September 12th, 2012

Finding Support When Facing Serious Illness

By Denise Sitarik, RN, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc.

In her book Illness as Metaphor Susan Sontag wrote that “everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick…[and] sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”

It’s true that we all want to remain permanent citizens in the world of good health, but at some point we all face illness, whether our own or that of a loved one. As a registered nurse, I know first-hand the challenges patients experience when they are diagnosed with a chronic illness:  physical pain and discomfort, fatigue, fear, and anxiety.  I have seen the physical and emotional toll chronic illness takes on patients, caregivers and their families and the tremendous energy required to deal with the day-to-day difficulties of illness. There is also the challenge of navigating the complexity of the US healthcare system. The sudden dependence on family and friends and the worry that comes from the financial impact of illness can be overwhelming.

At the Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation (JJPAF), we try to help with the burden of chronic illness by assisting patients who meet eligibility requirements to get medicines they need.

Read More

September 7th, 2012

Janssen Featured at White House World Hepatitis Day Activities


By Gaston Picchio, Hepatitis Disease Area Leader, Janssen

As a scientist involved in hepatitis C research for 20 years, it is very gratifying to see the recent explosion of advances against this disease. Often called the silent epidemic, hepatitis C is the most prevalent form of viral hepatitis in the United States.  Globally, it is estimated that three percent of the world’s population–up to 170 million people–is currently infected with hepatitis C.  In the United States, an estimated 3.2 million people are infected, but most don’t know it, and every year approximately 12,000 Americans die from hepatitis C-related liver disease.

While most days at Janssen we strive to make a difference for patients through our research to create simpler, safer and more effective treatments for hepatitis C, on August 2, at the second annual White House World Hepatitis Day Event, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts about how Janssen can help make a difference in another way: through public and industry partnerships.

Janssen is one of several companies that were invited to the White House to be part of the discussion about the current state of viral hepatitis in the United States. The event was sponsored by The Office of National AIDS Policy in collaboration with the U.S.

Read More

September 4th, 2012

Greening our Hospitals Will Reduce Healthcare Costs Now and in the Future

By Al Iannuzzi Sr. Director Product Stewardship, WW Environment, Health & Safety

As I discussed in an earlier post, “greening” the healthcare system is a hot topic these days.  Healthcare facilities have a distinct and pivotal opportunity to improve their sustainability. To function and provide 24-hour services in the United States, hospitals require significant amounts of energy and water, and generate a lot of waste.   If they could reduce that waste, increase energy efficiency, purchase greener products and conserve water, hospitals could reduce their environmental impact significantly, lower overall costs and help improve the health of surrounding communities.

Because this is such a focus for hospitals – and a passion of mine — I was honored to participate in a recent forum hosted by the White House Council on Environmental Quality on “Greening America’s Hospitals.” Helping manufacturers and the hospitals that buy our products find pathways to sustainability is critical for the families and patients who rely on our industry, the healthcare industry and our planet.   Based on our track record of environmentally-friendly business practices, which goes back more than 20 years , Johnson & Johnson has been honored by organizations such as Interbrand, Newsweek and Practice Greenhealth as a leader in sustainability.  

Read More

August 27th, 2012

IBD Icons – Casey Abrams Inspires Others to Live Beyond Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

From:  Linda Davis and Megan Farina, Communications, Janssen Biotech and Casey Abrams, musician

Imagine being told, in your first year of college, you have a chronic disease and there is no cure.  Now, add painful and embarrassing symptoms that keep you from participating in activities that you once loved and potentially changing how you live your life .

Welcome to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

IBD  includes the unpredictable digestive diseases ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease and impacts 1.4 million Americans, most diagnosed between 15 and 30 years of age.

Due to the nature of both UC and Crohn’s, some patients are reluctant to seek a doctor’s advice and rely on finding information on-line and connecting with others through social media.  So, how do we raise awareness of these often misunderstood diseases and inspire people who suffer to seek support?

In 2011, Season 10 American Idol finalist Casey Abrams attracted headlines when he was hospitalized during the competition due to his UC.  Despite these health challenges, Casey was one of 11 finalists to earn a coveted spot on the 2011 Idol Live summer concert tour.

Partnering with Casey and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), we launched the IBD Icons disease awareness campaign – centered around a national search to identify “IBD Icons” who submitted their personal stories of achievement, like Casey’s. 

Read More

August 20th, 2012

August, the Month to Raise Awareness about Psoriasis!

From Craig Stoltz, Director, Product Communication, Immunology, Janssen Biotech, Inc.

August in Pennsylvania, where I’m based, is usually a time of year when you can go to the local pool for a dip, crank up the air conditioning to chill indoors, spend quality time with friends and family, or find some other way to just simply relax.  You may even decide to take a vacation, escaping the hustle and bustle of work to enjoy a new adventure that doesn’t require conference calls, meetings and deadlines. One thing you may not have thought to do this month is to help raise awareness of an often misunderstood disease.  One that prevents many of the people living with it from doing the activities mentioned above due to scaly plaques on their skin.

With the exception of December, August has the fewest National Health Observances, which may be a result of the nature of the month. With that as background, we want to point out that August is Psoriasis Awareness Month.  At Janssen Biotech, we are honored to do our part to raise awareness of this condition that can place a heavy physical and emotional toll on millions of Americans.  In doing so, we  fondly recall the inspiring people touched by this condition who we’ve met through the years as part of our educational initiatives and participation at National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) Walks to Cure Psoriasis. 

Read More

August 15th, 2012

Our Safety and Care Commitment


From Susan Nettesheim, Vice President, Product Stewardship and Toxicology

Today we launched a new website,, that lets people know all we do to be sure that the baby and beauty care products they use are as safe as can be. As head of Product Stewardship and Toxicology here at Johnson & Johnson’s Family of Consumer Companies, I know all the measures we take… we just didn’t have a forum to tell the rest of the world about it. Now we do.

Over the past few years, some interest groups have raised questions about the ingredients in personal care products used widely around the world, and they’ve put particular focus on our baby products. At first we were disappointed, because we know that all our products are safe by scientific standards and meet or exceed government regulations. Over time, though, we’ve come to realize that sometimes safety alone isn’t enough. There’s a vigorous public discussion going on around the world about what ingredients should or shouldn’t be in personal care products, and how they should be regulated. We have a point of view that we’ve expressed, based on our considered understanding of the science involved, and that’s always going to be our starting point.

Read More

August 14th, 2012

Seeing the Differences We Make In Our Communities


From Berkley Pollard, Director, Clinical Quality Assurance, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.


Attendees at the National urban League Conference having their vision checked at the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. vision care station.

Recently, I attended the National Urban League conference (NUL) in New Orleans to help with a program sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., which offered free vision evaluations to the neighboring communities.

The NUL conference is a national forum that helps create solutions to the challenges confronting African Americans and urban communities. Glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are the leading causes of blindness in African Americans.

This is the third year we’ve sponsored free evaluations and, for me, by far the most rewarding. At last year’s conference, it took us three days to convince a woman who was working at a nearby booth to get her eyes evaluated. She was convinced that she did not need a vision evaluation because she had 20/20 vision. After we explained to her that it was a quick process and wouldn’t cost her anything, she agreed.  The evaluation confirmed that she had 20/20 vision, but it also showed that she was at risk of having a detached retina.

Read More

August 9th, 2012

BlogHer 2012: Social media for social good


We’re back from BlogHer 2012 in New York City, and what an amazing experience we had!

Our theme this year focused on social media for social good – specifically the challenges and joys of global motherhood.  Our community partners  Save the Children, Safe Kids, Helping Babies Breathe and Text4baby were there with us to highlight the incredible work they’re doing around the world, as were some of our colleagues from our consumer brands such as JOHNSON’S® and BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages.  Our partners also spoke during our Saturday morning session on the state of global motherhood, which was moderated by Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship at Johnson & Johnson.  Sharon leads our global contributions group, and she shared the stage with Carolyn Miles from Save the Children, Dr. Sara Berkelhamer from Northwestern Hospital, Dr. Nawando Olayiwola from Community Health Center, and Lisa Belkin, blogger and Huffington Post columnist.

The Johnson & Johnson booth at BlogHer 2012

One thing that immediately strikes you when you’re immersed in the excitement of a BlogHer conference is this:  blogging is empowerment.  I heard and felt that over and over from the remarkable women I met there who are sharing their stories, their experiences, interests, talents and points of view.  

Read More

August 2nd, 2012

Johnson & Johnson at BlogHer 2012 – Come and See Us There!

BlogHer 2012 starts this Thursday in New York, and Johnson & Johnson will be there this year again as a sponsor.   For anyone who’s not familiar with BlogHer, it’s the world’s largest conference for women in social media.  It’s a great way to meet new people, connect with the bloggers we already know, and get the word out about the amazing things our community partners are doing to improve health for mothers and children around the world.

Women have been important to Johnson & Johnson since our founding in 1886, when half of our first 14 employees were women.  Since then, conversations with women – both as consumers and as inspiration for new products  — have led to some of our best-known heritage consumer brands.  We’re continuing those conversations today through social media:  through our blogs, this blog and Kilmer House, through our Twitter handles, @JNJComm, @JNJStories, @JNJVideo and @JNJHistory, through our Facebook Network and our Health Channel on YouTube.  We’re also looking forward to having some of those conversations in person over the next few days.  So for everyone who will be attending BlogHer 2012, come and meet us at the Johnson & Johnson booth in the Mercury Rotunda. 

Read More

July 22nd, 2012

Fighting HIV/AIDS, Part of Our Commitment to Caring


From Paul Stoffels, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Group, Johnson & Johnson

The fight against HIV has been part of my life’s work and one of my greatest passions. I first met this enemy as a young physician in training in Africa in the early 1980s. Today, as Worldwide Chairman of the Pharmaceuticals Group of Johnson & Johnson, I am privileged to be part of a company whose purpose is caring for people.

This purpose inspires me and other employees of Johnson & Johnson as we try every day to create new solutions for patients.  And, it’s what has guided our approach to fighting the devastating global epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

As we prepare for this week’s AIDS 2012 Conference, I thought about how our commitment to the doctors, nurses, patients, communities and our employees affected by HIV is the focus of everything we do. Our commitment to them is what guides our extensive research and development of medicines to treat AIDS; combat resistance; simplify treatment; discover, develop, and submit for approval a novel compound for drug-resistant TB; and conduct early basic research toward fulfilling the dream of an AIDS vaccine.  

It’s also what inspires us to partner with more than 100 community-based organizations in 40 countries and to contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goals to reduce mortality in women and children by 2015.

Read More