April 12th, 2011

A Longer Allergy Season?!

The weather is turning warmer here in New Jersey and with it come a lot of exciting things – longer days, baseball games and beach trips. For me and many others, it also brings with it the dreaded allergy season. So I was surprised to hear that the 2011 allergy season was expected to be 27 days longer in northernmost parts of North America according to a recent study.

That means 27 more days of sneezing, congestion and especially itchy eyes for the one in five people in the United States that suffer from allergies of the eye. This makes it particularly challenging for some contact lens wearers because allergens and other irritants can build up on contact lenses over time, leading to discomfort and symptoms such as itching, tearing and redness. The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA) has a free brochure on eye health and allergies, supported by 1∙Day Acuvue Moist Brand Contact Lenses, that provides some helpful tips and information for allergy sufferers.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology also offers the following tips to help fight back this allergy season:

  • Keep your windows closed at night
  • Monitor pollen levels from the National Allergy Bureau and try to stay indoors when levels are high
  • Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry
  • Be sure to take any medication prescribed by your allergist regularly, in the recommended dosage

As for contact lens wearers, according to the AFFA’s brochure putting a clean, fresh lens into the eye each day minimizes the potential for the buildup of irritants – like allergens — that occur with repeated use of the same pair of lenses.

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April 8th, 2011

LATISM Tweet Up

I had the opportunity last night to attend and participate in the first LATISM (Latinos in social media) meet up/tweet up, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. The theme was the one that we have been promoting with bloggers for the past several months, asking “How are you using social media for social good?”

Ana Roca Castro, founder of LATISM opened the event and introduced a distinguished panel and speakers, including Susan Can from Ethicon Endo-Surgery, representing Johnson & Johnson, the LATISM-NY Team, Ray Cruz, Reina Valenzeula and George Torres, founder of the Sofrito Media Group.

The panelists included Dr. J. Emilio Carrillo, VP and Medical Director of Community Health at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Monica Talan, VP Corporate Communications at Univision, and Elianne Ramos, CEO of Speak Hispanic Communications and Vice-Chair of Communications and PR for LATISM.

Dr. Carillo spoke about Johnson & Johnson, healthcare and the text4baby initiative, especially how it benefits the Latina community.  Other speakers included Ms. Talon, who spoke about Univision and education, Mr. Torres who spoke about Por Tu Familia/NYC initiative for the American Diabetes Association, and Ms. Ramos who spoke about a digital literacy camp being run by LATISM this summer in Haiti.

Perhaps the best part was the free ranging discussions and questions from the enthusiastic audience of about 50 people, most of whom were happily tweeting away during the event, using the hashtags #LATISM, #JnJ and #Text4Baby.

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April 6th, 2011

World Water Day — Making basic changes to improve health

By William Lin and Joy Marini, Directors, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions

Clean water. In our comfortable lives, we don’t give much thought to how precious and scarce clean water and sanitation are in developing nations. Yet – one in eight people globally do not have access to safe water supplies.  The result is heartbreaking. At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are filled by children and adults suffering from a water-related disease.

Last month – to mark World Water Day (March 22) – two of our partners, water.org and Children Without Worms, added their voice to the global coalition working every day to expand access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene education, and tools that are improving the health of children and families, who are sickened by bacteria and other preventable infections from unsafe water.

Children Without Worms and the World Wildlife Fund work together in the villages bordering the Lobeke National Park in Cameroon to promote the WASHED framework, an approach providing clean water, sanitation, de-worming treatment and hygiene education. (Photo provided by World Wildlife Fund.)

Water.org is a global organization empowering families to buy household water connections, toilets, sinks, tubewells, and rainwater harvesting through WaterCredits.

Children Without Worms (CWW) uses a school-based approach to reach the world’s most at-risk children with hygiene education and to administer Johnson & Johnson’s donation of mebendazole – a drug that kills intestinal worms in young people, who may not have access to clean water or basic sanitation.

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April 1st, 2011

Response to Recent Coverage in Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Recently, Bloomberg BusinessWeek published an article covering some recent events at Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies. The piece covered a great deal of ground, ranging from the recent recalls at our DePuy unit to the situation at our McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit. To express his perspective on behalf of the employees of Johnson & Johnson, Chairman and CEO Bill Weldon sent a letter to the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek to share our position on the article:

April 1, 2011

Dear Editor of Bloomberg Businessweek,

I read your article this week about our company, and I was truly saddened by your portrayal of Johnson & Johnson. The recent events you wrote about are disappointments for me as the chairman and CEO and, more importantly, for the men and women of our company. We own our mistakes, but your story misrepresents and understates the deep commitment of our 114,000 people who dedicate their careers and lives to serving the world’s human health care needs.

Over the course of Johnson & Johnson’s 125-year history, we have made incredible contributions to the medicines and products that so many people have counted on to cure, heal and help their families to lead healthy lives.

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March 31st, 2011

Raising Awareness of Blood Clot Risk

From Shaun Mickus, Director, Product Communication, Internal Medicine, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Services

It is estimated that every minute of the year, at least one person in the U.S. develops a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), an unwanted blood clot in a deep vein (usually in the leg). If left untreated, part of a DVT can break off and form a pulmonary embolism (PE) – an unwanted blood clot that travels to the lungs. At least every five minutes, someone dies from a PE. 

DVTs can affect people of any age and health status, and this March marks the sixth annual DVT Awareness Month. Public and health care professional awareness of DVTs, including signs and symptoms, has increased over the years, yet more education about clots and risk factors is needed.

To coincide with DVT Awareness Month, Ortho-McNeil, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – the Johnson & Johnson company that I work for – is posting a five-part “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ video series on the Johnson & Johnson Health Channel on YouTube to educate about the prevalence, signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention and diagnosis of DVTs.

The DVT videos feature several stories of people who have been impacted by a DVT, including a 25-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y.

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March 31st, 2011

Concussion Awareness from Safe Kids

From Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Johnson & Johnson

A few weeks ago, I attended a Youth Sports Safety Clinic for parents, coaches and community members at a local high school here in New Jersey, sponsored by Safe Kids USA and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The clinic explained crucial information, like signs of dehydration and ways to prevent overuse injuries.

JNJ BTW has highlighted youth sports safety over the past few months, so we’ve heard the statistics before.  According to Safe Kids, over 38 million kids participate in sports each year, with more than 3.5 million estimated injuries occurring each year.  Experts say that almost half of these injuries could have been prevented.   As a parent watching from the sidelines, I want my child to have fun, enjoy the game and not be sidelined with an injury

The panel, which featured an athletic trainer, orthopedic surgeon and neurologist, covered a lot of topics, including concussions. Even a minor fall or a collision with another player can result in a concussion. While concussions are most common in sports where collisions are routine, concussions can occur in any sport or recreational activity. So it’s essential that parents, coaches and our children understand and recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion so that they know what to do in the event one does occur.

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March 22nd, 2011

Mobilizing with Moms to Use Social Media for Social Good

From Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Johnson & Johnson

A few weeks ago, my colleagues and I invited a small group of mom bloggers to talk about how we could work together to use social media for social good.  Knowing who was going to be in the room and what was going to be discussed, I knew it was going to be a great event — but nothing could have prepared me for what turned out to be an incredibly moving experience.

The idea for the day started with the realization that by using social networks, people can (and do) reach and interact with others to drive social change.  We’ve seen this in many places, from politics, where people have connected to drive political discourse, to charitable giving, where international aid agencies have used networks to raise funds for relief efforts.  This incredible group of mom bloggers brought the discussion to an entirely new level, driven by their moving personal experiences and passion for making a difference.  Their experiences touched our hearts, and their ideas opened a range of possibilities that we never thought possible.

Those familiar with our company know that Johnson & Johnson has always placed a high importance on philanthropy.  

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March 17th, 2011

Share Your Thoughts and Best Wishes With the People of Japan

As Sharon D’Agostino described in her earlier blog post about what Johnson & Johnson is doing to provide aid to the people of Japan, my colleagues and I at the Johnson & Johnson family of companies are deeply saddened by the situation since the earthquake struck last week, Beyond the contribution of money and products that the company will be providing, we decided to create a message board on this blog so that our colleagues, retirees and friends can connect and share their thoughts, best wishes and helpful information in support of the people of Japan in their time of crisis.

If you have something you would like to contribute to the discussion, please visit the board.

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March 17th, 2011

Aid to the People of Japan

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

Like many throughout the world, my colleagues and I are shocked and saddened by the unfolding news of the devastating earthquake in Japan. As always, our first concern has been for the safety of our colleagues and the people of Japan.  We hold them in our thoughts.  

Since the earthquake struck, our teams in Japan and the United States have been working around-the-clock to determine how Johnson & Johnson can play a role with relief efforts. In response to the urgent need, Johnson & Johnson has committed $8 million in funds in addition to considerable product donations of medical supplies and consumer hygiene products.  We are working with local partners to determine the best opportunities to lend assistance and will continue to assess needs as the situation evolves. 

For short-term relief, one of our partners is the Japan Red Cross.  As our primary focus is generally on recovery, we work with partners such as Direct Relief International, International Rescue Committee, Project Hope, Save the Children and World Vision on these efforts.

This tragedy has profoundly affected colleagues across our Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. 

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March 11th, 2011

Response to the Recent Animas Recall

Caroline Pavis, Director of Global Communications, Animas Corporation

I recently joined Animas as the new director of global communications. For those of you who may not know, Animas is a company within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies with a direct-to-patient selling model. Many of our 500 employees worldwide touch the lives of patients daily by training and educating them about insulin pump therapy and managing a life with Type 1 diabetes. It is this dedication and personal connection with patients that makes Animas such a fascinating place to work.

During my first few days at Animas, we received notification from our Quality Assurance team that certain lots of the 2-millimeter insulin cartridges provided to customers could leak insulin, which could cause under delivery of insulin to the patient.

Our team at Animas initiated a voluntary recall and put a plan into action that focused, first and foremost, on addressing the safety of patients who use our products. We were able to trace the affected cartridges to six specific lots and devised a plan to alert our customers.

We first sent an email on Feb. 22 to customers who received cartridges from the identified lots, advising them to discontinue use of those cartridges, and use other cartridges they have on hand or revert to their backup insulin administration plan as instructed by their health care providers until they received a replacement shipment of cartridges from Animas later that week.

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