Medical device manufacturers Edwards Lifesciences marked the 40th anniversary of its Añasco, Puerto Rico, manufacturing facility on Monday. To celebrate the milestone, the Edwards Lifesciences Fund will grant $40,000 to a local nonprofit organization to support charitable efforts in the community, company officials said.
Añasco was Edwards’ first facility outside the U.S. mainland, opening in 1972 with 12 employees who were responsible for manufacturing 18 products. Today, the Añasco plant continues to supports product development and manufacturing for Edwards’ Critical Care and Vascular businesses.
“Our operations in Añasco play a vital role in our continued leadership in manufacturing high quality critical care and vascular products for clinicians and patients,” said Carlyn Solomon, Edwards’ corporate vice president, critical care and vascular. “We’re delighted to commemorate this milestone with our employees, whose efforts are central to the success and prosperity of the facility.”
In its early days, the plant produced the Swan-Ganz catheter, which is widely considered the “gold standard” for advanced hemodynamic monitoring. During the last 40 years, the facility has expanded its manufacturing capabilities to include many other products, as well as support of packaging, sterilization, product development, information technology and global distribution. Today, the 300,000 square foot facility supports nearly 1,000 employees.
“Añasco was Edwards’ first facility outside of the United States, and it’s been exciting to see it grow and expand over the years to become a prominent employer in the local community,” said Carlos Rivera Vélez, Edwards’ vice president of manufacturing. “We’re fortunate to have a solid team of enthusiastic, dedicated employees who take pride in the technologies we develop and the products we manufacture for patients around the world.”
Aside from announcing the charitable contribution, the company hosted celebratory activities, including a visit to the facility and brief remarks by Añasco Mayor Jorge Estéves-Martínez, and the recognition of four employees who have worked there for almost the full 40 years.