For more than four decades, the entrepreneurial spirit of Cerner’s associates has led us to look beyond the health care sector and toward our communities to consider how we can give back to our neighbors, families and friends.
Enterprise philanthropy has long been a part of who we are. In fact, this October, we celebrate the 25thanniversary of Cerner’s foundation, First Hand, which was established to improve the health of children across the globe. For nearly a quarter of a century, the foundation has made its mark in health care by combining Cerner’s leading technology with the generosity and dedication of our associates, clients and community members. Through voluntary payroll deductions to First Hand, Cerner associates have donated nearly $40 million to directly impact the lives of more than 475,000 children and families worldwide.
We have recently faced new challenges, creating an elevated awareness regarding the need to advance humanity and join together to positively impact our communities. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about fear, anxiety and isolation for many. In the midst of the pandemic, we experienced civil and social unrest throughout the United States and across the globe, compelling us all to consider how we can build a more inclusive and equitable world for future generations.
In spite of the challenges of recent months, I have been encouraged by the heart and action I've seen from Cerner associates and inspired by the stories of compassion and community they have shared.
Recent surveys indicate that 76% of Cerner associates believe that we are a socially responsible company. While I am encouraged by this figure, I am confident that we can do better. In partnership with First Hand, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Cerner Together Volunteer Initiative, which will provide Cerner associates around the globe with the tools they need to step up and help the communities around them. Working collectively, Cerner associates can make a difference and be catalysts for change.
To reaffirm Cerner’s commitment to supporting global communities, we are proud to offer paid volunteer time off (VTO) to all associates for the remainder of 2020. We hope this will inspire our associates and other members of our communities to take action. By volunteering for causes close to our hearts, we can support sustainable change, reduce disparities and help build a better world.
By promoting initiatives like Cerner Together and paid VTO, we hope to empower our associates to engage in their communities and build upon our collective pride as a company that values volunteerism and is making a positive impact on society.
Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. And, when we work together, I know that we can change the world. I am sincerely looking forward to building better, healthier communities alongside Cerner’s associates, clients and partners.