INDIANAPOLIS, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company's (NYSE: LLY) new global service program, Connecting Hearts Abroad, is set to launch. Through the program, the company is sending 200 Lilly Ambassadors to assist people and communities that often lack basic resources. While serving others, the Ambassadors will also gain a deeper, more intimate understanding of different cultures and see firsthand the complex problems and opportunities associated with improving human health in developing areas. The goal: to help others and spark employees' innovative ideas that will make Lilly a better company.

The first of 200 Lilly Ambassadors start their two-week assignments in New Delhi, India, on April 2.

"Lilly has a long tradition of being both innovative and caring," said John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Lilly's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Our unique Connecting Hearts Abroad program combines these two passions. We're taking a novel approach to helping others. At the same time, we're giving our employees life-changing, eye-opening experiences that will make them more passionate and knowledgeable citizens of the world. This is an investment in developing communities, in our employees and in Lilly's future."

Two hundred Lilly employees from 38 countries were selected to participate in the Connecting Hearts Abroad program in 2011. The Ambassadors will provide assistance in developing communities in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. No specialized skills or expertise (for example, a medical background) were required – just a passion for making a difference. Lilly Ambassadors with various levels of expertise and experience will work together to create personal connections with people and communities that face difficult challenges in health care and beyond.

Lilly Ambassadors will provide hands-on support in the following