Honoring Our Employees at the Third Annual Social Impact Awards
At Sanofi, we are driven by our belief that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to thrive, to be healthy, to be an innovator and to be part of a flourishing community. In a continued effort to give back, Sanofi launched a company-wide “We Volunteer” program this year to further our commitment to supporting our employees in positively impacting society. In the U.S., with nearly 2,000 employees participating in volunteer programs across the country, We Volunteer accounted for more than 12,000 hours of service in its inaugural year – an inspiring affirmation of the value we can bring to make a difference in people’s lives.
Our third annual Social Impact Awards celebrate employees who have made exceptional contributions to the communities in which we live and work. Nominated by their peers, the recipients of these awards have been recognized for their dedication, generosity and service. We are proud to provide a donation to each of the awardees’ chosen organization to help ensure the longevity of this impactful work.
Health Equity Award: Helping to advance solutions intended to reduce barriers to quality health or healthcare.
Winner: Team Improved Access (Donation to Diabetes Sisters)
- Kati Sadiwnyk, Head of Diabetes Innovation & Diabetes Portfolio, General Medicines
- Jonathan Amar, Senior Corporate Counsel of Market Access, Corporate Affairs & U.S. General Medicines Legal
- Peter J. Agnoletto, Compliance Officer, General Medicines and Consumer Healthcare
- Michael Sanchez, Director of Patient Programs, General Medicines
- Jack Shanagher, Associate Director of U.S. Diabetes and Cardiovascular Communications
For Team Improved Access, addressing health disparities and inequities for diabetes patients in under-resourced communities meant learning about and understanding the challenges people living with diabetes face and acting in their best interest. Collaborating with Sanofi’s humanitarian aid partner, Direct Relief, the team created a new patient program to provide donated insulin and combination diabetes medicines to a network of community healthcare facilities. The program provides patients access to insulin and combination diabetes medicines for free at the time of prescription.
“Now, free community clinics have donated product on hand to dispense at the point of care, which relieves the patient of an often-challenging trip back to the HCP to pick up shipped insulin from a manufacturer program,” says Kati Sadiwnyk, Head of Diabetes Innovation & Diabetes Portfolio, General Medicines.
STEM Education Equity Award: Helping to build the knowledge and skills of teachers and/or students.
Winner: Colleen Canion, Medical Lead of Personal Care Category, Medical Product & Development, Consumer Healthcare Medical Affairs (Donation to 100 Black Women Inc. Chattanooga Chapter)
As a member of the Chattanooga Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Colleen Canion has been working to foster women and young girls in areas of education, leadership, critical thinking, economic empowerment, and health since 2004. Recently, she organized a day at Sanofi for 25 students from the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy to learn about science from a panel of eight Sanofi employees with diverse backgrounds and careers. As part of their day, they toured three plant locations to learn about manufacturing processes and had hands-on experience performing experiments – her work helps ensure that more diverse students enter STEM fields.
Colleen says, “Because our program follows the same students until graduation (4 years), I am always amazed and proud of the 'growth' shown by the students, their college choices, and their career preparation. Our work is reflected there.”
Local People, Local Priorities Award: Positively impacting important issues in local communities.
- Paul Cox, Health Value Translation Lead of Health Value Translation (Donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity)
- Tameko Patterson, Deputy Director of Project Management, Vaccine Industrial Affairs (Donation to Greater Pocono National Council of Negro Women, Inc.)
- Brian Washburn, Head of Sales of Rare Diseases Field Sales (Donation to C.A.R.E. John 3:16 Center)
- Tasha D. Wright, One Finance Development Enablement Lead, One Finance Experience, Finance (Donation to Docky D. Altruist)
- Sunee Reiner, Oncology Team Leader of US Clinical Studies Unit (Donation to ProMedica Hospice Memorial Fund)
- Yongjing Jane Guo, Principal Scientist, Lab Head BiCEP, R&D (Donation to BCAA benefitting Belmont Celebrates AAPI Heritage)
- Michelle K. Ritchea-Freedman, Associate Director of Quality Compliance, Framingham Biologics, Specialty Care (Donation to Susan G. Komen)
Paul Cox is known as the “Godfather” of the Sanofi Mentorship Program for his dedication to the program, its participants and his continued championing of a diverse workforce. Over the last three years, Paul has devoted his time to mentoring students at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, many of whom are first-generation college students.
Tameko Patterson’s commitment to improving life in the Pocono Mountains stems from her belief in serving the communities in which we live. Whether it's organizing breast cancer awareness events for women in Monroe County, volunteering to feed the homeless, donating gifts to children in foster care, or offering free STEM and college prep programs for high school students, she can be found almost anywhere there is need.
Brian Washburn partners with the non-profit organization Wake the World – joining fellow boat owners in his community to bring watersports to children from impoverished counties of North Carolina for an exciting day on the water that they otherwise may never have. “Finding opportunities to volunteer and bring our communities closer together is often right in front of us, but we need to open our eyes and hearts to make an effort to make things better,” said Brian.
Tasha D. Wright is always thinking of new ways to give back. This year alone, she inspired Sanofi employees to help sponsor families in need through the "Lasagna Love" initiative; collaborated with the YMCA of Newark and Sanofi Consumer Healthcare to help those with basic needs; and led the development of a new partnership with WISE ERG and Raphael’s Life House for the Covenant House in New Jersey. She can often be found in employee development initiatives such as leading a speed-networking event with Rutgers Business School and Sanofi employees.
As a hospice volunteer, Sunee Reiner visits hospice patients in their home or healthcare facility – spending time listening to their stories, reading to them, and supporting them however they may need. Sunee also serves as a vigil volunteer, sitting with patients during their final moments of life or providing respite to their families or caregivers. Experiencing personal loss in her life has inspired Sunee to help others through this difficult time. She says, “Being in the service of others is the true key to happiness and purpose in this world. I truly believe we are here to help walk each other home.”
Yongjing Jane Guo serves as a key volunteer for “Belmont Celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage” in Massachusetts, helping to organize and promote cultural events each year to honor outstanding AAPI contributors. For Jane, the most inspiring part of this work is increasing awareness and recognition of AAPI heritage in the community, which has not only helped celebrate and educate on AAPI values and traditions but also raised funds to provide AAPI books, educational materials and films to local communities.
Michelle K. Ritchea-Freedman recently helped organize and participated in her 33rd Susan G. Komen fundraiser event for breast cancer awareness. Michelle’s commitment to Susan G. Komen walks and other events such as Relay for Life, Making Strides, and Race for the Cure stems from the heartbreaking loss of her mother to breast cancer. For Michelle, volunteering for her community is a privilege. “That feeling you get when you are walking and volunteering is beyond compare,” she says.
Tony Whalen Mentorship Award: Named after our colleague who lost his life due to complications from COVID-19. Tony exemplified the spirit of service and giving of himself to others.
Winner: M. Omari Adkins, Thought Leader Liaison, Allergy/ENT, Specialty Care (Donation to So Others Might Eat)
For over 30 years, Omari Adkins, has worked tirelessly to support at-risk youth. He volunteers as a tutor at a Washington, D.C., elementary school program focused on supporting African American male students. The students, who named their group “Intelligent Black Males” meet each week to focus on academic improvement and character development. The group served as an award-winning model for other schools in the county. He has also volunteered his time as a sports coach and trainer of African American and Latino young men, with many residing in challenging environments. Growing up with his own support system of teachers, coaches and individuals in his community, Omari thinks of his volunteering as his way of paying it forward.
“I wish others understood how important consistency is with young people. Especially those young men with challenging home lives. In many cases, all they ever see is inconsistency in those that should be helping and caring. When they realize that not only do I care, but I am also consistent in my efforts, their response is often overwhelming,” says Omari.