Medtronic donates €900k to local pandemic efforts
Part of Medtronic’s Giving Back to Galway initiative, the contribution will support a pandemic preparedness research project at NUI Galway, the commissioning of a legacy artwork with Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), and the development of O’Sullivan Park with Galway County Council.
The announcement was made at a special event at NUI Galway to mark Galway’s remarkable response to the pandemic, which was addressed by Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha and attended by key local politicians, community groups and Medtronic partners. The additional €270,000 in Medtronic funding follows previous recognition of more than €600,000 made to staff during 2020 to acknowledge the pandemic response and grants from the Medtronic Foundation to underserved communities.
The pandemic was a catalyst for a significant ramp-up of operations at Medtronic in Galway at the height of the crisis. At the manufacturing plant in Mervue, the production of ventilators increased by two-fold initially, and then five-fold in less than five months, operating on a 24/7 basis.
The company also released the full design specifications for the Puritan Bennett 560 ventilator, which is manufactured in Galway, to competitors and new entrants as part of the fight against the pandemic, and also rapidly mobilised funds and other supports to help local staff and communities. Medtronic’s Mervue operations, in collaboration with partnerships across the Galway community, were at the very heart of the local response to the crisis, as well as the company’s global healthcare efforts.
“I am honored to be here today to recognise the commitment and determination shown by our staff and the wider Galway community in the face of this crisis,” said Geoff Martha, CEO and chairman of Medtronic.
“We learned that, in the most difficult of times, great things are possible when our staff and their communities rally together. Medical technology and healthcare services, together with third-level colleges and local groups here in Galway, joined forces in an unprecedented way at the height of the pandemic. When the pandemic hit, our employees doubled down and came into work each day to deliver for patients. They embodied the Medtronic Mission to contribute to human welfare in more remarkable ways than we could have ever thought possible.”
“We are incredibly appreciative for all the support we have received from the Irish Government and the IDA, and partners such as NUI Galway, GMIT, Galway County Council and our local community. The hard work of Medtronic staff and local partners in this respect is a testament to the tremendous community spirit in Galway, and indeed across Medtronic Ireland.”
President of NUI Galway, Prof Ciarán hÓgartaigh said: “At NUI Galway we our deeply rooted in our community, while also having a vision and mission for the public good which goes much further. Our links and engagement with Medtronic complement our values of excellence and openness and we welcome the opportunity to deepen this engagement and association as we pursue learning, research and innovation with a commitment to making a difference locally and globally.”
Medtronic’s Giving Back to Galway support for NUI Galway includes funding and expertise that will go towards analysing the performance of ventilator supply chains during the pandemic, developing tools to enhance supply chain resilience for the next pandemic, and enhancing the rapid upskilling of nursing staff in mechanical ventilation. The Giving Back to Galway initiative also involves commissioning public artwork commemorating the collaborative effort of the local community and Medtronic employees in responding to the Covid-19 crisis with GMIT School of Design & Creative Arts. As part of developing local amenities, Medtronic is partnering with Galway City Council to revamp O’Sullivan Park which is adjacent to its plant.