At Fishawack health, our global teams are united in a common goal of imagining a healthier world and creating connections that make better health happen. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that we could leverage our skills and expertise to help those most in need.
We are pleased to announce the launch of Fishawack Gives Back—a philanthropic initiative that spans our 21 offices across the globe. The aim of the scheme is to support and showcase wider healthcare programs and well-being causes.
Each quarter, the Fishawack Gives Back team selects a global cause and mobilizes our offices to support a local charity working in that field.
Our first program, the COVID Compassion Campaign, launched in October and supported nonprofits focused on helping minority populations that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Across our offices, we raised $14,828 (£10,930) for local charities providing ongoing delivery of food, housing, health, childcare, and education services for those worst affected by COVID-19.
But beyond this new campaign, we have also taken part in several other charitable causes this year.
Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic
In addition to our COVID Compassion Campaign, in the UK we supported Arm in Arm, an initiative launched by Kirstin Smith, a drama lecturer at the University of East Anglia, which encouraged donations to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund—an effort to make vaccines more widely available to the world’s poorest countries.
Fishawack Health worked pro bono with Kristin to help promote her pledge drive. Our Marketing team developed a brand, a website, and a social media campaign to generate support from healthcare firms, publishers, and generous individuals.
The campaign has already received support from the co-creator of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Professor Sarah Gilbert.
Across the pond in the US, Lacey Christman, Head of Creative, and Lee Krauss, Head of Media, became founding members of Face2Face America—a unique nationwide, community-driven, COVID-19 vaccine education initiative. Marc Benjamin, CEO, Convergence Point Media, started the program to leverage the skills of healthcare communications and technology experts in educating and empowering people to make informed decisions about important health and medical issues. The COVID-19 campaign focused on sharing face-to-face stories from real people, with real questions, making real decisions about getting the vaccine.
We walked, ran, and hiked for charity
Across the world our employees took it upon themselves to walk, run, and hike for charity—making sure their sweat and hard work was well rewarded.
Studio Manager Pam Clitheroe hiked 26 miles across the Lake District in June to raise money for cancer charity Macmillan. She raised $4,722 (£3,500).
In September, Grace Horrocks, Strategic Partnerships Manager, ran the Richmond Half Marathon in London and raised over $1,200 (£900) for the British Heart Foundation.
“At least 400,000 people in the UK are living with aortic stenosis (AS) and the prevalence of the condition is rising,” says Grace. “My brother was born with AS, and my family and I are so grateful for all the treatment, support, and research the British Heart Foundation provides.”
Fishawack Health also sponsored the Evansville 5K Pumpkin Run in October for Boy Scouts. Senior Studio Designer Julie Reynolds was race director. Julie’s son became a high-ranking Eagle Scout in 2014, and the family continue to give back to the local Scout troop.
The 5K run raised around $3,500 (£2,594) for equipment, badges, and tents. Julie was supported by colleagues at Fishawack Health, including Senior Studio Managers Steve Winkler and Melissa Chromiak-Fisher, Senior Studio Designers Maggie Gustafson and Sarah Steinbach, and Senior Designer Libby Gregory.
Helping the homeless
In January, the company took part in a sock drive in the US. Our St. Louis team has participated in the Share the Warmth Sock Drive for 6 years, but this is the first time our team members from across the globe joined in as well.
The drive is a friendly sock-collecting competition between agencies in St. Louis, the second-largest city in Missouri, during January and February. Socks are some of the most needed, yet least donated, items at shelters. This year we collected 10,859 pairs and donated them to homeless shelters around St. Louis.
Coaching the next generation
In the UK we partnered with social mobility charity Future Frontiers so that Fishawack volunteers could help improve the self-development of 16-year-old students.
“We wanted to create a culture of coaching internally, as well as give our coaches exposure to people who have had very different upbringings and backgrounds to themselves,” says Rachael Clarke, coordinator of Fishawack’s UK coaching program.
“We know that students at that age from lower-income backgrounds are twice as likely to drop out of education,” she says. “We wanted to leverage our experience to coach the students and open our teams’ eyes to the value of working with people from different communities.”
Afshan Hussain, Senior Vice President of Client Services, has also developed a mentorship program for local students at Fishawack’s US offices.
“I have had great mentors in my life, and I wanted to be that person for someone else,” she says. The pilot program was trialled in the Pennsylvania office, which partnered with a local high school to identify teenagers who were struggling the most.
“We are striving to foster engagement and interest from underrepresented communities in life science communications by increasing early exposure for young adults exploring their career choices,” says Afshan.
Each student was matched with a mentor who was best suited to their unique backgrounds. Cultural responsiveness is essential to successful mentoring schemes.
Ultimately however, even though we are proud of all we have done to give back in some small way over the last year, we hope the best is still to come.
Look forward to our Christmas campaign as part of Fishawack Gives Back next month, in which we’ll be raising money for local children’s hospitals.
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