2015 Corporate Sustainability Report: People

St. Jude Medical employee outlining concepts on a whiteboard


The success of our business relies on our having an engaged, talented and diverse workforce, and fostering goodwill in the communities where our employees live and work. We have a workforce of 18,000 talented people around the globe.

Diversity, Inclusion & Culture

Pie chart of St. Jude Medical employees by age

At St. Jude Medical, we strive to save and improve lives by creating cost-effective medical technologies. We realize our mission through our people: by hiring, developing, advancing and retaining a diverse team because we recognize that the best decisions are informed by diverse perspectives.

We define diversity broadly, encompassing a rich blend of organizational and human characteristics, experiences, skills and traditions. Inclusion is defined as a workplace culture where all employees have a sense of belonging; where diversity is leveraged to create a sustained competitive business advantage.

Looking ahead, we are working to develop the skills of talented professionals, preparing them to deliver results based on the current and future needs of our organization, influenced and motivated by leaders who are committed to bringing out the best in each individual. Our success depends on creating a company that values diversity in its workforce and leadership, that offers a respectful, supportive environment and that appreciates and rewards a variety of perspectives.

Diversity is making sure we have a variety of voices at the table. Inclusion is making sure all voices at the table are heard.

Pie chart compares categories of St. Jude Medical employeesPie chart compares St. Jude Medical employees by region

Bar graph compares St. Jude Medical employees by genderBar graph compares St. Jude Medical executive leadership by gender

Learn more about working at St. Jude Medical

Employee Health, Safety and Development

At St. Jude Medical, we are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our most valuable resources: our employees. Resources across the company help prevent and reduce the number of work-related injuries and illnesses through a variety of programs, targeted prevention efforts, training and leadership. Employee safety and health is a key component of our culture and is recognized as critically important in a strategy geared to a sustainable workforce.

Fostering Healthy Lifestyles

Our employee benefits are designed to provide resources to help protect and support our employees and their families. While our benefit packages vary by country, in all cases, St. Jude Medical offers competitive benefits that demonstrate our commitment to employees. We continually review our overall benefits package to ensure we continue to offer competitive benefits that are affordable and meet the needs of our employees.

Health and Wellness Program

Our goal is to offer programs that demonstrate our commitment to the health and well-being of our employees. We are committed to providing programs that help our employees and their families maintain and improve their health. We continually look for ways to offer a comprehensive range of valuable programs. In addition to programs, St. Jude Medical continues to expand its onsite fitness centers. St. Jude Medical is recognized by the American Heart Association with the Fit-Friendly Company Gold Level Award.

Employee Assistance Program

U.S. employees are also offered access to a work/life assistance program. This is a confidential resource and referral service that provides support, education and information to assist employees and their families in both their personal and work lives.

Employee Development

As part of an ongoing effort to engage, retain and continuously train employees, St. Jude Medical offers a variety of educational programs ranging from tuition assistance for educational degrees to global leadership development programs for all levels of management. Various programs are provided at a professional level for specialized skills training. Operations employees are trained and certified on manufacturing processes to assure they build quality products. Additionally, they are trained on various quality and environmental procedures to assure best practices and compliance.

U.S. employees working more than 30 hours a week qualify for yearly tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 for job-related college courses taken either online or in a classroom. Other locations offer similar country-specific tuition reimbursement programs.

Orientation for new employees is offered monthly at all St. Jude Medical facilities around the globe. The program engages new employees, introduces them to the company’s history, business objectives, customers and products using videos, animations and hands-on product samples.

The Learning Management System at St. Jude Medical, known as My Learning, delivers supplemental online modules to employees on key topics to support new employee onboarding and continuous employee development—both in terms of required and suggested training for career development. The My Learning system communicates training requirements, tracks individual training and development activities and helps to ensure compliance across the company.

Our Global Leadership Development philosophy is to provide development opportunities to leaders at key turning points in their company leadership and lifecycle to equip them with the tools to effectively manage and grow. A sample of current global leadership development programs include:

  • Harvard Manage Mentor Online Learning: This resource is provided to global managers to develop and enrich knowledge and application of management and leadership skills. With 44 topics in five languages, courses support development in managing self, managing others and managing the business.
  • Strategic Management Series: This program provides a variety of courses for managers of individual contributors that support development of leadership skills. Courses such as the Adaptive Manager, Situational Leadership and Dynamic Teams are facilitated at U.S. and global sites by St. Jude Medical. Human resource business partners facilitate courses as needed such as Leading Organizational Change, Retaining and Keeping Your Talent, and Career Development Conversations.
  • Strategic Leadership Series: This program is designed for global leaders of managers and provides courses regionally. The key programs Creating Partnership Across Boundaries (CPAB) and Maximizing Your Impact (MYI) are offered several times a year in multiple geographies for nominated leaders. The goals of CPAB are to understand the nature and value of partnership within organizations and increase the impact of a mid-level leader as they create and maintain those partnerships. The goal of MYI is for leaders to understand the key accountabilities that define highly effective leaders and the behavioral shifts required to fully execute the role of leading those who lead others.
  • Executive Leadership Program: This four-day program for nominated high potential senior leaders focuses on teamwork and collaboration in a time of significant change within our industry and business, resulting in better strategy and decision making across our global organization.
  • Health Care Reform and Economics Fundamentals: A two-and-a-half-day course offered to management and select sales representatives and clinical personnel, this training helps educate participants on the changing landscape of health care in the U.S. This training offers strategies to enable field personnel to partner with customers to address their priorities in the changing health care environment.

Corporate Citizenship

2015 Giving Summary includes 54% education, 39% patient support, 7% healthy communities

At St. Jude Medical, we challenge ourselves to make a difference every day—in the lives of patients and their families, in our experiences as colleagues at work and play, and in the vibrancy of our communities. Alongside the activities of the St. Jude Medical Foundation, we fulfill that challenge by sharing our resources through grants and volunteerism in three key areas:

  • Education
  • Patient Support
  • Healthy Communities

In 2015, St. Jude Medical and the St. Jude Medical Foundation provided more than $23 million in cash and in-kind product donations to important causes and organizations worldwide.


St. Jude Medical recognizes that science advances quickly, new technologies and innovations are created each and every day, and information and data are available in real-time. As part of an ever-changing health care system, we understand the need to support global health care professionals in pursuit of continuing their education to transform the treatment of expensive epidemic diseases.

Our various continuing education programs assist fellows in receiving the training they need to become future physician thought-leaders and ultimately improve patient care. To further the advancement of medicine and deliver new and better ways to help patients live longer, healthier lives, we encourage and support health care professionals to continue their education through grants and funding to hospitals and other organizations.

The St. Jude Medical Foundation also supports the next generation of inventors and health care professionals through targeted initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students in primary through secondary school. The unique programs we support help ensure the professionals of tomorrow receive the education and encouragement they need today.

Patient Support

As a company, we are committed to saving and improving lives. As a member of the global community, and along with the St. Jude Medical Foundation, we take that commitment to heart—by dedicating our time and other resources from around the world to support patients affected by expensive epidemic diseases.

Our patient support programs provide funding for patient education events, public health activities and programs aimed at improving and enhancing the lives of patients.

We also support patients through our Product Assistance Donation Program, which gives patients who otherwise wouldn’t have access to life-saving technology and health care they need.

Healthy Communities

St. Jude Medical helps build healthy communities in the places we live and work by supporting events to promote healthy lifestyles and by funding programs aimed at awareness and prevention of epidemic disease.

Our talented employees at St. Jude Medical are an essential component to building healthy communities. Their compassion, creativity, competitive nature and integrity affect positive change in our communities. Employees continuously challenge themselves and by doing so, experience firsthand that helping others has a transforming power for both the giver and the receiver.

Learn more about our Giving and Corporate Citizenship.

Global Mission

We work and live in a global community. Our pledge to corporate citizenship stretches from company-wide sponsorships through the St. Jude Medical Foundation, to local employee-driven initiatives that volunteer our time, talent and resources to positively impact the communities and people who need help most. Below are various examples of local and global programs where we are making a difference around the world.


Chronic pain affects 1 in 5 people globally. After a work accident, Christian Wübbena of Recklinghausen, Germany, tried many forms of treatment before receiving a St. Jude Medical neurostimulator. This is his story of redemption.

A Life Transformed

Christian Wübbena, chronic pain patient with St. Jude Medical neurostimulator

Life was good for Christian Wübbena in his late 30s. He had close friends and a loving wife, Tanja. A resident of Recklinghausen, Germany, he liked his job as supervisor of a scaffolding crew. And he was in top physical shape, a professional athlete who took runner-up in the fitness category at the 2007 German bodybuilding championship.

But the following year, Christian’s life changed in an instant.

He was standing on a scaffold. A coworker tossed him a metal bar. When Christian twisted to try to catch it, he heard a snap. The twist had injured his spine. Surgery to repair the injury resulted in nerve damage. Christian was left in chronic pain, a condition that affects 1.5 billion people worldwide—more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined.

Sharp pain radiated from Christian’s back into his legs. Seeking relief, he underwent a series of treatments: injections, medications, electric stimulation, manual therapies, rehabilitation sports, transcutaneous nerve stimulation. Nothing helped.

His condition kept deteriorating. Christian was unable to stand up straight. By 2011, he needed crutches to walk. A couple of years later he was using a wheelchair when the pain and cramps were particularly severe. The former athlete worried he might become quadriplegic. He withdrew from social activities and sought treatment for insomnia. Despite the support he received from Tanja and his friends, Christian found himself in a dark and depressed state.

“I worked so very hard to get my body in shape and I had to sit and watch how all this was being destroyed,” he recalls. “I didn’t know where it would end.”

Then his doctor suggested one more possibility: neurostimulation therapy with the Prodigy™ Chronic Pain System with Burst technology* from St. Jude Medical. Implanted near the base of the spine by a physician, the Prodigy chronic pain system generates electrical pulses that stimulate the spinal cord and interrupt the pain signals before they reach the brain. The Prodigy™ implantable pulse generator (IPG) is the first such device to offer the electrical pulses in two different waveforms: conventional stimulation, called tonic, and a new proprietary waveform called Burst waveform, which has been found effective for treating pain that is not fully managed by tonic stimulation.

After having endured years of failed therapies, Christian was skeptical. But he had run out of other options and was losing hope. So he agreed to the surgery and had the device implanted.

Once again, his life was transformed. With the Prodigy IPG, Christian’s pain is almost fully controlled. He paints, cooks and plays with his two cats. Though not able to return to his job, he hopes eventually to work part-time and volunteers to help others in his community. Not only can he stand straight and walk again, he hikes in Westruper Heath, a beautiful nature reserve near Haltern am See, Germany, in the Recklinghausen District not far from his home.

“I am the happiest person on earth, just being able to walk again on my own and enjoy nature, to meet with friends and family,” says Christian, who is now 45.

Most important, he shares time with Tanja, and looks for ways to repay her for the support she gave him during those years of suffering. Among other things, he obtained a horse-drawn carriage and staged a romantic second marriage proposal.

“Tanja is the most important person to me,” he says. “I am very grateful to call her my wife.”

After enduring years of pain and mobility problems, Christian credits his neurostimulator with improving his life.

“The chronic pain was dominating my life so much that I often felt desperate about my situation,” he says. “Now, the sun is shining on my life again and I am very grateful for that.”

About Spinal Cord Stimulation

The Prodigy Chronic Pain System with Burst technology is the only implantable spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system approved to deliver our Burst stimulation as well as traditional SCS to reduce pain, improve patient satisfaction and eliminate paresthesia (a tingling sensation) in some patients. Traditional stimulation uses equally spaced electrical pulses to replace pain with paresthesia. For some patients, the sensation may become uncomfortable. Burst stimulation works differently. It’s designed to mimic the body’s natural pattern of neuron signaling, providing an alternative therapy method for chronic pain. The two modes of stimulation offered by the Prodigy™ neurostimulation system allow clinicians to more effectively adjust therapy to a patient’s unique pain condition and may be especially helpful over time.

*Investigational device. Limited by Federal (or United States) law to investigational use.

Actual patient story. The patient story above is the experience of this individual only. Although this patient did not experience complications, there can be risks and potential complications associated with the use of this device. If you are interested in learning more about the device, please consult your physician. Information related to indications, contraindications and precautions can be found at SJM.com.

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