The Corporate Champion Award recognizes a company that actively and consistently supports the growth of the Illinois technology industry through defined and actionable community-focused efforts, leadership, and collaboration. As a global health tech leader with a wide portfolio of life-changing technologies, Abbott is at the forefront of building better, healthier lives in communities across Chicago and the world.
This past year has highlighted the importance of innovation in the face of great challenges. As the pandemic became an undeniable reality around the globe and the need for fast and affordable COVID-19 testing was critical, Abbott’s team of researchers, project managers, and members across all departments worked to answer the call. Together, they created 12 COVID-19 tests, compressing what would normally take many months or years into just weeks. From lab-based PCR molecular tests to rapid antigen tests that quickly diagnose people when they’re most infectious, Abbott has provided life-saving answers and clarity when we needed them most.
“Chicago has a strong history of innovation and Abbott has been a proud part of this for more than 130 years,” said Abbott President and CEO Robert B. Ford. “Although the pandemic has challenged us, and the world, in ways many have never seen before, Abbott was built for moments like these. Our people stepped up in unprecedented ways, across our range of businesses, to quickly adapt, innovate, and keep delivering new health technologies for the people who depend on us. We’re proud to be a meaningful part of the response to this extraordinary challenge.”
In addition to making crucial innovations during the pandemic’s earliest days, Abbott continues to lead efforts that offer necessary relief to those most affected. Together with its foundation the Abbott Fund, the company has provided tens of millions in funding and products to address key needs globally. Abbott also donated FreeStyle Libre 14 day sensors (part of its continuous glucose monitoring system) to U.S. hospitals and medical centers in COVID-19 outbreak hotspots to help accelerate access to technology, in partnership with the American Diabetes Association and other organizations. Internally, Abbott has The Clara Abbott Foundation, a separate not-for-profit organization managed and funded independently from Abbott, that helps employees, retirees and their families through challenging financial situations, including those caused by COVID-19.
In March 2021, Abbott launched the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition, a first-of-its-kind global scientific and public health partnership dedicated to the early detection of, and rapid response to, future pandemic threats. From monitoring new variants to rapidly identifying and responding to potential outbreaks, Abbott is creating a vision for a healthier future in communities across the world.
“During the pandemic, Abbott showed why they are one of the world’s leading health tech companies,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER, the Chicago-based healthcare incubator and innovation hub. “Abbott moved quickly to develop new solutions that the world needed desperately. MATTER works with dozens of life sciences companies in Chicago and beyond, and it’s great to see this kind of innovation leadership coming from our hometown.”
Headquartered in north suburban Chicago, Abbott is a dedicated advocate across the city’s many communities and beyond and a long-time partner in the local tech community. The company offers young people in the city opportunities to discover STEM as a sponsor of the Chicago Urban League’s annual summer STEAM camp. Additionally, through its various partnerships with organizations such as the Alive Faith Network, Rush University Hospital, and the American Heart Association, Abbott works to address health inequities by providing important testing, treatment, and education to residents in predominantly Black communities across Chicago. Their commitment to tackling some of the most pressing challenges—from COVID-19 to heart disease—in communities that the healthcare system has too often failed perfectly embodies what it means to be a corporate champion.
“At 1871, we firmly believe that when innovators come together and activate the potential of our collective brain, we can tackle any challenge no matter how great,” said 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler. “Abbott and its entire team moved swiftly in the earliest days to create critical solutions that saved lives in our communities. Abbott exemplifies the support, leadership, and collaboration that makes a company a champion in their community, and it’s our honor to recognize their service at this year’s Momentum Awards.”
Abbott will accept the Corporate Champion Award at the 1871 Momentum Awards on September 23, 2021, where we will also honor our members that are disrupting their industries, building up their communities, and shaping the future. Purchase your ticket today to join us in-person or virtually!
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