Type of Work: Community Outreach Initiative Client: Merck & Co., Inc
Every two minutes, a woman dies during pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable when women have access to quality maternal healthcare. Merck tapped Rabin Martin, to launch Merck for Mothers—a 10-year, $500 million initiative that has improved access to quality maternal healthcare for more than six million women around the world, strengthened over 2,600 health facilities and trained over 10,000 health workers.
For more than 100 years, Merck, Sharp & Dohme has been at the forefront of global health. Building on its pioneering work to eradicate river blindness, prevent cervical cancer, and address barriers to HIV/AIDS care, Merck sought a next generation global health signature initiative for the newly expanded company.
In 2011, Merck’s CEO and Executive Committee asked Rabin Martin how the company could uniquely contribute to the public health needs of new markets. Rabin Martin designed, and is now implementing this global initiative across 30 countries in collaboration with over 90 partners, including the World Health Organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
“Our support for Merck for Mothers is a strong example of how Rabin Martin works at the intersection of private sector capabilities and unmet global health needs,” Jeffrey L. Sturchio, President & CEO, Rabin Martin. “This ability to bridge the gap between the private and public sectors is one of the firm’s core strengths and greatest differentiators.”
Maternal mortality has been a neglected global health challenge—with slow gains and no private sector leadership, Sturchio says. “Helping Merck bring a fresh perspective and business mindset to accelerate progress and make a difference for women around the world continues to inspire us each day.”
Rabin Martin’s mission is to improve health and equity for underserved and hard-to-reach populations, which is very much in line with Merck’s goal to reduce preventable maternal mortality worldwide. “Our strategies, partnerships and programs have been deployed in 80-plus countries across the globe and to date we’ve developed over $2 billion in health programming to improve access to care and treatment.”
The firm’s team is drawn from a wide range of business, public health, policy, advocacy and communications backgrounds. “Merck for Mothers is a complex, multi-year initiative with many partners and program sites that allows our team members to leverage their knowledge and lean on each other’s skillsets to create innovative programs, measure progress, and communicate success at a local, national and global level,” he says.
Q&A: What does winning a Social & Community Investment award mean to you, your firm and your employees?
Sturchio: “We believe that good health leads to stronger communities and more prosperous societies. This belief is expressed in our mission, the client work that we take on, our employee volunteerism, and our role advocating for critical health issues. We are honored to be recognized by Consulting Magazine for our work with Merck for Mothers. We are excited about the impact private sector capabilities can have on addressing unmet public health needs and supporting our clients to become leaders in the evolving landscape of health around the world.”