ERG Events Serve Local Communities from Health Awareness to Back to School Drives
Edwards aspires to be a global leader dedicated to fostering an inclusive culture where all employees grow and thrive. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help bring employees with common interests together where they have an opportunity to share and connect. Many of our ERGs actively participate in local volunteer activities supporting and aligning with Edwards’ Strengthen Our Community focus
In 2019, the African Heritage Forum, part of our Multicultural ERG, participated in the Spirit of the Heart Community Education & Heath Fair, the first-ever held in Orange County, in partnership with with the
Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.
(ABC) and the National Council of Negro Women. The Spirit of the Heart initiative is a community-based program designed to help community leaders, consumers and others understand the disparities of cardiovascular disease and raise awareness that heart disease is preventable with adequate access to care and heart healthy practices that are essential for optimal living. With a grant from the Edwards Foundation, ABC along with local physicians helped bring heart valve disease awareness to underserved communities in Orange County. The weekend consisted of a Health & Wellness Fair and a Community Forum featuring presentations from distinguished guests, experts and community leaders aiming to close the gap and engage others to improve their cardiovascular health.
Our Enable Disability ERG celebrated Autism Awareness Month by hosting an education and awareness event featuring Aaron Likens, an award-winning public speaker and author. More than 100 employees attended the event where they gained insight from Aaron’s “Five Most Important Things to Know About Individuals Affected by Autism.” In an effort to leverage the strength of our diverse workforce through greater inclusion, the Enable ERG exists to support employees directly and indirectly affected by disabilities, identify ways to recruit and employ individuals affected by disabilities and to support and identify ways to contribute to the company and community at large. Our Enable ERG also coordinated volunteer teams to build adaptive tricycles for individuals with special needs. In partnership with OC Special Spokes, the top winning teams presented bikes to individuals at the Enable ERG Disabilities Awareness Month event.
Our Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA) and the Middle Eastern Employee Resource Group (MEERG) partnered with Project Hope Alliance for a back to school drive in Orange County. More than 130 volunteers contributed to the success of the event and school supplies were distributed to children currently enrolled in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Our employees generosity had a direct impact on the children’s educational success; empowering them as they began a new school year. Project Hope Alliance is a non-profit organization with a mission of “Ending the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.” HOLA’s vision is to enhance the talent of all employees, increasing leadership impact to Edwards and the local Hispanic Community. MEERG’s mission is to unite individuals empowered by Middle Eastern culture to cultivate, inspire, and contribute to the community through personal and leadership development.
Total Wellness Inspires Employees with “Well-Being Your Way”
As a dancer and cheerleader growing up, Amy Hytowitz, Sr. Director, Global Communications at Edwards, was active and fit. However, after two pregnancies and a million delicious life celebrations, Amy began to move less and eat more, and she gained a considerable amount of weight. She became sluggish and increasingly concerned about the effect her unhealthy choices were having on those around her, including her children. When she joined Edwards Lifesciences, she saw the healthy choices of her colleagues and she was inspired to join a local health program where she met with a health care professional once a week to review her biometrics, which helped her understand how her lifestyle habits were affecting her body. She also attended weekly meetings led by a nutritionist where she learned tips and tricks from peers who were going through similar journeys. Amy also committed to exercising 3-4 times a week to stay active. Since then, she has lost 75 pounds and is motivated to keep going. “This is a continuous journey but the changes I’ve seen have been remarkable,” Amy shares. “Not only am I healthier, I’m also emotionally lighter and I feel like I’m having a positive impact on those around me.”
Our Total Wellness program inspires employees to build upon healthy habits and, in 2019 through its “Well-Being Your Way” initiative, provided a special focus on mental, cardiovascular and financial well-being. From living an active lifestyle to better nutrition and managing stress, Total Wellness provided employees with valuable information to optimize their well-being all year long.