Jon Ballantyne, Brett Barton, Fresenius Medical Care

Interview with Brett Barton (left), Director of Device Operations, and
Jon Ballantyne (right), Director of Drug Operations,
Fresenius Medical Care

Industry: Medical
Founded: 1462
Employees: 1,800+ (Ogden facility)
Chamber Member Since: 1992
Website: www.fmcna.com

Fresenius Medical Care North America is the premier health care company focused on delivering the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Fresenius creates high-performance specialized integrated networks that provide best-in-class care for the full spectrum of patient health needs.

Q: What is it like to work for Fresenius?

Brett: We have a very strong sense of core values here. You can see it in our operations, which translates into the community and helps develop the Ogden area into a place you want to live.

Jon: Fresenius is a global company hidden in Ogden Utah. People come in and see our place and tour the 1.2 million square foot facility right here in Ogden; they are amazed a business this size is located in within their community.

Q: Your mission is: “Employees working together to improve the quality of life of dialysis patients around the world by manufacturing and delivering high quality renal products at the right quantities and best delivered cost every day.” How do you set those standards?

Brett: Our patients do not have the option to quit when they do not feel like going to a treatment. When you realize our products give someone another day on this earth, how can you give anything less than your best? We strive to produce the best quality products at the best cost, delivered on time, every day.

Jon: We work in an industry regulated by the FDA; our products and services are made to the highest quality standard and the best way to meet those standards is through an exceptional team of people. We meet with our employees to discuss the quality of our products, our values and the impact we have on patients.  Once employees realize the impact they have, not only within the business but also on a personal level, they give one hundred and ten percent.

Q: What is it like to work for a business that affects lives so intricately?

Brett: It’s very fulfilling. You take great pride in knowing that you come to work every day and you are doing something that extends or adds to the quality of life of so many people in the U.S. and across North America.

Jon: We take employees to our dialysis clinics to visit with patients going through dialysis; that sets the tone for what we are doing here. Everyone here, from the top to the bottom, is focused on what we are doing for patients and how to improve their quality of life.

Q: What are some features of Fresenius that set it apart from similar companies?

Brett: We are very vertically integrated. We produce multiple product lines that supply our clinics as well as our competitors’ clinics.

Q: How does Fresenius interact with Ogden?

Jon: We are involved in several local manufacturing associations. We participate in the McKay-Dee Hospital Gala—helping to benefit community health programs. We are involved with the STEM organization, helping to develop the workforce of tomorrow through science, technology, engineering and math education.

Brett: We are involved in several charity golf tournaments; we don’t win but it’s a lot of fun and it’s for a good cause.

Q: What are some challenges facing Fresenius and how do you plan to overcome them?

Brett: One of our biggest challenges is finding employees. Fresenius is not the only large employer in the Ogden area.  The FDA heavily regulates the industry in which we work; if you have never worked in that kind of environment, it can be challenging. We have an excellent team of people who are committed to helping each other be successful. You are a part of something much bigger than a single person.

Jon: Brand awareness as a major employer in the Ogden area is a challenge. We have realized that people will not work for you if they don’t know who you are! We want people who want to make a difference, who can work in a challenging environment, who may not necessarily have all the qualifications on paper but are willing to learn.

Q: What is the future vision for Fresenius and how does the Ogden facility play a part in it?

Jon: It’s very fast paced, very high tech. As a company, we are adding more automation, so we need to increase the skill and ability of our people to be able to work with and maintain that kind of equipment. We offer an education reimbursement program, including the OWATC, to employees to provide opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable.

Brett: We rely highly on technology and the expertise of our employees to run our processes. As long as there is a need for end-stage renal disease products, we will continue to grow and provide leading care and quality products for renal care patients across the globe. Investing in our workforce is the best way to ensure our success as an organization.

Q: What is something that people might be surprised to learn about Fresenius?

Brett: We are the largest end-stage renal device products manufacturer as well as services provider in North America. We are centrally located right here in Weber County and are Ogden’s best-kept secret. We have 1800 plus employees inside a facility that stretches from 13th street all the way to 17th street, manufacturing lifesaving products; that is a big surprise!

Jon: Fresenius is a global company. We have locations in Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and Latin America. The opportunity for career growth is limitless.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Jon:  We are here for more reasons than just normal business. We enjoy being a part of the culture that is Ogden and strive every day to make Weber County a place where our patients, as well as our employees, can thrive in the community. If you have ever wanted to make a difference in someone’s life, this is the place to do it.

Brett: Fresenius is a growing company. We are a company where individuals have a direct impact on the community throughout their career. You can take pride in knowing you made a difference in someone’s life at the end of each day.

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