Our goal is to have a positive influence on the communities in which we operate around the world.



Our community engagement programs reflect the priorities that our company shares with the local community. Our Neighbor of Choice program is designed to help build strong and vibrant communities by promoting a healthier society and preserving the environment in localities where we have a major site presence. The program provides financial support and enables our employees to contribute to the well-being of their communities.

Learn more about our economic impact on communities.

Community Contributions20132014201520162017
Human Health Services $1,794,977$1,941,185$2,690,459$2,721,534$7,102,636

Neighbor of Choice

Our Neighbor of Choice (NOC) community grant program supports the work of local nonprofit organizations that strive to improve people’s quality of life and to preserve the environment in communities in which we have a presence.

Established in the 1990s, the NOC program fosters partnerships with local nonprofit organizations whose mission is to promote the well-being of community residents. We provide financial resources, enhanced by employee volunteerism, to support community programs that aim to improve health care quality and increase access to care for underserved populations in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and maternal health. We also strive to advance the quality of health services delivery, strengthen local health system capacity, and protect the environmental health of the local community.

NEIGHBOR OF CHOICE20132014201520162017
Amount contributed (in millions)1$2.3$2.2$2.5$3.1$3.1
Number of grants181126129118130
Number of people reached globally2N/AN/AN/AN/A221,328
Number of employees who volunteered with grantees2N/AN/AN/AN/A2,511
1. Data include funding provided through the Office of Corporate Responsibility and our company’s Foundation. Additional funding is provided through local U.S. sites and our company sites outside the United States that we do not track centrally.
2. Beginning in 2017, we estimate the number of beneficiaries receiving funding through the NOC program and the number of employees who volunteered with NOC grantees.

In 2017, our company invited nonprofit organizations in 19 communities in which we have a major presence to apply for funding support. Factors that determine our local sites’ participation in the NOC program include whether we have a major presence, the number of employees at the site, and community need.

In accordance with NOC program guidelines, a total of $3.1 million in grants was awarded to 130 nonprofits in support of a wide range of environmental and health services initiatives.

Below are examples of projects supported through the NOC grants program throughout 2017.


Community Servings, Inc., of Boston, Massachusetts
In 2017, Community Servings received a grant from our foundation to support their initiative, Food Is Medicine: Medically Tailored Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families Affected by Critical Illness. The program’s objective was to prepare and deliver 598,000 medically tailored meals to 2,021 people who were medically certified as too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Our support of Community Servings, Inc., also included 19 employee volunteers who donated time in their kitchen to help prepare and package meals.

Ravenswood Education Foundation of Palo Alto, California
In 2017, we extended our Neighbor of Choice program to Palo Alto and the South San Francisco region in California. Our foundation provided a grant to the Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF) in support of its science fair initiative. REF used the funding to provide essential materials and supplies for the science labs and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Fair projects at all seven participating school sites. In addition, our employee volunteers worked with over 300 students and served as a scientific resource during classroom labs and as judges for science fair projects. During the projects, the students gained scientific knowledge and confidence in their options for future careers. Our volunteers learned valuable lessons about the challenges of providing science education in grade school.

Children performing an experiment during a Ravenswood event

Xochimilco, Mexico
In Mexico, cancer is the second leading cause of death among children ages 4−15.  . Nutrition and psychomotor fitness are important factors for these children, helping them cope with cancer treatment. In 2017, we supported Casa de la Amistad para Niños con Cáncer and its project Eat, learn, and develop my sensorial skills (Focus Project for Poor Children and Youngsters with Cancer ─ “Xochimilco Neighborhood”). Through the program, Casa de la Amistad delivered 1,364 pantry packages, and installed a multisensory room serving as a space for relaxation and well-being for children undergoing treatment. There were 181 beneficiaries attending 699 sessions in multisensory workshops. In addition, employee volunteers from our site in Xochimilco collected items for use at Casa de la Amistad and helped with extra-curricular activities for children staying at the home.

A young participant in the Casa de la Amistad Eat, learn and develop my sensorial skills program

Montreal, Canada
Through its Oncology Transportation Program, NOVA West Island (a Canadian nonprofit) improves access to health care for many vulnerable cancer and palliative care patients in the Montreal West Island community. This program helps improve the lives of oncology and palliative care clients and reassures caregivers and families that their loved ones have access to their treatments and related medical appointments. Patients with cancer often require a challenging schedule of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and this program helps improve the quality of life for these individuals as they undergo treatment. NOVA West Island cares for more than 1,380 individuals per year in the 16 municipalities in the West Island of Montreal.

The Children’s Inn at NIH

Our company’s partnership with The Children’s Inn at NIH spans more than 25 years. Our company provided $3.7 million through a public-private partnership for the initial construction of  The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s premier biomedical research center, in Bethesda, Maryland. The Inn opened in 1990 and, since then, seriously ill children involved in treatment at the NIH have had a place to call home.

Most children who come to the NIH for treatment are facing life-threatening illnesses that resist conventional therapy. Since its opening, The Inn has hosted more than 13,500 children from all over the U.S. and from more than 94 other countries. Our Foundation helps cover The Inn’s operating costs, and also provided a grant of $3.7 million in 2001 to build a 22-room addition, completed in 2004, increasing The Inn’s capacity to 59 rooms. Our employees also have generously supported The Inn through personal contributions as part of our company’s Partnership for Giving (P4G) program.

Since 2009, our Foundation has committed $10 million to support, through 2021, the establishment and operations of a transitional home adjacent to the NIH campus, called The Woodmont House. This home has accommodated up to five families at a time whose children were no longer in the acute phases of illness, yet still required treatment at the NIH Clinical Center. Families stayed free of charge and participated in all of The Inn’s activities and programs. As of December 2017, The Woodmont House has served more than 330 children and their families from 44 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, and 20 other countries.

In February 2018, The Inn sold The Woodmont House. Proceeds from the sale will be used to support the renovation of the NIH-owned Quarters, a duplex house on the NIH campus. The Quarters will accommodate up to six families, and The Inn anticipates that this housing will be used primarily for its young adult residents up to age 30.

Disaster Relief

Our company is committed to supporting communities around the world that are affected by natural disasters. We provide disaster relief assistance through cash and product donations during major disasters and support efforts in disaster preparedness and recovery.

Through our disaster relief efforts, we aim to respond in a timely, coordinated manner to meet the immediate needs of affected communities, to provide ongoing assistance through recovery (as needed), and to support preparedness efforts as appropriate.

It is our practice to base our response on the assessment of need by local authorities and/or humanitarian relief agencies.

Where appropriate, and in consultation with local management, our company may donate pharmaceuticals and vaccines through the disaster and emergency relief component of our Medical Outreach Program. In major disaster situations, donations of our medicines may be made directly by a local subsidiary or manufacturing facility.

During 2017, a series of hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires resulted in widespread destruction across the southern U.S., the Caribbean, California and Mexico. Many lives, homes, businesses and communities were destroyed. We responded quickly, working with humanitarian agencies in support of relief efforts and providing approximately $24 million in donated medicines, vaccines, financial contributions and employee matching funds to help those in need.

Disaster Relief20132014201520162017
Disaster relief efforts assisted10101266
Total giving value of disaster relief contributions (cash and products, in millions)$3.3$10.0$5.6$13.4$23.9


On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, made landfall multiple times in six days, causing $125 billion in damage, according to the National Hurricane Center. It affected 13 million people throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky, and resulted in over 88 deaths. At its peak, one-third of Houston, Texas, was under water, and the flooding forced 39,000 people out of their homes and into shelters.

Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, with winds of over 180 miles per hour, made landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands on September 6, 2017, and passed over Puerto Rico, leaving hundreds there without power. On September 10, Irma hit the Keys and Naples, Florida, as a Category 4 hurricane. The death toll, as of September 23, 2017, was 102 people, including 75 in Florida. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma mark the first time in 100 years that two storms Category 4 or larger hit the U.S. mainland in the same year.

Shortly before these hurricanes struck, our company provided a $600,000 grant to the American Red Cross as part of a multi-year commitment to supporting the organization’s disaster preparedness and relief efforts. We also donated approximately $200,000 to support the hurricane response efforts of our humanitarian partners Americares, Direct Relief, Project Hope, Save the Children and World Vision, and donated $1 million through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund television fundraiser event, with 100 percent of donations going to hurricane relief efforts.

Through our Medical Outreach Program, we also donated medicines with a market value of approximately $1.5 million to Direct Relief, one of our company’s Medical Outreach Program partners. In addition, our company’s Animal Health business donated animal health products, services and professional/technical support, and employees stepped up to help communities in Texas and the thousands of animals impacted by Hurricane Harvey.


On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, the first Category 4 hurricane to directly impact Puerto Rico in 85 years, devastated the island, which was still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma only weeks before. The storm’s 155-mile-per-hour sustained winds uprooted trees, destroyed weather stations and cell towers, and tore roofs off of homes. Electricity was cut off to 100 percent of the island, and limited access to clean water and food left the island’s 3.4 million residents in a desperate humanitarian crisis.

Our company responded quickly, first ensuring the safety of the 540 employees who were directly impacted by the storm, then donating $1 million to Unidos Por Puerto Rico through the One America Appeal, to assist hurricane victims.

Through our Medical Outreach Program, we also donated medicines with a market value of over $18 million to Medical Outreach partners Direct Relief, MAP International, and Project Hope.


On September 7, 2017, Mexico suffered the first of two major earthquakes, registering magnitude 8.2, affecting more than 1.5 million people and causing over 90 deaths.  Less than two weeks later, on September 19, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck about 75 miles outside of Mexico City, killing hundreds of people, injuring thousands and causing widespread destruction.

Our company responded quickly, ensuring that all employees in Mexico were safe and accounted for, and then by donating $50,000 to Direct Relief, $250,000 to the American Red Cross in support of the Mexican Red Cross response to the earthquakes, and $250,000 to The Salvation Army toward its response to the hurricanes and earthquakes in Mexico. An additional $145,000 in product donations was provided by MSD in Mexico.


California saw its most destructive and largest wildfire season ever in 2017. Heavy, thick smoke caused by the wildfires affected people throughout the region, a particular danger to first responders and people suffering from respiratory issues. Our company supported relief efforts by providing $200,000 in cash and product to assist Direct Relief in its delivery of respiratory supplies, emergency medicines and other goods to facilities and shelters caring for affected people.


Our company is a long-standing member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). In 2014, our company’s Foundation pledged $2.4 million over four years to support the ADGP and to help ensure that the Red Cross can be on the scene of a disaster as quickly as possible. Our support helps the Red Cross to work with local agencies to deliver assistance immediately across affected areas in the U.S. and globally.