June 9th, 2011

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics: A Culture of Health

From Nick Valeriani, Company Group Chairman, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics

For more than two years, I’ve been lucky enough to lead a company that I believe exemplifies the Johnson & Johnson ideal of a culture of health. My colleagues and I have been working together to help our employees live our franchise vision: enabling people to be healthier, feel better and live longer. Our vision represents the individual strengths of the three companies within our franchise: Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Therakos and Veridex. It also brings us together to focus on what matters most – our employees and the people we serve.

Our vision started with our employees’ recognition of the extraordinary value of diagnostics throughout the health care continuum. We work to cultivate an environment where we focus on the benefits of using health information – such as diagnostic tests – to stay healthy and well, and we feel that this should be demonstrated not only in the work that we do, but in our personal lives as well. For example, we talk about the ways in which our products can provide information that’s vital to preserving wellness, as well as managing disease; by offering health and wellness-related educational seminars and programs; by sharing success stories from patients and employees who benefit from our products; and by encouraging employees to evaluate their lifestyles and make small and simple changes for better health. Supporting each other in this way leads to a positive change that we all benefit from — employees who are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy and well.

Part of why I am so enthusiastic about the OCD franchise is due to my own personal commitment to health and wellness. I’ve always been interested in my own personal health, but it wasn’t until I participated in the Corporate Athlete Course at the Human Performance Institute that I began to have a greater appreciation for the many facets that affect health. Weight is one facet, but there are many other contributors like learning how, what and when to eat, using both exercise and recovery, and managing overall energy. Here are two of the ways we’ve introduced this concept to our employees around the world:  encouraging them to set a voluntary personal health goal and offering reminders to take health breaks throughout the day. In fact, three out of four colleagues who took an employee survey indicated that they set a personal health goal or made a lifestyle change last year as a way to be healthier, feel better and live longer. We also have created activity rooms in some of our larger locations and have worked with our onsite food service providers to ensure that we’re offering healthy, nutritious choices. 

I’m very excited about the way our vision has been received by our employees. The great thing about our vision is that it can be very personal – I have enjoyed seeing how colleagues around the world are interpreting and individualizing it for themselves. One of my favorite stories is that of Michael Delucia. During a global employee communications meeting, I invited him to speak about his health and wellness journey (see video below). He’s a great example of someone who has taken accountability for his health, and he has had incredible success.

Looking ahead, I’m excited about the potential our franchise has to make a difference in health and wellness. We have embarked on this journey for the long term, and have identified areas in which we have opportunity to help sustain this culture. Our leaders are building an environment where the success of our business does not come at the expense of our employees. We started an internal health literacy campaign to continue to educate and inform employees. In addition, we’re piloting an external public affairs program about the value of diagnostic testing, called ‘Know Your Numbers.’ Both initiatives are still in the early stages, but the feedback thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Creating and sustaining a culture of health and wellness is about empowering people to think about their health in totality. We encourage and support employees of the OCD franchise to make a personal decision to be healthier, feel better and live longer in a way that makes sense for them.

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