Words from West Ambassadors: A Co-Op’s Perspective

Twelve weeks, 60 days, or 480 hours is all that I have in the summer of 2014 to showcase my talents as the Pharmaceutical Delivery Systems (PDS) Marketing and Innovation Ambassador Intern. To many, that might seem to be a rather extensive amount of time to become familiar with an organization, meet respective colleagues, learn about products and operations, and develop a means to an end for the designated project assignment that all Ambassadors receive every summer. I am one of the lucky ones; this is my second term at West. My first term was spent as a Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems Packaging Engineering co-op from July-December 2013. As I returned this summer, I had a strong grasp on the company culture, expectations and projected assignment that I was to complete on behalf of the PDS Marketing organization.

The summer 2014 term has posed a challenge that I welcomed as an opportunity for personal growth in terms of my assignment. It is within my role to travel to various West facilities to research, develop and present a five-year projected marketing plan for the Daikyo Crystal Zenith® vial market. I am a packaging engineer by trade, so needless to say, this more business-like role is a challenge that allows me to evaluate another part of the organization where I can use and incorporate my technical background into a more collaborative and customer-facing role. I will continue to support the efforts of Graham Reynolds and Kevin Cancelliere, two strong leaders within the PDS organization, until the beginning of August. With more than half of my internship complete, I am confident in the knowledge and contributions that I have made thus far. In addition, I am eager to present my plan on the alternative ways of navigating through the Crystal Zenith vial market later this month.

Author:
Karsyn Kraft
West Ambassador Intern

The Continuing Story of a Company that has Gone to the Dogs…

It’s been more than four years since the halls of West’s headquarters saw its first four-legged visitor, the sweet and lovable Canine Partners for Life puppy-in-training Dookie. Since then, Friend, Star, Cret, Journey, Digger, Muzzy and a host of others have filled the halls with warm brown eyes and wagging tails.

The continued presence of the service dogs at West has helped to create a few happy “tales” of our own.

In 2010, Exton team members were introduced to Canine Partners for Life (CPL), an organization that trains service dogs for a variety of reasons, including seizure alert and mobility aids. As part of that year’s West without Borders campaign, Carol Cully, manager, database development, signed up as a puppy home, and Dookie joined the West ranks, followed by Friend in 2012 and Cret in 2013.
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CPL Puppy In Training, Cret

At the same time, volunteers, including executive assistants Janet Cooper and Diane Behler, offered to help with the charity. The options for volunteers are varied and include dog walking, cuddling, bathing the dogs and providing weekend homes for the kennel pups. Janet took on the responsibility of a temporary puppy home, and later embraced the CPL program by bringing breeder dog Journey into her home. She joined the Board at CPL this past spring.

Said Janet, “I feel passionate about the mission of CPL and I wanted to do more. As a board member, I am part of shaping the direction of CPL at a very exciting time.”

CPL just started an $8 million capital campaign to build a new training facility and expand its offices. The organization will also celebrate its 25th anniversary next year. During that time CPL has placed more than 350 service dogs and currently has 66 puppies in the puppy raising program, including Cret, who is handled by Diane Behler and her sister, Sandy Anastasi, who is also an executive assistant at West.

“Cret is a fast learner and everyone loves her here at West,” said Diane, who has been raising Cret for nearly one year and attending puppy classes with her. Diane and Sandi also brought several of the CPL pups into their home on a temporary basis. This helps out another puppy raiser while on vacation.

Among Cret’s many capabilities, which include heeling, a variety of obedience tasks and helping her trainer rise from a seated position on the floor, is the ability to bring peace and calm to the many West employees she contacts.
Said Diane, “I’ve had a few people ask to pet her just to help make the day better.”

It’s a sentiment shared by those who not only come in contact with the pups, but who help raise them. Journey’s initial training occurred in prison, and Cret has spent some time behind bars as well.

“The prison program is a remarkable way for CPL to train the pups in obedience and socialization,” said Janet. “It’s a great program for the prisoners as well because it brings a touch of humanity into a very sterile environment.”

Currently more than 40 puppies are part of the prison program, which was featured in an edition of the Chestnut Hill Local, where CPL executive director Darlene Sullivan was quoted as saying, “Having this program in place has helped us immeasurably in creating a pool of highly trained service dogs to meet the increasing numbers of CPL applicants.”

Recently, 12 puppies in training graduated to full-service dogs. The now nearly 2-year-old pooches included seizure alert and mobility aid dogs, and the organization’s first-ever placement of a diabetes alert dog. Conditions for those accepting the dogs range from fibromyalgia, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy to narcolepsy, epilepsy and a rare condition called spinal muscular atrophy.

While the graduates are a proven success for those who need them, dogs like Journey, or those who may not make the final cut to full service, find other occupations, including as therapy dogs and home companions for children suffering from autism, which is where the West-named “Star” found her calling. Journey currently serves as a therapy dog in the Paws for People program, and visits Friends’ Home in Kennet Square to spread some joy.
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Janet Cooper and CPL breeder dog, Journey

“West’s continued efforts since 2010 have been tremendous,” said Janet. “We’re really lucky that the company supports the charities that the employees feel passionate about. CPL is my passion but there are so many more. To have the executives’ continued support, and the encouragement of our coworkers is absolutely wonderful.”

For more information about CPL please visit their website: http://k94life.org/

West without Borders is not affiliated with Doctors Without Borders®, which is a registered service mark of Bureau International de Médecins Sans Frontières.

Words from West Ambassador Interns

The West Ambassador Internship Program is a 10-week program that provides college students with meaningful, practical, real-word experience and the opportunity to learn from and work alongside industry experts.

My internship at West thus far has been exciting, challenging, fun and, most importantly, shed some light as to why I worked so hard to obtain an engineering degree. I have realized that this excellent opportunity has given me the experience and advantages I will need to enter the ‘real world.’ As an intern, you see, listen, gain an understanding of and experience what any entry-level engineer would be required to do. Knowing and understanding how to write engineering studies and protocols is extremely important for success. Staying organized and scheduling projects allows you to stay on track and achieve goals in the short 10 weeks of the internship.

As an engineer, there will be times when juggling different projects will occur. This summer I have two projects I am assigned to, with other smaller projects as well. Being able to multitask and keep the structure of the projects is necessary. As an intern, I learn from my supervisor how to handle several projects at once. West encourages strategy to break down a project before it has even begun, making a schedule and following it to keep things orderly and delivered on time. I will continue to use these skills in my professional career, and I truly value the added tactics of my internship.

Coming from college life to a professional organization takes a lot of determination. It is so hard to understand a career from textbooks and theories; however, overcoming these challenges in the beginning has allowed me to grow in such a short amount of time and gain an understanding of what I see in my future career. It takes understanding, a strong work ethic and adaption to a new environment to comprehend and foresee my future career in engineering. I believe West has shown me this and has significantly helped me feel successful in the transition of a future engineer!

Jennifer Miller
R&D Intern
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.

West without Borders 2014: Pulling One String for a Charitable Cause

This year not only marks the 10th anniversary of our West without Borders tradition, but has added a new dimension to the principle of giving. All four West locations in Germany set out to demonstrate their social commitment while hosting a variety of activities in support of a local not-for-profit organization. Thanks to the great efforts of all involved, we were able to generate the record sum of €20,426.27.

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West Germany selected the organization FortSchritt as the beneficiary of this year’s charitable campaign. West’s prior donation in 2012 enabled the organization to move into their own premises and hire a conductor to offer conductive therapy in the community. Fifteen children and young adults in groups of six currently benefit from this comprehensive education that touches upon every aspect of a child’s development. In a series of mobility tasks, children learn how to master their daily routine such as getting dressed or going to the toilet. The group setting offers a motivating and supportive environment where individuals are encouraged to reach their personal goals at their own pace. The results speak for themselves. Wheelchair bound children can move around with the help of a walker and even toddlers can improve their playing skills.

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To help create excitement for the campaign, team members at the Stolberg plant served freshly prepared specialties and culinary delights from around the world to demonstrate how culturally diverse our workforce is. They also hosted a bicycle tour and offered a course on back fitness. A barbeque marked the end of the charity month.

At the European Headquarters in Eschweiler, each department planned and executed an event. During lunchtime, employees were encouraged to participate in a soccer skill shoot, golf tournament, dart or quiz game. Others enjoyed homemade foods such as hot chili, a variety of salads, a healthy breakfast, Bavarian snacks, or waffles with hot cherries and ice cream.

Team members at the plant in Eschweiler organized a variety of health checks and had representatives from different medical insurances promote health, nutrition and fitness. Old traditions weren’t neglected and during lunch, the management team served hot dogs and other delicious foods. 

At the new office site in Wuerselen the IT, purchasing and data base management teams prepared a low carb menu, organized a smoothies bar and challenged their colleagues in a XBox game. Employees from other sites were also encouraged to join a bicycle tour or running group.

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The month of May was very rewarding and has fostered a great amount of collaboration and team spirit among all employees. On June 24, the team handed over the charity check to FortSchritt. In doing so we hope to pave the road to success, one step at a time.

Nadine Gerstler

West without Borders is not affiliated with Doctors Without Borders®, which is a registered service mark of Bureau International de Médecins Sans Frontières.

West Dedicates First Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plant in India

Expands Presence in Asian Markets

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More than 100 people gathered in Chennai, India, on July 16, 2014, as West celebrated the dedication of its first pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in the Sri City Special Economic Zone (SEZ), where the company is expanding its growing primary packaging for injectable medicines business.

“This investment is important to our strategy of partnering with customers in India and the Asia Pacific region to help them provide medicines to patients more efficiently, reliably and safely,” said Warwick Bedwell, President, Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems, Asia Pacific Region. “With the facility complete, we anticipate a reduction in lead times for supply to our customers in India. By leveraging our global sourcing activities and process engineering expertise, we expect to be able to carefully manage the overall costs of production.”

In June 2012, West signed a 99-year lease on 72,800 square meters (approximately 783,600 square feet) of land in Sri City. Sri City offers the advantages of a metropolitan location and was selected primarily on suitability because of land, availability of utilities, labor suitability, logistics and quality of life.

Construction began in August 2012 on the facility that will produce seals used in primary packaging of injectable medicines manufactured by West’s pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers in India and the wider Asia Pacific region.

More than 40 employees joined company executives, government officials, and West customers for the event, which was followed by a tour of the facility and luncheon.

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West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. has dedicated its manufacturing plant in India’s Sri City Special Economic Zone, where the company will expand its growing primary packaging for injectable medicines business.

Click here to read the full release. 

Words from Ambassador Interns: An Amazing Experience

The other West Ambassador interns and I can all agree that this experience is far from what we imaged, in fact it is much more. From the West without Borders picnic to being assigned various projects, we are learning there are many aspects of a being part of a team in a global company.

Within our first week at West we were deemed ‘The Minions’ for an absolutely wonderful cause to help with the West without Borders picnic, which raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The sense of community, care and overall togetherness displayed at the picnic by the West team was something I have never witnessed, nor ever heard of, at any other company! The joy on the children and their respective family’s faces was priceless and truly amazing to witness. I felt honored and humbled to be a part of such a wonderful West event.

It’s not always fun and games – it’s fun and work! We were each assigned various projects to be completed before August 1. It has been interesting learning about each team and how we all interact with each other to work on our projects. Sitting together as a team allows me and the other interns to collaborate and problem solve the challenges of our projects.

I am working with the Quality Assurance team with Tim Meyer as my Supervisor. My projects range from optimization of the stopper drying process to taking photographs of the stopper and vial interactions. As my projects progress, I learn something new every day from the team at West. It is now commonplace for me to be amazed by the truly talented team here. The amount of knowledge that I have gained in the past five weeks is amazing and I am thankful for every bit of it!

Catie Hamilton
Washington College Class of 2015
Physics and Art Double Major

Charity Under the Big Top – West’s Kinston Team Delivers With Circus Theme

Come one, come all to the 2014 West without Borders campaign! From preliminary planning to the final one-ring circus, the 2014 West without Borders campaign in Kinston, N.C., was a whole lot of clowning around in the name of a good cause. This year, Kinston team members supported three charities: Relay for Life Kids’ Walk, Kid’s Cafe and Shriners’ Hospital for Children’s Transportation Fund.

The fun began with a raffle for a massive Valentine’s Day basket of goodies, and rolled on when the charities were selected.

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As a sponsor of Relay for Life’s Lenoir County Kid’s Walk, West team members helped to place a strong focus on the many children diagnosed with cancer each year. The Kid’s Cafe Afterschool Program provides nutritional meals as well as mentoring, tutoring, arts and crafts, and physical activities to needy children ages 5-14 in Lenoir County. Team members continue to collect books to help enrich the program’s sparse library.

In supporting the Transportation Fund for Shriners’ Children’s Hospital, the group helped provide transportation through the “Roadrunner” program, which zips patients from eastern North Carolina to the hospital in Greenville, S.C. More than 35 drivers donate their free time to transport patients and their parents safely.

With a goal to raise $14,000 this year, the games began with meetings, celebrations, clowning around and a circus-themed picnic with prizes, food and fun for adults and children alike. Thanks to the generosity of the team members, more than $20,000 was raised!

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To all those who offered time, donations and fun to this wonderful campaign, thank you!

West without Borders is not affiliated with Doctors Without Borders®, which is a registered service mark of Bureau International de Médecins Sans Frontières.

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