What makes a great partnership?
Across fields as diverse as business, athletics and even the arts, there are some consistent answers to this question. Whether it’s Lennon and McCartney or Ben and Jerry, a handful of fundamental principles persist; shared values, complementary skills and overlapping ambitions top the list.
The partnership between BD Canada (formerly Bard Canada) and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario illustrates the power of connection and collaboration. Together, BD and SCIO help those living with a spinal cord injury achieve greater health, independence and quality of life. Each partner focuses on their unique abilities, which makes the teamwork stronger and benefits everyone impacted by an SCI.
Values in Action
SCIO is defined by that bold spirit first exemplified by the WW2 veterans who founded this pioneering organization. In its mission to advance the world of health care, BD Canada is similarly committed to providing innovative solutions that improve lives. In its partnership with SCIO, those solutions lie specifically in bladder care devices and infection prevention.
“The design of our products goes hand in hand with education,” says Randy Meisner, Account Manager within the international business division of BD Canada. “We help educate institutions and individuals on safety best practices to reduce the possibility of urinary tract infections. That is one part of our commitment to advancing health. Another is continually improving medical technologies to meet the needs of our users.”
Ari Wahl, Director of Resource Development at SCIO, appreciates the value BD places on both education and product development. Following a spinal cord injury, there is only so much time for education in a hospital setting and, generally, only a narrow range of products are on hand. Plus, even years after injury, changes in life circumstances may demand a new approach to bladder care.
“Randy has spent time educating SCIO staff and clients about additional options to consider that support independence and quality of life,” says Ari. “We want our clients to understand the wide range of choices available to them. Randy’s work and BD’s sponsorship of our bladder and bowel web page has made it easier to learn about and sample products so our clients can make informed choices.”
As with all great teams, BD Canada and SCIO bring complementary strengths to this partnership. On the one hand can be found the research and development behind innovative technologies, such as catheters that offer ease of use and reduce the risk of UTIs. On the other lies the evidence-based studies, personal experience and professional outreach that helps thousands of individuals navigate the challenging journey of life with a spinal cord injury.
The expertise SCIO offers its community is outstanding,” says Randy. “And their passion and commitment to their mission is just plain inspiring. That makes it easy for BD to join in their efforts, learn from them, and respond to the feedback we gather from their members. The best solutions are found through collaboration.
Advocacy work also benefits from collaboration. Among other events, Randy has attended Queen’s Park Day, which raises awareness on important issues related to living with an SCI. Two of those issues are accessibility and financial support for the cost of medical devices.
“We’re grateful for BD Canada’s commitment toward our community’s safety and security,” says Peter Athanasopoulos, Director of Public Policy at SCIO. “Their willingness to explore solutions for access and affordability of medical supplies is an impressive part of that commitment.”
Where else do the ambitions of SCIO and BD Canada overlap? In the space between good corporate citizenship and the need to fill funding gaps. With government providing about 80% of its funding, SCIO relies heavily on corporate support, special events and individual donations to make up the remaining 20%.
“We’re a really small organization compared to a lot of other charities,” says Ari. “We serve a very small, specialized client base that requires specialized and expensive solutions to support independence. We’re reliant on partnerships to fulfil our mission.”
On its side, BD’s mission to advance the world of health is partly fulfilled by its philanthropic and charitable efforts. The company is committed to improving access to health care, and urology devices play no small part in individual and community health.
“We need greater access and affordability for everyone who relies on these kinds of products,” says Randy. “This is ultimately an issue of human freedom and human dignity. That’s why BD so strongly supports the work of SCIO. This is a leading nonprofit organization that requires investment in its programs and initiatives so that people living with an SCI can enjoy the active, independent lives they deserve.”
Here’s a final measure of great partnerships: reward on all sides. When financial generosity meets excellence in service, support and advocacy for people with an SCI, everyone wins.