Par-Troy Business Stands for Babies' Health
Pharmaceutical firm Actavis welcomes March of Dimes' national ambassador to Parsippany and kicks off the 2013 fundraising effort.
Actavis, a global pharmaceutical firm based in Parsippany and until January known as Watson Pharmaceuticals, has a huge mission for 2013: raising funds and building awareness for the March of Dimes. The company's commitment was on display last Thursday, when the charity's national ambassador paid a visit to the corporation's headquarters at 400 Interpace Parkway.
Eight-year-old Nina Centofanti and her father Vince were on hand for Actavis’ employee kickoff event for the firm's participation in this year's March for Babies walk, which marks the March of Dimes' 75th anniversary.
During the visit, the young ambassador met with Actavis’ CEO and President Paul Bisaro, Senior Vice President Charlie Mayr and many Actavis employees. Bisaro presented Nina with a gift bag of art supplies and invited everyone to participate in the Morris County March for Babies, which takes place April 28 at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison.
Nina Centofanti was one of the babies helped by the March of Dines. She was born premature, weighing in at only 2 lbs., 15 oz. Now healthy, the girl tours the country for the organization with her mother, neonatal nurse Chris Centofanti, and her father, who works for GE Healthcare Maternal Infant Care division.
Even with the Centofantis' health care careers, the pair said they still were not prepared for the emotional trauma caused by their daughter's early birth. They said the family involvement with March of Dimes is for the purpose of raising awareness of the issue and showing the nation that premature birth can happen to anyone.
Funds raised from the March for Babies supports community programs that help moms have healthy, full term pregnancies, and funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ lives, according to the March of Dimes website.
For the third straight year, Actavis is a state sponsor for this year’s charity walk; it's the corporation's second year as a national sponsor. The company launched its 2013 effort Feb. 28, by helping the March of Dimes ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Company CEO Paul Bisaro said the Actavis-March of Dimes relationship is an important one for the firm.
"When we combined our various New Jersey area offices in our Parsippany global headquarters, we were looking for a partnership that would enable our employee here, as well as around the nation, connect with an important cause to build team, as well as to support an unmet medical need," Bisaro said. "March for Babies met both."
Bisaro said his firm, as Watson and now as Actavis, has a standing commitment to women’s health and infertility and that "helping babies live healthier lives" is a "natural connection."
"Our employees, several of whom have experienced the challenge of prematurity, have helped to make the annual walks, here in New Jersey and around the nation, a remarkable success," he said. "In our first year, employees alone raised $65,000, in addition to our corporate commitment of $150,000. In 2011, in addition to our national sponsorship of $300,000, more than 600 employees participated from 11 sites around the country, raising more than $174,000.
"March of Dimes and March for Babies enables us to demonstrate our commitment to health on a personal level, as well as on a corporate level, and is one of the cornerstones of our effort to give back to our local communities through community involvement.”
Addy Bonet, state director of the New Jersey March of Dimes chapter, said her group appreciates Actavis' dedication to the cause.
“Working with the Actavis team has truly been an honor and privilege," she said. "They love the challenge; they are connected to our mission and are committed to a successful March for Babies campaign."
Bisaro said that commitment can only grow.
"We look for even more involvement in this, the 75th anniversary year of the March of Dimes," he said.