February 27th, 2014

Breaking New Ground in the Caribbean: Improving Health in Haiti and Cuba

by Tomas Matthews, Director, Global Access & Partnerships – Latin America, Global Public Health, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

It never ceases to amaze me when I see how much can be and has been done to change health for the better, even in places where resources are few. Late last year, I had a truly unique opportunity to visit two countries only a few hundred miles from each other, yet worlds apart in their health systems and their ability to provide health care for their populations – Haiti and Cuba. The trip to Cuba was organized under a specific license from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) allowing for “People-to-People Exchanges.” Having grown up in the region, I was happy to see progress being made in key areas, particularly in the provision of care and treatment to people in need. But I was also struck by the gaps in access to care and essential medicines between the two countries.

improving health

During the course of two weeks, my colleagues and I traveled to these two countries to meet with partner organizations and to see the impact of the work of Johnson & Johnson and Janssen are doing at the local level.

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February 25th, 2014

Honoring Rare Disease Day: Spotlight on Multicentric Castleman’s Disease

by Joanne Vanak, RN, MSN; Senior Director of Medical Affairs Scientific Advocacy, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC

Rare Disease Day

Imagine living with a disease so rare it’s hard to get the proper diagnosis. Picture life as a patient with a condition so unique you can barely find a physician with the experience to treat it. Unfortunately, for the nearly 25 to 30 million Americans who suffer from one of the approximately 6,800 rare diseases recognized in the United States,[1] this uncertainty is a reality. And it’s one of the primary reasons Johnson & Johnson and Janssen remain committed to uncovering treatment options for those facing unmet medical needs.

In the United States, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans.[1] Some rare diseases affect only a fraction of that. For example, in the case of a disease called Multicentric Castleman’s disease, or MCD, the patient numbers are so low that it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate of the number of people impacted. However, based on approximate calculations, experts believe there are fewer than 2,000 Americans with this condition.[2]*

So what is MCD? It is a disorder in which lymphocytes, a certain type of white blood cells, are over-produced, causing enlargement of lymph nodes or other internal organs containing lymphoid tissue.

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February 24th, 2014

Doing Good in the Neighborhood


Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson has more than 128,000 employees around the world.  Throughout 2014, we’re going to bring you their unique stories.  Whether they are employees who work with a nonprofit, mentor children, or simply volunteer at their local soup kitchen, we want to show that small acts of kindness can make big changes in the world we live in.  These stories have inspired us, and we hope they’ll inspire you, too.

“Those who can lead have an obligation to do so, in the realm of citizenship…”  General Robert Wood Johnson, 1949

Oscar MoreraName: Oscar Morera

Position/J&J Company:  Program Manager, J&J WHQ

Oscar Morera, Program Manager at Johnson & Johnson Headquarters, volunteers with The Bridge to Employment and Rutgers ODASIS programs to help students who come from low socially economic environments and inspire them to work hard, go on to college, and then a professional school or career.  “I hope that I can relay to them the importance of an education and how they can break the cycle and become successful.  I want to help students believe in themselves, so that they will rise and become successful members of the community and one day also give back to others.”

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February 22nd, 2014

Living Life Without Limits

by Paul Flynn, North America Sales Director, Animas

Sebastien Sasseville

Animas is inspired by stories of how our products help patients with Type 1 diabetes.  Living a life without limits is our guiding mission, so when an athlete like Sebastien Sasseville attempts to run across Canada as a way to inspire others to face challenges, it fills us with pride and determination to share his story.

Sebastien is a six-time Ironman triathlete and a conqueror of Mt. Everest who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2002 . Thanks in part to Animas, his latest project, Outrun Diabetes, is about overcoming obstacles, whether it is diabetes or any other hurdle people are dealing with in their lives. He hopes his journey will motivate others to purse and accomplish their own personal goals.

As Sebastien traverses across Canada, he will be stopping in cities including Halifax, Moncton, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary before he reaches the finish line in Vancouver.  Along the way, he will host events and education seminars in local communities to help raise awareness for diabetes.

To learn more about Sebastien or to follow his journey, please check back at Outrun Diabetes throughout the coming months.

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February 20th, 2014

2013 Johnson & Johnson Supplier Enabled Innovation Awards

by Derick Kurdy, Procurement Category Manager, Sales & Access Services for MD&D, Johnson & Johnson

Creating Value through Innovation is one of the Johnson & Johnson growth drivers, and in support of this, Johnson & Johnson Procurement recognizes the best in Supplier Enabled Innovation (SEI) each year. On December 5, Hans Melotte, Johnson & Johnson Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, presented the awards in front of an audience of business partners, Procurement leaders and suppliers.

SEI success stories submitted over 2012 and early 2013 were divided into three categories and reviewed by a panel of judges from the organization with a passion for innovation. Additionally, the panel selected one of the three category winners for the top honor as the SEI of the Year.  And the winners were …

SEI of the Year & Best Product SEI: TRUMATCH® Personalized Solutions Fast3D from DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction & Siemens PLM Software

Supplier Enabled Innovation AwardsTeams from TRUMATCH® Personalized Solutions and Siemens Product Lifecycle Management, Inc. are working on an integrated design system intended to automate the creation of customized instrumentation, allowing DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction to service more patients with individualized products.  The team from Siemens brings medical imaging and software development expertise and, together with the DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction team, is customizing off-the-shelf software to meet the product needs of  TRUMATCH® Personalized Solutions.

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February 14th, 2014

Business-Education Partnerships: Johnson & Johnson Helps to Change the Landscape

by Michael Bzdak, Executive Director of Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

Too many students, more than 1.2 million, drop out of school every year in the United States alone and increasing numbers of young people are unemployed globally. Sadly, of the 13 million children growing up in poverty today, only 1 in 10 will graduate from college.  There is evidence that the private sector can do to help with filling the academic and skill gaps that hinder our young people from succeeding in high school.  Business volunteers in communities around the world inspire students to set career goals; they guide young people in building their confidence through mentorship and project-based learning. The business community and the education community need each other now more than ever but the collaboration between schools and businesses is not always happening at a necessary scale.

I had the pleasure of participating in a regional business-education conference in Fresno, California recently, and walked away with renewed optimism and a few important learnings. First, business-education partnerships are two-way and, when successful, engage all stakeholders including parents and students. Second, to be successful, we have learned that business-education partnerships must have clearly articulated goals and a means of measuring progress including outputs and outcomes. 

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February 13th, 2014

Going Beyond Borders

by Kim Keller, Senior Manager, Corporate Contributions

One of the core values of Our Credo is caring for the communities where we live and work, and the world community as well.  It’s a commitment we take very seriously, and one of the ways Johnson & Johnson fulfils our responsibility is by partnering with hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to advance the health of communities locally and around the world. From direct product donations to employee volunteer opportunities to strategic collaborations on philanthropic programs large and small,  our work together is making life-changing, long-term differences in the health of people and families around the world.  In fact, through contributions of about $1B in products and cash we supported 500+ community programs in more than 60 countries in 2013.

The Worldwide Corporate Contributions is focused on three areas: saving and improving the lives of women and children, preventing disease among the most vulnerable, and strengthening the health care workforce. Our NGO partners, many with which we have worked for years, are doing amazing things. Learn more here.

At the end of 2013, two Johnson & Johnson leaders from our Medical Devices & Diagnostics (MD&D) group took on new adventures assisting communities far from home. 

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February 11th, 2014

Reaching New Heights and Tackling New Terrain

by John Crisan, Chief Compliance Officer, Johnson & Johnson


As I jumped down from a helicopter perched somewhat precariously on the ridge of an almost 14,000- foot peak in the Rockies, gasping for breath given the thin atmosphere (and stunning views), the primary thought going through my head was what in the world am I doing here?  Was it too late to turn back?

I then reminded myself that helicopter skiing was one of my long-time personal stretch goals, and I had taken advantage of being out in the western U.S. with my family this past holiday season where it was offered in a remote corner of Colorado.  Despite the reminder, many doubts quickly cropped up when I first boarded the helicopter.  Were my legs up to the steep back-country terrain?  Could I keep up with my two sons?  Would I succumb to the thin air?  Does avalanche protection gear actually work?  Just how precise will the pilot be as he flies perilously close to the jagged peaks?

These doubts were a good reminder that stretch goals aren’t always easy and sometimes you have to wait for an opportunity to execute on them. When that opportunity does arise, doubts can quickly come into play, causing you to hesitate about executing on the goal.

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February 3rd, 2014

Johnson & Johnson supports military veterans and their families returning to work

by Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson

With more than 21-million military veterans living in the United States today and more than a million more expected to return home over the next several years, this is an important chapter in American history.

Caring for the communities in which we live and work is core to us at Johnson & Johnson, and supporting the health and wellness of veterans and their families is one of the ways we’re living up to the promise made in Our Credo.

Look across the company and you will see that we’re actively partnering with organizations that are helping veterans reconnect with their families after they’ve been apart due to service. We’re also conducting and supporting innovative research into the specialized care veterans require today, and will potentially need as they age, as well as creating employment opportunities for veterans and their families.

One of the most important things our veterans need right now is to make connections with people in the business world so they can explore possible career paths. Many have never worked outside of the military and have very little information about where to start.

That’s why I’m proud Johnson & Johnson is partnering with American Corporate Partners (ACP) – a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring our veterans.

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February 3rd, 2014

Doing Good in the Neighborhood


Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson has more than 128,000 employees around the world.  Throughout 2014, we’re going to bring you their unique stories.  Whether they are employees who work with a nonprofit, mentor children, or simply volunteer at their local soup kitchen, we want to show that small acts of kindness can make big changes in the world we live in.  These stories have inspired us, and we hope they’ll inspire you, too.

“Those who can lead have an obligation to do so, in the realm of citizenship…”  General Robert Wood Johnson, 1949

Name: Sandra Snook

Position/J&J Company: Senior Director, Discovery Sciences at Janssen R&D


Sandra Snook, Senior Scientific Director for Janssen R&D, volunteers with Ethiopia Reads to support literacy programs in Ethiopia, where illiteracy is still over 50%.  In addition, Sandy and a team of colleagues run the Baker Elementary School Shoe Drive, collecting and donating more than 1,000 pairs of shoes for every child at the San Diego-based school.  On her motivation and inspiration to volunteer, Sandy says, “I firmly believe in the concept that we are our brothers’ keepers.  We should help out when we see a need that we can address.  Every day I do something to help elevate another person, be it getting them the first pair of new shoes they ever owned or driving a literacy programs in Ethiopia, I feel like I have done a good day’s work.”



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