90 goals is making testing technology accessible to everyone, including people living in remote areas. Outside of the U.S., Abbott is helping address this issue with the collection of a few drops of dried blood on a special paper. These samples can be transported without immediate refrigeration for testing, making it possible for clinicians to monitor their patients' HIV treatment response.

An additional gap that needs to be addressed is diagnosing HIV in infants, for whom time is of the essence because nearly half of HIV-positive babies who don't receive timely treatment die before they reach the age of two. Outside of the U.S., Abbott is tackling this challenge by providing an early infant diagnosis test that offers same-day results at the point of care. Mothers often travel many miles to bring their babies for a doctor's visit, so being able to provide same-visit results enables faster access to HIV treatment.

We Could Make It Happen

No one organization can end the AIDS epidemic on its own. Over the years, Abbott has established several partnerships to increase access to testing to key populations.

The global health community has the tools and technology to help create a future in which AIDS is no longer a threat to our public health. But it's going to take all of us working together, using all the tools at our disposal, to do so. On World AIDS Day and every day, let's do our part to put an end to this epidemic. Talk to your doctor and encourage others to get tested for HIV.

Abbott: Top Internship for Healthcare and Tech

Interns have spoken: Abbott is the top college internship program for healthcare and tech & engineering.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott recognizes the need to develop its future leaders early, and has been named the top healthcare and tech & engineering internship program by Vault.

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Scientists Name Abbott a Top Workplace

The results are in: Abbott's a top 20 workplace for scientists.

Originally Published by Abbott.

What do scientists at Abbott do?

They create tiny, life-saving devices for baby's hearts, seek out neurons that cause Parkinson's and develop tests for Zika. They invent wearable sensors that eliminate the need for painful fingerpricks for people with diabetes. They drive breakthroughs in infant formula and make it possible to test half the world's blood supply.

They are our superheroes. And today, they've named us one of theirs.

After Science Magazine surveyed scientists at biotech companies around the world – ranking each on 23 characteristics from financial strength to having a research-driven environment – Abbott has landed for the 15th year on its Top Employers list.

The Brighton Consulting Group independently evaluated each company's employer reputation score, considering factors such as whether it treats its employees with respect and whether its work-culture values align with employees' personal values.

One of the coolest things about being a scientist at Abbott is we have tracks for both management – and science. You can continue to climb while never giving up the research you love, or you can choose to take a management track and lead a team. There are paths for advancement for both.

Last year alone, we launched more than 20 life-changing technologies around the globe. We do work that matters.

Abbott Named Global Industry Leader In Sustainability

Company achieves more than double the overall average industry score and maintains top industry scores in economic and social performance.

For the sixth consecutive year, Abbott (NYSE: ABT) has been named the leading company in its industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), one of the most prestigious global benchmarks for corporate sustainability and responsibility. As the industry leader in Health Care Equipment & Supplies, Abbott is one of the 60 companies recognized for leading their respective global industries.

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NEW COVERAGE DECISION EXTENDS ABBOTT'S INNOVATIVE PAIN THERAPY OPTION TO 22 MILLION AMERICANS LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN

Abbott is the only company in the world with FDA and CE Mark approval to offer dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurostimulation therapy to treat complex nerve pain conditions.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott announced a new national coverage determination for the company's dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurostimulation pain therapy through Aetna®, a leading health benefits company in the United States. With this coverage decision, Aetna will provide more than 22 million medical plan members with access to Abbott's DRG therapy for people with chronic pain.

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Abbott: DRG Stimulator, A Life Changing Technology for Chronic Pain.

The new technological DRG therapy may be the key to easing daily tasks for those with chronic pain.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Living with chronic pain affects not just your body but also your mind. It can make getting around and getting along equally difficult.

But with innovation in health technology comes hope. Abbott has developed a new device found to be more effective than traditional therapy at relieving chronic pain.

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Abbott: Expediting Blood Testing With i-Stat

The portable, handheld i-STAT Alinity delivers quick blood test results anywhere you are.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Every day, countless blood samples are tested all around the world for one purpose: to help diagnose and treat medical conditions. From the couple eagerly awaiting the results of a pregnancy blood test to a worried cancer patient hoping for more answers, diagnostic blood tests give vital insight into what's happening underneath the skin.

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Abbott: Freestyle Libre 14 Day, Now FDA Approved

Abbott's flash glucose monitor now FDA-approved for two weeks of use in U.S. between sensor changes.

Originally Published by Abbott.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved FreeStyle Libre 14 day— Abbott's revolutionary continuous glucose monitoring system. In the U.S., you can wear the sensor up to 14 days with high accuracy.

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