Category Archives: 3BL Media

Greater Twin Cities United Way and Medtronic Join Forces to Advance Health Equity in Minnesota

SOURCE: Medtronic


MINNEAPOLIS, August 20, 2014 /3BL Media/ Greater Twin Cities United Way today strengthened their long-standing commitment to improving the health and well-being of Twin Cities’ communities by teaming up with Medtronic Philanthropy on a new partnership designed to promote access to quality healthcare in the region. This commitment is a five-year, $2.5-million initiative that will leverage shared research, resources and community-based approaches to give people in underserved communities a better chance to understand and manage their health, and to see a doctor or healthcare professional in their neighborhood.   

Ultimately, the partnership aims to reduce health-related inequities, anchored with an effort which will significantly increase the number and capacity of front line healthcare workers.  These workers will function in lower income communities to help people better manage their health and navigate available resources.     

An assessment to identify and prioritize neighborhoods with the greatest need for access to community-based care within the Twin Cities is already underway. The initial results will be released in early 2015 and are expected to further guide the partnership’s disparity reduction efforts.

Across the Twin Cities, chronic, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer continue to disproportionately affect people in medically underserved communities, including those who cannot afford care, cannot travel to care because of distance or health, have limited knowledge of their condition or how to navigate their local health care system, and do not know how or are unable, to advocate for themselves.  Chronic disease also carries a significant financial impact.  According to a 2008 Trust for America’s Health study, about $5 billion annually is spent in Minnesota for chronic disease treatment.

A recent Minnesota Department of Health report notes that too many Minnesotans aren’t as healthy as they could be.  It also notes the health disparities that exist are significant, persistent and cannot be explained by bio-genetic factors.  And, put in stark terms, a Robert Wood Foundation report states that life expectancy within Minnesota depends on zip code.  A person born in an affluent suburb of Minneapolis or St. Paul has a life expectancy of 83+ years, while a person born in an inner city neighborhood of either city has a life expectancy of only 70-75 years.

“There are significant inequities in healthcare access. Immigrants, people of color and people living in poverty are the populations that experience this at higher levels and are particularly at risk,” said Sarah Caruso, president and chief executive officer of Greater Twin Cities United Way.  “Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest states in the nation; however, we still have one of the highest incidences of chronic disease.  If one lives in a neighborhood with limited resources, health care access remains separate and unequal. By partnering with Medtronic Philanthropy, we’re striving to correct the course and aim for healthcare parity and healthy communities. ”

Research published in the American Journal of Public Health[i] underscores that community healthcare workers make a meaningful impact by interacting with people where they gather – such as community centers or houses of worship – and serving as liaisons to the healthcare community.  They are effective at helping people navigate healthy systems and resources, raising awareness of health issues and prevention and management options, and improving the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.

“Increasing the number of healthcare workers who reflect the cultures and languages of communities in greatest need is a critical component to improve health equity, and is crucial for delivering cost-effective, localized interventions to meet the health-related needs of our entire region,” said Jacob A. Gayle, PhD, vice president, Medtronic Philanthropy.   “By investing in community healthcare workers, we hope to bring care to the door of the underserved, including racial and ethnic minority populations.  This will not only yield a high return in the form of reduced cost of care, but with improvements in individual health, we can expect increased contributions from family members, friends and coworkers.  That means a stronger Minnesota.”

Medtronic Philanthropy and United Way also will work to engage other community leaders and organizations who are interested in joining its efforts, in order to build a strong coalition aimed at reducing disparities. 

“Everybody deserves a fair opportunity to take ownership of their health. But if, for any number of socioeconomic reasons, you don’t have access to seeing a doctor or healthcare professional, then that fair opportunity is elusive,” said Gayle.  “We are hopeful our approach will make a difference, and hope others will join in the advancement of healthcare access.”

About Greater Twin Cities United Way
Greater Twin Cities United Way collaborates with business, government and nonprofit organizations to build pathways out of poverty.  We LIVE UNITED to help children succeed, stabilize families and empower healthy lives.  United Way serves Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and western Washington counties.  To volunteer, go to United Way Caring Connection.  To learn about United Way 2-1-1™ the multilingual, statewide information and referral service, visit United Way 2-1-1 or dial 2-1-1 from a landline, (651) 291-0211 from a cell phone or locally, or statewide toll-free (800) 543-7709.  For more information or to give online, visit or call (612) 340-7400.

About Medtronic and Medtronic Philanthropy
Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.  Medtronic Philanthropy focuses on expanding access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide (


[i] Predictors and a Framework for Fostering Community Advocacy as a Community Health Worker Core Function to Eliminate Health Disparities Samantha SaboMaia IngramKerstin M. ReinschmidtKenneth SchachterLaurel JacobsJill Guernsey de ZapienLaurie RobinsonScott Carvajal

American Journal of Public Health: July 2013, Vol. 103, No. 7: e67–e73.


Tweet me: Greater Twin Cities United Way and Medtronic join forces to advance health equity in Minnesota #MDT #philanthropy

Contact Info:

Marsha Pitts-Phillips
Greater Twin Cities United Way
+1 (612) 340-7401

Rich Fischer
+1 (763) 505-2975

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Health, Medtronic, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Health Equity, Minnesota, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), underserved communities, healthcare access

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How Kleenex, Quaker Oats, and H&M are Embracing CSR in Back-to-School Campaigns

by Chris Daniels



In the fashion industry, H&M North America is working with charity KIDS/Fashion Delivers on its back-to-school campaign. From August 21 to September 3, the retailer will give a new item of denim apparel to someone in need through the nonprofit for each piece of denim bought at one of its stores.

It is promoting the partnership through media relations, social media, and digital, as well as in-store backing.

“Back-to-school is an important time in a child’s life, and some children are not fortunate enough to be able to buy new clothes for school,” says Marybeth Schmitt, continental communications manager at H&M North America, via email. “Our partnership with KIDS/Fashion Delivers with our Wear Denim, Share Denim campaign provides us the opportunity to reach over 800 charities impacted by poverty.”

continue reading the original article on PR Week

Tweet me: How @Kleenex, @Quaker Oats, and @HM are embracing #CSR in #backtoschool campaigns via @PRWeek

KEYWORDS: Education, Business & Trade, back to school, H&M, quaker oats, Kleenex, csr

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Connections Matter in Mexico’s Northern Border Region

SOURCE: Cisco Systems Inc.


In Monterrey, Mexico, deep economic and social gaps separate rich from poor, educated from uneducated, legal from illegal. In 2008, the city started experiencing violence related to turf battles between warring drug cartels. Drug use and high murder rates continue to steal the lives of youth, tempting those who lack the skills for traditional jobs into much higher-paying, high-risk careers of narcotics and crime.

To help young people withstand the pressure of crime and violence in cities near the United States-Mexico border, Cisco has partnered with World Learning and the United States Agency for International Development to provide information and communications technology (ICT) and entrepreneurship training at high schools. Cisco Networking Academy courses are offered as part of the program. In the first year, almost 500 students participated.

The ICT Networking and Entrepreneurship Skills Development Project is designed to foster stronger and more resilient communities, give at-risk youth access to safe spaces, and build the ICT and entrepreneurship skills base in the northern Mexican cities of Ciudad Juarez, Monterrey, and Tijuana.

Read more about this program in a blog from our partner World Learning on Huffington Post ImapctX.

Tweet me: Connecting students in Mexico’s Northern Border Region w/the @CiscoNetAcad #IT Essentials course via @CiscoCSR

KEYWORDS: Technology, Business & Trade, at-risk Youth, border city, cisco csr, Corporate Social Responsibility, future workforce, ICT skills

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A Heart for Humanitarian Efforts

Being part of a global community that stands up for humanity isn’t everyone’s mission, but for one Ph.D. in Psychology student at Walden University, it’s her destiny.

SOURCE: Walden University


Walden University doctoral student Courtney Skiera focuses her humanitarian efforts in Uganda where helping refugee populations in slums and rescuing women from sex trafficking are her every day work. 


Being part of a global community that stands up for humanity isn’t everyone’s mission, but for Courtney Skiera, Ph.D. in Psychology student at Walden University, it’s her destiny. Wanting to spend some time giving back to the world before she got married, Courtney went to East Africa’s Uganda for three months and fell in love with the country.

Soon after returning to the United States to get married, she and her husband moved to Sydney, Australia, so he could earn his advanced degree at a local university. While “down under,” Courtney enrolled at Walden University. The online university’s dedication to social change was the determining factor for her choosing to earn her doctorate. In addition, it gave Courtney the flexibility to travel back to Uganda, where she wanted to volunteer for a year before having children. Now, she and her husband call Uganda home.

“My heart is in humanitarian efforts, and Uganda is very fertile ground for helping other people. You can’t not do that here,” she says. “With the second-highest fertility rate in the world, the country has an average age of 15. And when you consider the AIDS epidemic and civil war in some areas, an entire generation of parents is wiped out, leaving a lot of vulnerable children.”

Living in Kampala, Uganda, Courtney is the country director for Kwagala Project, an organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating vulnerable Ugandan and international women and girls from sex trafficking and exploitation. By providing holistic care to its beneficiaries, including providing school fees for the children and teenagers as well as vocational training and microloans for the adults, the goal of the organization is to empower these women and children to become reintegrated within their communities and for them to become agents of positive social change.

“We encourage community service, and the girls in our program frequently conduct hospital visits to HIV/AIDS facilities, are involved in peer-education programs, and even help me teach teenagers living in rural villages about sexuality, health, and sanitation,” adds Courtney.

Walden’s mission of positive social change is a guiding light for the Ph.D. student, who loves academia but doesn’t want to teach. “How can you use this knowledge to effect positive social change? It makes you think and really confront the concept that everything you learn and what’s already around you can help in some way.” Now she says she is more conscious of how she can use her doctoral education in very practical ways.

Finish reading this blog post at Spotlight on Walden.

Tweet me: Courtney Skiera, Ph.D. in Psychology student @WaldenU, focuses her humanitarian efforts in Uganda. Read her story:

KEYWORDS: Education, Finance & Socially Responsible Investment, ph.d. in psychology, Social Change, Humanitarian, walden university, refugees, uganda

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Window World of Pittsburgh Partners with Nonprofit Volunteers of America to Support Important Program that Promotes Safe After-School Environments and Healthy Communities

Window World of Pittsburgh Employees Volunteer To Hand Out Free Backpacks to Underserved Students

SOURCE: EcoMedia


August 19, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Window World of Pittsburgh, a franchise of Window World, Inc.®, America’s largest replacement window and home remodeling company, has partnered with CBS EcoMedia through its EducationAd program to support Volunteers of America Pennsylvania’s All of Us Care program. Window World of Pittsburgh’s funding will support critical program costs, such as educational materials and workshops, that will enable Volunteers of America to continue to support more youth in the community and enhance the quality of its program.

The All of Us Care program seeks to prevent crime and substance abuse by providing positive activities for children and youth at-risk during out-of-school time. These services include; an after-school computer center, a homework program, the Step It Up reading program, youth community service opportunities, anti-bullying meetings, financial literacy sessions and a High School Youth Council. Since its inception 14 years ago, the All of Us Care program has evolved into a unique program that promotes a safe, nurturing learning environment and healthy communities for students ages 4-19.

To celebrate this unique partnership and set students up for a successful school year, Window World of Pittsburgh employees volunteered today for Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack program event at the Sharpsburg Family Worship Center. Employee volunteers distributed more than 300 donated backpacks to students in need in the community.

Through Operation Backpack, Volunteers of America is able to provide support for children and at-risk youth and offer a sense of confidence and hope while relieving the children’s families of a significant financial burden. At the same time, Operation Backpack helps them to look like their peers who are beginning the school year with a brand new backpack. 

“We are most appreciative that Window World of Pittsburgh employees are volunteering this evening to help distribute backpacks and school supplies to children and youth who are disadvantaged,” said Pat Serey, chief development and marketing officer for Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania. “Through a partnership with CBS EcoMedia, Volunteers of America has also been the recipient of generous funding from Window World of Pittsburgh in support of its All of Us Care program located in Sharpsburg. Window World of Pittsburgh and EcoMedia are truly helping us make a positive difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people among us.”  

“We’re immensely grateful to Window World of Pittsburgh for supporting our longtime nonprofit partner Volunteers of America,” said Paul Polizzotto, president and founder of CBS EcoMedia. “Window World’s funding is supporting a vital community program that’s providing positive activities and reinforcing the value of education for children and youth at-risk.”


About Window World®
Window World Penn-Ohio and Window World Mich-Ohio, headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, are family owned companies owned by Fred Moran and Pat Moran. The father-son team operates Window World franchises in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Cleveland, Toledo and Steubenville, representing five of over 200 Window World locations nationwide under Window World, Inc.® Window World offers consumers windows, siding and doors, as well as other outdoor home improvement products.


About Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania
Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania serves more than 28,000 individuals annually throughout the Commonwealth. The agency provides 28 distinct programs that serve people with disabilities; children and youth at risk; individuals and families in emergency situations; those in need of employment; elderly individuals and couples on fixed incomes; individuals coping with severe and chronic mental illness; families with limited incomes; infants, children and adolescents that have been abused, neglected and/or exploited; children dealing with behavioral challenges and educational deficits; women who are homeless; pregnant teens and teenage mothers; and homeless veterans and their families. For more information, visit


About CBS EcoMedia Inc.
At EcoMedia, we’re propelled by the desire to create positive social change; that’s been our mission since we founded the company in 2002. In 2010, after successfully partnering with CBS on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia became the newest addition to the CBS Corporation portfolio, exponentially scaling our reach across television, radio, interactive, publishing and outdoor media. 

Through our patent-pending EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd programs, an innovative twist on traditional advertising, advertisers are able to support much-needed local projects which in turn creates jobs, saves taxpayer money and improves the quality of life in communities nationwide. In the process, we’re fundamentally altering the advertising landscape, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change. Please visit, like us at or follow us at

By participating in EcoMedia’s EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd advertising programs, EcoMedia’s advertisers agree to provide funding for projects we believe will have a beneficial effect upon the environment, health and/or education within local communities. EcoMedia’s advertising programs are not certification programs nor are the EcoAd, WellnessAd or EducationAd logos seals of approval. EcoMedia does not in any way certify, endorse or make any representations about EcoMedia program advertisers, their products or services.

Tweet me: .@windowworldpenn employees #giveback! 300 backpacks handed out to students thr. Vol_of_America’s #OperationBackpack

Contact Info:

Lindsay Brown
Director of Communications, CBS EcoMedia
+1 (212) 975-1989

KEYWORDS: Health, Education, Volunteers of America, window world, community, window world of pittsburgh, operation backpack, volunteer, ecomedia cbs

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A Commitment to the Future Workforce

Toyota West Virginia Pledges $1 Million to Prepare Students for High-Demand Jobs

SOURCE: Toyota


SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va., August 19, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Last spring, Dr. Jo Harris had a hunch.
As president of the newly formed BridgeValley Community and Technical College, she oversaw the merger of Bridgemont and Kanawha Valley Colleges, building on the strengths of both institutions.  Dr. Harris’ hunch: that when good ideas are shared among the two colleges, that great things can happen.
Today, her hunch became a reality.
At a ceremony this afternoon to mark the official opening of BridgeValley’s new Advanced Technology Center (ATC), Toyota West Virginia pledged $1 million over five years to further enhance the center’s technology and training equipment.  In addition to its in-kind donation of used equipment, Toyota West Virginia’s total donation tops $1.2 million.
The announcement was made by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. 
“West Virginia and Toyota continue to have an outstanding partnership that benefits both our state’s workforce and our students,” Gov. Tomblin said. “We sincerely appreciate Toyota’s continued investment in West Virginia, through the company’s expanding manufacturing operations and strong commitment to training our students and future workforce. This generous donation will help us continue to train workers for the 21st century jobs we are creating in our state.”
The ATC prepares technicians for high-demand, high-tech jobs and blends experienced faculty, dynamic curriculum, responsiveness and the latest technologies to provide science and engineering proficient technicians for a variety of economic sectors, including automotive.
Toyota and BridgeValley are already partners in the two-year Advanced Manufacturing Technician degree program, a curriculum designed by Toyota to deliver education and experience to students in multiple areas needed by manufacturers.  
“Students who receive their degree in advanced manufacturing are extremely sought after by employers, not only by Toyota but by most manufacturers across the country,” said Millie Marshall, president of Toyota’s West Virginia’s facility, located in Buffalo.  “According to an October 2011 study conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, American manufacturing companies cannot fill as many as 600,000 multi-skilled, well-paying jobs.  Students graduating from BridgeValley will be better equipped to meet those employers’ needs through our collaborative efforts.”
Toyota West Virginia employs 1,300 and assembles four-cylinder and V6 engines and 6-speed automatic transmissions for nine of 12 North American-produced vehicles.  Cumulative investment at the plant is $1.3 billion and annual capacity is more than 650,000 engines and more than 520,000 automatic transmissions.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.  

Media Contacts

Sandy Maynard         304.633.2054   
Victor Vanov              859.801.2592

Tweet me: .@Toyota West Virginia pledges $1M to prepare students for high-demand jobs and workforce. #philanthropy

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Education, Toyota, Toyota West Virginia, BridgeValley, Advanced Technology Center, ATC

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McKinsey to Present Their Joint Initiative with CPPIB 'Focusing Capital on the Long Term' at ES&G Forum 2014

SOURCE: Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR)


ES&G Forum 2014: Non-financial performance… A missed opportunity?

September 23, 2014 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

This year, the ES&G Forum will start with an overview of relevant research on the topic from a joint initiative (entitled ‘Focusing Capital on the Long Term’) between McKinsey Company and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in which they conducted an international survey of corporate directors and CEOs. The objective was to understand these corporate decision-makers’ views on the need for long-term value creation and to identify causes and risks of short-termism in the markets and in business.

Sharing key learnings gained by this joint initiative, McKinsey’s spokesperson, Jonathan Bailey, will offer his perspective on both the survey’s results and what this means for investment professionals; particularly in Canada.

Why Attend?

The ES&G Forum 2014 has been structured to broaden the discussion on the viability of using ES&G as a key driver for people working in investor relations, institutional/retail investment funds, CSR, sustainability, business management, rating agencies, and academics who are researching or teaching this topic.

The session will include recent research, a case study, and investment practices that are relevant to the inter-linked topics of ES&G, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and Sustainability.


Tweet me: .@McKinsey to present @cppib joint initiative Focusing Capital on the Long Term @CBSRNews #ESGForum2014

Contact Info:

Steven Fish, Executive Director

KEYWORDS: Finance & Socially Responsible Investment, Business & Trade, Investor Relations, Responsible Investment, esg, investors, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR), McKinsey, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Jonathan Bailey

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Working Inside the Business to Achieve Social Change

SOURCE: GlaxoSmithKline


I recently returned from Aspen, Colorado, where I attended the first meeting of the Aspen Institute’s First Mover Fellows. The venue and program were outstanding, but by far the most impressive aspect was the cohort – an amazing and diverse group full of passion, energy, and optimism. We got to know one another and discussed ways to drive and maintain innovative change in organizations. Consistent with the philosophy of the Aspen Institute, there was an emphasis on long-term vision and purpose.

As part of the one-year fellowship, each Fellow pursues an innovation project within their organization. My project aims to better address medical needs through improved preclinical target validation, the foundation on which we base our GSK drug discovery programs. The lion’s share of targets for new medicines comes from academia. It is in the patient’s (and therefore GSK’s) interest to stimulate basic academic research. While academics typically have deep biological expertise, they frequently lack high quality small molecule compounds which are essential research tools in preclinical target validation.

I would like to see us do much more compound sharing in an open and precompetitive manner. The broad use of quality compounds in academia will lead to better decisions about which drug targets to pursue in GSK, a decision that has been described as one of the most important factors in clinical attrition. Beyond better positioning ourselves for more successful drug discovery, open access to common research tools will:

1. facilitate robust science, increasing the ability to reproduce between laboratories
2. enable experiments which otherwise would not be possible if the compounds remained within GSK.

Despite the potential value of compound sharing, there remain some concerns around intellectual property. Over the next year, I hope to identify ways that GSK can openly share compounds that at the same time will mitigate risks. I’m looking forward to continuing work on my project and learning more from my First Mover colleagues when we meet again in Wye River, Maryland in November.

Tweet me: .@GSKUS and others working inside the business to achieve social change w/ @AspenInstitute #AIFirstMovers

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, GSK, GlaxoSmithKline, Aspen, Aspen Institute, First Mover Fellows, compounds


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