New World Medical works on a vision for humanity – San Bernardino Sun

New World Medical has a vision for humanity that started more than 30 years ago in Nigeria.

Dr. A. Mateen Ahmed, a young professor at the time, was inundated with patients suffering from onchocerciasis, a condition also known as “river blindness” that’s spread by infected black fly bites.

Symptoms often don’t appear for up to two years. But when they do, it can lead to lead to vision changes — and in some cases, blindness.

Today, Ahmed’s Rancho Cucamonga-based company creates and manufactures surgical devices designed to alleviate symptoms of glaucoma, a related condition of onchocerciasis.

The company contributes more than 10% of its annual profits to support enhanced glaucoma screening and training for healthcare providers in developing nations. New World Medical applies that same sense of giving to its employees and has been honored as a Top Workplace in the Inland Empire, landing in first place among nine mid-size honorees.

New World’s nurturing work culture is reflected in comments made by employees in the Top Workplaces survey.

“I appreciate the genuine dedication to our mission as a company and the dedication our company has to do what’s best for our employees,” one worker wrote.

Others tout “the positive impact I’m making,” and how New World wants its workers “to feel valued and enjoy the work they are doing.”

We asked CEO Bilal Khan to talk about how the company’s products work, healthcare conditions in developing nations and how New World values its employees. His answers have been edited for length.

Rancho Cucamonga based New World Medical produces surgical devices and implants which are made for people with glaucoma. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Q: Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and there’s no cure for the condition. Who is most at risk to have Glaucoma?

A: Over 3 million Americans are affected by glaucoma. It is a group of diseases that can affect individuals regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. However, factors that increase one’s risk of developing glaucoma include family history, ethnicity, advancing age, presence of myopia, trauma, use of steroids and blood pressure.

Q: Can you briefly explain how your products are used to treat this condition through early diagnosis and management?

A: Our products are designed to slow the disease progression and preserve vision by lowering a patient’s intraocular pressure, which is the only known modifiable risk factor for glaucoma patients. This is achieved by increasing the outflow of aqueous from within the eye in a controlled fashion.

Q: New World Medical’s devices are designed, in part, to halt the progression of glaucoma in developing nations. Are medical services significantly lacking in some of these places?

A: We work to do this in five ways. First, by developing and empowering surgeons with technology, we have helped enhance the lives of well over a million patients globally.  Second, we have created more than 200 fulfilling career opportunities for our mission-driven staff. Third, we support our staff members in volunteering domestically and on ophthalmic mission trips abroad.

Fourth, we strive to expand access to care by providing no-charge products domestically and for mission trips. We also try to price products in markets that are commensurate with the local ability to pay. Finally, we donate 10% of our profits each year through a donor-advised fund, Sidra Tree Foundation. Our intent is to strategically fund initiatives that expand access to quality ophthalmic care.

Q: New World has been ranked by its employees as a great place to work. What kinds of policies or programs are in place to support existing employees and attract new ones?

A: We are fulfilling careers in which we can holistically contribute to society.  Our staff has capitalized on this opportunity to create a dynamic, rapidly growing business. This success has afforded us the ability to not only pursue our mission, but also provide competitive compensation, a profit-sharing plan, 100% company-funded platinum health insurance, tuition assistance, regular professional development courses, a career development program, and daily company-provided lunch on our campus.

However, when I meet new hires, they say the primary impetus for joining our company is our people. They are the foundation of our culture and success.

No. 1 medium-size company: New World Medical

Founded: 1990

Headquarters: Rancho Cucamonga

Industry: Medical devices

Inland Empire employees: 170


Quote: “Our people are the foundation of our culture and success,”

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