Baxter International Inc.
Keys to Creating an Innovation ‘Hotbed’ in New York State
“We’ll look inside New York, we’ll look outside New York. But we’re all about building a great and talented workforce in Medina.”
Headquarters: Deerfield, Ill. (SIGMA Spectrum Infusion System - Medina, NY)
Description: Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.
NYS Employees: 550 (61,500 Worldwide)
Revenue: $15.3 Billion
Strong academic relationships, venture capital and good government policy when it comes to bioscience and medical technology (Bio/Med) growth make up a powerful combination for the future of the industry, Baxter Vice President Nelson Patterson said.
A global company based in Illinois, Baxter designs, manufactures and services the SIGMA Spectrum Infusion Pump at its Medina, NY, facility.
The device used in more than 1,000 hospitals across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada treats critically ill patients, dispensing therapeutic medicines via tubes or catheters. Baxter was one of the first to introduce intravenous therapy and bottled intravenous fluid.
“It is a big part of people getting better and getting out of the hospital and going home to their family,” Patterson said of the technology that covers treatments like dialysis. “We’re there to treat those who are most vulnerable and have the greatest need.”
“Entering that business community, particularly in Western New York, has been very, very positive for Baxter,” Patterson said. “We were readily welcomed by the local business community. There’s not a lot of medical device business in the Orleans County area, but when you move a little bit further into Buffalo in Erie County, as well as Rochester and Monroe County and then further east over toward Syracuse, we encounter many more progressive companies and I would even say a vibrant medical technology business environment.”He said the advantages of manufacturing his product in New York include great transportation and a good supply base. Like many Bio/Med companies, challenges include taxes and skill-specific recruitment.Baxter came to New York in 2012 when the company purchased SIGMA Medical Devices.
Baxter focuses on building careers within the company when recruiting young talent, Patterson said. Following strict regulations can be daunting at the beginning, so Baxter trains in that area specifically.
“We have a steady supply of highly skilled, highly motivated, very dependable, very hard workers,” Patterson said.
The company maintains a healthy academic pipeline thanks to partnerships with University at Buffalo, as well as the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology.
“We’ll look inside New York, we’ll look outside New York. But we’re all about building a great and talented workforce in Medina,” said Patterson, who sees a lot of potential for a concentration of Bio/Med in New York State that would rival any other in the country.
“For us to thrive as a state – for us to thrive as an industry – we need to see that concentration,” he said. “It brings universities that are interested in developing people for them. It brings investment into the community because you get start-ups and you find that you have venture capital coming into the market.
“You have that alliance between venture capital, entrepreneurs and academics that really creates the hotbed for innovation that you want,” Patterson said.