Sustainability Report > Workforce > Volunteerism & Giving

Volunteerism & Giving

Management approach


Edwards Lifesciences’ work to encourage Volunteerism and Giving supports our Aspiration to Strengthen Our Communities.

Dedicating time and resources to communities where Edwards’ employees live and work, and supporting community health and well-being


Management Approach

Edwards Lifesciences believes our work can inspire greater hope and possibilities for our patients, employees and communities. Volunteerism and giving is a strong part of our corporate culture. Many of our employees identify this commitment as a key reason why they are proud to work at Edwards.

Philanthropy at Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards strategically aligns our Global Corporate Giving program with our mission to enhance care for cardiovascular and critically ill patients and strengthen our global communities. These initiatives include grants from the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, employee volunteerism, a scholarship program, corporate donations and employee gift matching from our Foundation. We provide a full list of our philanthropic goals on our website, which include:

  • Supporting research and education for heart valve treatments
  • Strengthening the communities where our employees live and work
  • Growing awareness of cardiovascular disease
  • Providing employee volunteer activities
  • Enhancing and supporting access to care for underserved patients

Edwards has a strong community presence at our corporate headquarters in Irvine, Calif. We open our campus as a meeting place and provide externships for local organizations such as Girls Inc. of Orange County. We also engage with communities at our global facilities. For example, in Singapore, Edwards employees have developed a Wellness Outreach Committee that focuses on improving opportunities to serve the community. Additionally, our Switzerland office participates in local events for the Special Olympics.

Employee Volunteerism & Giving

Edwards’ employees are caring individuals with a shared mission to improve lives. Our aspiration is to engage 100 percent of employees in charitable and philanthropic activities every year. The Strengthen Our Community volunteer program offers opportunities for employees to engage hands-on in this effort. Past activities range from participation in fundraising marches, providing free heart screenings for underserved patients and honoring veterans through the Greenlight A Vet movement. Additionally, we make available our employee matching gift program to match donations from $50–1,000 for each employee annually.

The Edwards Lifesciences Foundation

We established the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation to support our philanthropic initiatives. The Foundation’s goals include expanding access to care, growing awareness about cardiovascular disease and strengthening the communities where our employees live and work. We organize these activities into three categories:

  • Support for our Every Heartbeat Matters program to educate, screen and/or treat underserved patients in need
  • Health-focused programs that advance health care, increase awareness or provide direct care for patients
  • Community programs that offer avenues for employee volunteerism

Product Donations

Edwards’ belief in humanity and compassion form the foundation of our global philanthropic efforts. We donate our life-saving products and expertise to medical missions and training programs worldwide. These technologies help provide cardiac services in some of the most impoverished parts of the world that lack even basic medical care. In 2000, we established a partnership with AmeriCares, an international non-profit relief and humanitarian aid organization. Since then, we have provided millions of dollars of in-kind donations that support mission trips to more than 30 countries.

Increasing Access to Cardiovascular Care

We title our signature philanthropic initiative Every Heartbeat Matters, reflecting our belief that all patients deserve access to cardiovascular care. We have pledged our support to impacting the global burden of heart valve disease by supporting the education, screening and treatment of one million underserved people by 2020. More information about this initiative can be found on our Access to Healthcare page.

Annual Performance

Edwards is energized by our work to support those in need and seeks to embed this spirit throughout our culture, encouraging our employees to give back. In 2015, 74 percent of our global employees reported they participated in at least one volunteer activity in the past 12 months. Every year, we aspire to move closer to our target of 100 percent employee engagement in volunteerism, including 100 percent participation by our Executive and Senior Leadership Teams. 

Community activities at our global facilities included:

  • Our employees in Haina, Dominican Republic have served on each of the quarterly pediatric cardiac surgery missions of International Children’s Heart Foundation, providing language translation between the English speaking medical staff and the Spanish speaking families of children undergoing open heart surgery.
  • A group of employees in Haina participated in a local coastal clean-up event.
  • Edwards’ Korea team volunteered to help the homeless in Seoul by preparing and serving lunch for approximately 1,000 underserved people.
  • A group of employees from China assembled cost-effective wheelchairs and distributed them to impoverished disabled people.

Our Philanthropic Contributions

The Edwards Lifesciences Foundation publishes an annual list of grantees of our philanthropic initiatives. In 2015, we contributed $5.8 million from our Foundation to non-profit organizations across the globe. Additionally, we publish a list of the grant recipients for our Every Heartbeat Matters initiative on our website. Since the launch of this initiative, we have supported the education, screening and/or treatment of more than 200,000 underserved people. We’re proud of this progress and are on track to meet our 2020 goal to serve one million underserved people in our pursuit of impacting the global burden of heart valve disease.

Aim to have 100% of ELT and SLT participate in at least one philanthropic activity per year.
Strengthen Our Communities
Increase employee participation in philanthropic activities every year toward our aspiration of 100%.
Strengthen Our Communities
Edwards Lifesciences’ Christine McCauley on Health and Wellness
Edwards’ Corporate Vice President of Human Resources, Christine McCauley, thinks of health from a holistic perspective. “A lot of people hear ‘wellness’ and they think immediately of exercise and nutrition, but it’s so much more than that,” she says. Given the demands of work and family, Christine reduces stress by scheduling downtime with family and friends. She adds exercise to her everyday activities by choosing a far parking spot at the grocery store or taking the stairs. In addition, she places a strong emphasis on preventive care. “I go for my annual physical every year and I want to ‘know my numbers,’” she says.
Christine also works hard to keep wellness a priority at Edwards, and to protect Edwards’ investment in our wellness programs. “It helps having strong employee involvement. Programs are well attended and employees show a lot of interest,” she says. “We offer a broad spectrum of choices so there should be something for everyone.”