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Bristol-Myers Squibb, New Jersey Children's Hospital Launch Center for Immune System Disorders & Infectious Diseases Including HIV/AIDS

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Underscoring its worldwide commitment to children with HIV/AIDS, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today joined Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in opening a new clinical center at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The new center is dedicated to research and treatment of children's immune system disorders and infectious diseases.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Pediatric Infectious Disease and Immunology Center is one of three new clinical centers at the children's hospital made possible by a $5 million gift from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

"At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we believe that together we can prevail over serious illness," said Jill DeSimone, senior vice president of the company's U.S. Virology division. "We are committed as a company in the battle against HIV/AIDS here in our community and throughout the world, and we stand united with others who are working to improve the lives of children and all people afflicted with this debilitating disease."

The new infectious disease and immunology center is the latest example of the company's support for the New Brunswick children's hospital, built in part with a philanthropic gift from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. The center will not only treat pediatric HIV, it will also focus on emerging resistant infections, including those caused by community-acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

This past spring, The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital opened a pediatric rheumatology center dedicated to the research and treatment of rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Last year, the children's hospital opened a pediatric metabolism center to focus on obesity and its related health effects.

"Our hospital is extremely proud of our longstanding partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb," said Stephen K. Jones, president and chief executive officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. "Thanks to their generous support, our children's hospital is helping families confront some of the most serious health threats facing children."

Bristol-Myers Squibb's SECURE THE FUTURE

The new Pediatric Infectious Disease and Immunology Center is also an example of Bristol-Myers Squibb's efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic, not just through its medicines, but through philanthropy. Another example is SECURE THE FUTURE(R), a $150 million commitment by Bristol-Myers Squibb to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa -- the largest corporate commitment of its kind ever made.

SECURE THE FUTURE helps women and children through a range of programs such as a network of children's HIV clinics and the Pediatric AIDS Corps in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine.

"Bristol-Myers Squibb has set the bar when it comes to a corporate response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic," said Mark W. Kline, M.D., president of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children's Hospital. "SECURE THE FUTURE represents a new standard in terms of the size of the commitment and the scope, which includes community outreach and education as well as expanding access to care."

Benefiting Children in New Jersey and Africa

Patricia Whitley-Williams, M.D., knows the conditions in Africa and in New Jersey firsthand. Whitley-Williams is Physician-in-Chief at the New Brunswick children's hospital. In 2006 she spent six weeks in South Africa on a medical mission sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Whitley-Williams said the treatment, research and education initiatives developed at the Children's Hospital can provide valuable lessons for physicians in Africa. At the same time, physicians working in Africa could share best practices with colleagues in New Jersey.

"One of the many things I learned in South Africa is that children and families who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS are the same everywhere, with many of the same issues," Whitley-Williams said. "There are issues of access to treatment, adherence to medications, and the challenge of delivering care in a child-friendly fashion, so clearly our physicians here and in Africa have much to learn from each other."

In addition to its groundbreaking work in Africa, Bristol-Myers Squibb supports local, regional and national initiatives dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention and education. Last year the company awarded a grant of nearly $20,000 to HiTops, a Mercer County-based non-profit group that promotes adolescent health, for an HIV/AIDS education program. It was also the premier sponsor of AIDS Walk New York, which promoted awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Reach Out and Read

Bristol-Myers Squibb also joined with New Jersey's pharmaceutical and medical technology community through its trade association, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), in supporting Reach Out and Read programs at various New Jersey hospitals, health clinics and pediatric offices.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has already helped launch a children's literacy program modeled on the Reach Out and Read program at one of its children's HIV/AIDS clinical centers in Africa, and is leading a company-wide fundraising initiative to establish the program at all of them.

In addition to the announcement of the new clinical center, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey delivered 1,000 new children's books to the Reach Out and Read program at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital.

"As a major partner of Reach Out and Read, New Jersey's pharmaceutical and medical technology companies have made a multi-year commitment to support existing Reach Out and Read sites throughout New Jersey, expand the program to unserved areas of the state and build an infrastructure so the program can grow and serve more children in need," said HINJ president Bob Franks. "Today we are proud to deliver 1,000 new books in support of the Reach Out and Read program at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital."

Reach Out and Read Medical Director Perri Klass, M.D., said the program was founded on a belief that growing up reading is an essential part of growing up healthy and has been a prescription for improved literacy for millions of at-risk children.

"Reach Out and Read is about the importance of books and reading in children's lives," said Klass. "For children with HIV/AIDS, books and reading carry an important message of hope and joy, potential and possibility."

About The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital:

As New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive children's hospital, The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital offers specialties including cardiology and cardiac surgery, organ transplants, trauma treatment, fetal surgery, hematology/oncology and neurosurgery in a family-centered environment. It is consistently among the top-rated children's hospitals in America for patient satisfaction.

About UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School:

As one of the nation's leading comprehensive medical schools, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery, and the promotion of community health.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb:

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.

Visit Bristol-Myers Squibb on the World Wide Web at

SOURCE Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
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