Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak takes on the ice bucket challenge, a viral social media phenomenon that has helped raise millions for ALS awareness.

August 19, 2014

1 Min Read
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Grips Medtronic's CEO (video)

You've seen your Facebook newsfeed lit up with brave souls who douse themselves with ice water in response to the Ice Bucket Challenge aimed to raise money for ALS.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a "progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord," according to the ALS Association.

Here's the drill of this viral social media phenomenon: Someone nominates you to take the challenge. If you do accept, you have someone take a video of you pouring a bucket of ice water on yourself while nominating a few others to take the challenge. Those nominated need to accept and complete the challenge in 24 hours.

Those who don't accept the challenge can donate to the ALS Associaton.

Between July 29 and Aug. 19, ALS Association received $22.9 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year.

And now, Omar Ishrak, Medtronic's CEO, has himself taken on the challenge. He was challenged to the task by his former colleague at GE Healthcare - Agnes Berzsenyi, a General Manager, Dose and Education Services, GE.

After completing the challenge, Ishrak throws the gauntlet to Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, Bill George, former Medtronic chairman and CEO and Geofrrey Martha, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Medtronic.

-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI
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