Making An Impact, One Keystroke at a Time

Scientists estimate that as many as 10 million bacteria call your workspace home, and keyboards are among the most touched surfaces. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a greater awareness of the importance of keeping ourselves and our personal spaces clean—especially with potentially harmful bacteria aplenty in offices, labs, and households.

To help Northeastern combat this challenge, the Bhatt Foundation gifted the university more than $50,000 worth of medical grade, washable, antimicrobial keyboards that clear COVID-19, HIV, and other viruses. Medical keyboards are sealed, waterproof, and easy to clean, making them ideal for use in scientific research labs and helpful for infection control. The keyboards will be used by students and researchers in the College of Science, the College of Engineering, and Bouvé College of Health Sciences.

The Bhatt Foundation was founded in 2015 by Hitesh and Kim Bhatt. Hitesh, the foundation’s chief technology officer, has a passion for public service and is a leader in technology and healthcare. His wife, Kim, president of the foundation, has decades of pharmaceutical industry experience and is a senior specialist in quality systems at Bristol Meyers Squibb.

The foundation operates in 17 countries, including the United States, India, Honduras, and multiple African countries, and is dedicated to improving global healthcare and education. “The Bhatt Foundation allocates over $1 million around the world annually, making in-kind gifts and scholarships,” says Hitesh. “We’ve donated medical keyboards to a number of institutions, and now, we’re giving 96 of them to Northeastern.”

In addition to being philanthropic leaders, the couple are parents to daughter, Haley, who is studying business administration at Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. They hope Haley will someday run the foundation and continue their legacy of giving back to communities worldwide.

The Bhatts admire Northeastern’s co-op program and how Haley is making the most of her experiential learning opportunities. “I’m so happy that students gain professional experience while they’re studying. And when they graduate, they’re ready to take on the world,” says Kim. “When Haley talks about Northeastern you can see how proud she is. And as parents, we are very proud that Haley attends Northeastern.”