October 14th, 2010

Social Health Meets BlogWorld

I’m a big fan of the research conducted by Susannah Fox and her colleagues over at the Pew Internet and American Life Project. One of their reports that I often turn to when asked about the impact of the Internet on health in America is her 2009 report, the Social Life of Health Information. According to that report, 61% of Americans look online for health information, and of those, a majority access user generated content.

Clearly the use of social networks is having a dramatic impact on how people manage their healthcare needs. To better understand the opportunities and hurdles faced by different stakeholders — from patients to physicians to manufacturers — a special health-focused track is being held today at the BlogWorld and New Media Expo in Las Vegas.

We’re one of the sponsors, and to generate a lively discussion on this subject we’ve invited speakers and panelists from the medical and patient blogging worlds who can share first-hand their experiences, thoughts, needs and issues. I’m personally looking forward to catching today’s opening keynote from e-Patient Dave deBronkart, to catch up with old friends like Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me, Kevin Pho of Kevin MD and Bryan Vartabedian of 33 Charts, Jenny Prokopy of Chronic Babe and many others.

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October 11th, 2010

Voices of UC Launches

Running on a brisk October day in 2008, Keith Krause wiped the sweat from his face as he pushed through the last few miles and crossed the finish line, completing his second marathon.  An astounding feat for most people (I for one get winded running two miles), Keith’s accomplishment had extra special meaning.  Only three years earlier, he lay in a hospital bed wondering if he would ever be able to complete a marathon again.

Keith is just one of approximately 500,000 people in the United States suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC), a chronic disease that affects the digestive tract.  I talked to him earlier this week about his experience dealing with UC. 

Diagnosed in December of 1988, Keith has used exercise to as a way to keep up his strength and exert control over his condition.  However, in 2005, his UC symptoms were so severe he had to be hospitalized twice, at one point being told he would need to try another treatment strategy to control his symptoms.

After determining a course of treatment with his doctor, Keith finally started to get control of his symptoms.  As he regained his strength back, he looked ahead to running another marathon. 

“I wanted to do a marathon to give me closure from the sickness,” Keith said.  Three years later, after countless hours of training in all sorts of weather, he accomplished his goal.

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October 8th, 2010

Focusing on the “Who”

From Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Contributions and Community Relations, Johnson & Johnson

Last month, Heads of State, Ministers of Health, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Private Foundations, and a few representatives of the private sector convened at the United Nations for the Secretary General’s Summit on Maternal and Child Health. In fact, there were many conferences, convenings and meetings in New York last week, all focused on the lack of progress that the world has made on the Millennium Development Goals devoted to the health and survival of women and children in low resource countries. As I participated in a number of these discussions, I was reminded that all too often we focus on the “what” and the “how” of the programs and policies that affect women and children, while we omit the conversation about the “who.”

Johnson & Johnson has a long history of working to improve maternal and child health. As part of this work, my colleagues and I visit programs that our company supports around the world, programs developed with the community-based partners with whom we work. During these trips, we have the opportunity to meet the people positively affected by these programs, to see both the needs and outcomes, and to hear the stories of success and failure.

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September 30th, 2010

Bill Weldon and Colleen Goggins on the McNeil Consumer Healthcare Recall

Today Bill Weldon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson, and Colleen Goggins, Worldwide Chairman, Consumer Group, Johnson & Johnson, are appearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to discuss the McNeil Consumer Healthcare product recalls. Bill and Colleen will update the Committee on the implementation of McNeil’s remediation plan and address the Committee’s concerns around our handling of these situations and dealings with the FDA.

Here is an excerpt from Bill’s testimony:

We have made considerable progress, and we are working quickly to resolve any outstanding issues and resume production of our children’s liquid products. … I am committed to working cooperatively with the Committee and the FDA to get the McNeil products back on the shelves for the people who rely on them. We look forward to earning back the trust of all those who have depended upon Johnson & Johnson to take care of themselves and their families for decades.

For further details, click here for the full testimony from Bill and here to read Colleen’s testimony.

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September 23rd, 2010

New Jersey’s Largest Solar Energy System

If you’re searching for the largest solar panel installation in New Jersey, look no further than Titusville, NJ.  Today, the campus of Janssen, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen powered up its 4.1 megawatt (MW) solar installation, making it the largest in the state. 

It is estimated that the installation can provide up to 70% of the facility’s electricity needs.  Made up of 13,496 ground-mounted panels, it is also the largest solar array among the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies around the world.  This aerial photo below gives you a better idea of the magnitude of the installation.

Photo by TJ Klein

The Titusville campus is just one of 20 solar power systems worldwide that Johnson & Johnson has planned or completed.  These sites will make up an installed capacity of around 13 megawatts.

You can learn more about the installation in Titusville by watching this fascinating video on the Johnson & Johnson YouTube Health Channel.

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September 21st, 2010

New Way RA Premieres New Episode

Every day is a challenge when living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and for Danielle Stephens, who has been living with RA for more than 10 years, it is essential that she look and feel confident.

Danielle recently learned style tips in the latest episode of New Way RA™ featuring Clinton Kelly, co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear.  In the episode, Clinton demonstrated hints and tricks to help those living with RA dress to impress, even when they aren’t feeling their best.  According to Clinton, simple tricks such as buying elastic bracelets and finding stylish items without buttons can help those with RA greet each day with confidence.

 I had a chance to catch up with Danielle, and I wanted to share a few things I gleaned from the conversation with her. 

According to Danielle, it is important to feel confident about yourself:

“…because when you have rheumatoid arthritis, you don’t have a choice as to if you feel good or if you feel bad when you wake up. If you look and feel confident, you’re not going to focus on the pain that you have, you’re going to focus on the fact that you look good.”

Danielle found Clinton’s tips on layering her clothes and different types of jewelry the most helpful.  Since taping the episode, Danielle said she has incorporated many pieces of jewelry into her style.  For Danielle, wearing chunky jewelry helps cover up her joints when they are swollen from RA.

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September 9th, 2010

Johnson & Johnson and Every Mother, Every Child

Johnson & Johnson just announced the launch of Every Mother, Every Child – a comprehensive, five-year effort to improve the health of women and children in developing countries. The initiative comes in response to the call by the Secretary General of the United Nations in April 2010 for a renewed global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to reduce death and disease in women and children by 2015.

More materials on this initiative can be found on www.jnj.com — and I’ve also pasted a video overview of the program below.

The Every Mother, Every Child effort includes new initiatives, such as in m-Health; builds and expands on some of Johnson & Johnson’s existing philanthropic programs, including a quadrupling of our donation of medicine to treat intestinal parasites in children , and it underscores the Company’s commitment to research and development to treat and prevent HIV and tuberculosis. We have posted about some of our existing programs in the past here on this blog. I thought I’d highlight a few of these JNJBTW posts here:

Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

Since 2003, Johnson & Johnson has dedicated resources to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, notably through its support of mothers2mothers.

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September 8th, 2010

Announcing the 2010 Dr. Paul Janssen Award Winners

By Paul Stoffels, Global Head, Pharmaceuticals Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson 

This morning, Johnson & Johnson and an independent selection committee of world renowned scientists are proud to announce the winners of the 2010 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

After careful review of more than 125 nominations of top scientists from 28 countries, the Selection Committee chose Dr. Erik De Clercq, Professor Emeritus, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Leuven, Belgium, and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.  Drs. De Clercq and Fauci were selected for their pioneering work in understanding and combating viral diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS.

Having personally worked with Dr. Paul on the research and development of treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS, I could not be more pleased with the Selection Committee’s decision.  When AIDS was discovered in the early 1980s, we didn’t understand the virus and had very few tools to help patients. While many challenges remain, thanks to breakthroughs by scientists like Dr. De Clercq and Dr. Fauci, as well as Dr. Paul and his team, many people with HIV are now able to live long and productive lives.

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September 1st, 2010

Raising Awareness of Prostate Cancer

Editor’s Note: The following is from Robert Bazemore, Jr., President of our Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc. company.

Recently, I had the honor of meeting Gordon Kenyon, an incredibly brave, young individual with late-stage, metastatic prostate cancer, who was accompanied by his wife, Kim. They recounted how tests for an unexpected back injury ultimately revealed that he had prostate cancer-induced bone fractures. The unanticipated and devastating news about advanced prostate cancer turned his life upside down, as he and his family were immediately faced with a host of decisions.

Since his diagnosis, this former Marine, tri-athlete and father of three young children has undergone several treatments in an attempt to win the upper hand over the disease. His wife gives the term “pillar of strength” new meaning, seeking out the latest information and resources while he focuses on maintaining his health and providing for the long-term needs of his family. His captivating story impressed upon me the need for new treatment options as well as the critical role of education and support services to manage the baggage that accompanies this disease.

Prostate cancer is often misunderstood. About 32,000 men are estimated to die this year from the disease in the U.S. alone – enough men to fill approximately 400 metropolitan buses, including standing passengers – or 77 Boeing 747-400 airplanes.

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September 1st, 2010

Aid for Pakistan

The recent flooding in Pakistan has devastated the region.  One-fifth of the country, an area about the size of Italy, is now underwater, and entire villages have been swept away.  It is estimated that 15 million people have been displaced by the flooding.  Johnson & Johnson has distributed three Johnson & Johnson Disaster Relief Modules to the region, which include items such as sutures, wound dressings, BAND-AID Brand Adhesive Bandages, Neosporin and emergency medicine.  In addition to these modules, Johnson & Johnson is providing cash and product donations, and working with partners in the area to give immediate assistance to the victims. 

Johnson & Johnson companies and individual employees from around the world have joined in contributing to the Pakistan relief efforts. Our colleagues at Johnson & Johnson Pakistan have been working with local emergency relief organizations in Pakistan to distribute flood relief kits to victims in the region. These kits contain emergency medicine among other items.

The Citizen’s Foundation, with support from Johnson & Johnson, is dispensing ration packs that consist of food, water-purifying packs and basic medicines.  These ration packs provide enough materials to sustain a family of 5 for an entire month.  Since the flooding, TCF has distributed packs to nearly 2,000 families.

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