March 25th, 2015

The Yin and Yang of Technology and Healthcare

By Kris Sterkens, Company Group Chairman, Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, Asia Pacific

Earlier this month in Singapore, I had the privilege of speaking at the Healthcare Innovation Summit Asia, an annual event that evaluates the value of technology in improving health outcomes for our region. Both science and technology continue to have a positive impact on our lives while converging on so many levels, so it was a valuable opportunity to explore how this interconnectivity can deliver innovative solutions that address unmet medical needs.

Big Data is enabling our industry to process large amounts of unstructured data more efficiently than ever before, which is allowing our researchers to more quickly identify connections, causes and effects. We’re also seeing more opportunities with wearable devices to help patients manage chronic diseases. In Australia, we are partnering with a local company on the development of a wearable device to help predict falls in the elderly before they occur. As well as helping patients, this has the potential to reduce the enormous annual cost burden for injuries that are caused by falls in Australia.

But in an era defined by profound technological advances, the practice of medicine remains an art as well as a science.

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March 24th, 2015

An End-to-End Approach to Advancing Medical Innovation

Last week, Dr. William Hait, Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, and  Member of the Research!America Board, published a guest blog post on where he underscored the importance of collaborating with key stakeholders to form an end-to-end approach to enhance critically needed research.

Dr. Hait emphasized that “solving complex research challenges requires more than individual effort. It also takes the willingness and skill to bring together government, academia and the private sector.”

He noted that innovative approaches that enhance the speed of medical innovation, combined with more robust U.S. federal funding of health research and new STEM education initiatives, “form an end-to-end approach that will enhance critically needed research, fostering a new generation of R&D talent, and incentivizing development of next-generation technologies. Collectively, they will help advance medical innovation for all to benefit.”

Read the full blog post here.

Bill HaitWilliam N. Hait is Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, the global research and development arm of Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he leads the global R&D group in its mission to discover and develop innovative new medicines to address the world’s most serious unmet medical needs.

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March 23rd, 2015

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

By Yvette Williams, Manager, Political Programs, Johnson & Johnson U.S. Government Affairs & Policy

My parents were from humble beginnings.  “Ma,” as I called her, was from North Carolina, and dad heralded from West Virginia.  They met in Washington, D.C., at a time when it was common for African-Americans to leave rural towns to pursue jobs in major cities.  Both were subject to Jim Crow laws that required separate accommodations for blacks and whites. Neither achieved a college degree.  However, both had a strong work ethic and common sense, which they passed on to me, in part by making sure I got a good education.

Sadly, neither one lived long enough to see our first African-American president take the oath of office – twice – but I think they would have been equally surprised to see their daughter join that president on March 7 in Selma, Alabama.

We were there to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the day in 1965 when civil rights marchers trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge were savagely beaten by the authorities. The events of Bloody Sunday led to the passage later that year of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signaling the beginning of the end of racial discrimination at the ballot box.

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March 20th, 2015

Balancing Act: Women Lose Without Safe Water

By Joy Marini, Executive Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

As I approached the hanging latrine in Dhaka, Bangladesh, my first thoughts were “how am I going to get up there?” and then “where is the door?” I was in Dhaka to see the progress of a partnership begun in 2009 with and DSK, a Bangladesh-based water organization, and it was time for me to understand the impetus behind this project.

Hanging latrine in Karmrangir Char, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo by Gary White/

Hanging latrine in Karmrangir Char, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo by Gary White/

In Dhaka, and in many other parts of the world without toilets or clean water, people must navigate a precarious ramp, sometimes a single plank, to a raised outdoor toilet. Aside from the unsanitary conditions, lack of privacy and spread of disease, navigating a wobbly ramp is a balancing act that is often beyond the abilities of the very young and very old.

Wobbly ramps aren’t the only balancing acts people encounter when their communities lack clean water and sanitation – for women and girls, the biggest balancing act is time. Women and children, usually girls, spend 140 million hours a day collecting water. In the Dhaka community that I was visiting, a girl might spend 2-3 hours a day gathering clean water.

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March 17th, 2015

Working Together on Alzheimer’s Disease

By Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson

We all know a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease: a grandparent or friend, or we may have heard about someone famous who has been diagnosed. We have all heard stories from colleagues, or have our own experiences, with a family member who can no longer remember his children’s names, can no longer drive, and has trouble getting words out, and later on, needs help dressing. The gradual loss of cognition and ability to function slowly steals the person away and causes considerable suffering and hardship.

Approximately 44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, and as the population ages, this number is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050. These are truly staggering projections, and the human aspects are heart-wrenching.

Johnson & Johnson and our Janssen pharmaceutical companies have never been more committed to helping people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We recently announced an investment of $10 million through Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. in a new UK government-led dementia discovery fund that will support innovative research to prevent and treat these devastating conditions. We helped to create the fund as a new type of model to finance early, promising research, based on the reality that one company, one country, or one university cannot do it alone.

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March 15th, 2015

Health Care Pros Build the Case for More Sustainable Hospitals

By Keith Sutter, Director, Medical Devices Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson

We know the impact of health care on our environment is huge: In the United States alone, it’s estimated that hospitals are responsible for generating more than 5.9 million tons of waste annually, and the health care sector is responsible for eight percent of the nation’s carbon footprint. The same can be said of the environment’s impact on health care. In her book, Greening Health Care, Kathy Gerwig of Kaiser Permanente cites a 2002 study that concluded social and environmental factors vastly outweigh medical care in determining people’s health.

It’s not difficult to understand why support for sustainability would be prevalent among health care professionals. In fact, a recent global Harris Poll survey commissioned by Johnson & Johnson found that more than three-quarters of health care professionals across six countries believe sustainability initiatives protect staff, and nearly 70% agreed they make business sense.

Support for Sustainability

Considered together, the data leads to an inevitable question:

How can health care professionals effectively make the case for investments in sustainability within their organization?

Answers are explored in a newly-released report from the Wharton-led Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and Johnson & Johnson. Greener Hospitals: Building Consensus for Health Care Sustainability looks at best practices and challenges when it comes to developing, and communicating, the business case for sustainability investments across the health care industry.

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March 14th, 2015

What am I doing for others today?

Editor’s note: At Johnson & Johnson, we occasionally like to share an ‘inside out’ perspective about our company and our employees. Recently, we hosted the “Helping Our Neighbors with Our Resources” (H.O.N.O.R.) Awards at our corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. These awards, in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., honor our employees and members of the local community who have demonstrated a passion for others through their caring and service, including their work with our company Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and diversity and inclusion in general. (You can learn more about our ERGs here.)

One of the employees recognized at the event was Joaquin Duato, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson. Joaquin is the executive sponsor of the African-American Leadership Council, an Employee Resource Group at Johnson & Johnson. Below are excerpts from Joaquin’s remarks.


(left: Joaquin speaks at H.O.N.O.R Awards event) (right: Aisha C. Davies, Joaquin Duato, Matthew Johnson. Aisha and Matthew are co-chairs of the J&J H.O.N.O.R ERG)

Joaquin’s Remarks:

When I learned I was receiving this award for leadership and encouragement of the Employee Resource Groups at Johnson & Johnson, I was humbled. Martin Luther King Jr. is the epitome of a remarkable leader who changed the lives of millions.

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March 8th, 2015

Remembering my Grandmother on International Women’s Day

By Olatunde Branche, Associate Director, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Growing up in Sierra Leone, I lived in a mud house with a thatched roof and slept on the floor. We had no running water and used an outside latrine. We had no electricity either, and I studied by candle light and hurricane lamps. But my grandmother, who raised me until I was 13, loved me so much that I never realized I was poor!

My grandmother took me under her wing allowing my parents to go to school overseas and make a better life for our family. On International Women’s Day I remember my grandmother, and salute the countless women – mothers and grandmothers, sisters and aunts, neighbors and friends, nurses and midwives – who are stepping in to support children and strengthen communities in the face of poverty, epidemics, violence and other disasters.

I have spent the past 25 years as a clinical researcher. In 2014 I was invited to join the Johnson & Johnson Africa Contributions Committee and was privileged to travel to Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa as part of this team to witness the impact of some of the programs supported by Johnson & Johnson. It was my first visit back to the continent after 38 years.

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March 6th, 2015

Proud of Our Commitment to Equality and Inclusion

By Peter Fasolo, Worldwide Vice President, Human Resources, and Michael Ullmann, Vice President, General Counsel

At Johnson & Johnson, we encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work. This diversity of thought helps us better understand our customers and yields a vibrant global community that is working together to solve the world’s greatest healthcare challenges.

While we have taken a leadership role in creating this workplace culture, there is always more we can do. This is why we joined more than 300 companies in signing an amicus brief that was filed with the United States Supreme Court yesterday in the call for all states to legally recognize same -sex marriage.

The brief points out that inconsistent state marriage laws in the U.S. make it difficult and more costly for employers to recruit and retain talented employees, as well as administer benefits.

Our Credo speaks to our responsibility to respect the dignity of our employees, and provide equal opportunity for everyone. By signing this brief, we are making an important statement in support of our current practices and policies, and further bringing Our Credo values to life. Most important for us at Johnson & Johnson, this is consistent with how we treat employees who are committed in same-sex relationships, reinforces our desire to help them fulfill their family obligations, and is inherent in our Company policies that prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

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February 26th, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Celebrates Its Engineers

By Kathryn E. Wengel, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain

This week (Feb 22 – 28) marks National Engineers Week in the United States. Johnson & Johnson is proud to recognize our engineers for their dedication, creativity and passion – all of which are focused on bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people around the world.

Today more than 8,000 engineers work in engineering-related roles across J&J. About 6,400 of them are part of the Supply Chain organization, managing hundreds of technologies across the company. We have 1300 women engineers at J&J, and this number continues to grow.

Engineering Week Graphic

The men and women who make up our engineering team are part of the true innovation force of Johnson & Johnson. As an engineer myself, I know I’m biased, but I believe our J&J engineers lead the pack when it comes to capability and ingenuity. In research & development, operations and Information Technology (IT), we help invent new products and new processes; manage facilities, infrastructure and technologies; drive continuous improvement, and solve the needs and problems that come our way every day.   We go the extra mile with analytical skills to find ways to transform healthcare and our operations, and we make a real impact across the organization.

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