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November 21st, 2007

So… what’s with the ear horn?

Since I started blogging in June, I’ve been learning a lot about the art of conversation. While I’ve been trying to find my voice to offer perspective on stories, I’m also hearing a lot from people who either agree with or disagree with me. I often feel like I’ve just crashed a cocktail party — as I barge into some fascinating conversations that have been going on for a while without me, I sometimes find that I not only have something to add but can also leave with some useful nugget from that conversation to use elsewhere.

I’m not alone — and talking to my historian colleague Margaret, I get the impression that this really isn’t all that new. When Johnson & Johnson started back in 1886, conversations occurred all the time between the company, its customers and the community. We’ve both found that blogs can be a way for us to go back to the future to reengage with people and hear what we’ve been missing. And I’m delighted to have been joined by some of my colleagues at Johnson & Johnson in more recent postings on JNJBTW.

Alas. Though we’re trying, we still have to get better at listening.

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September 25th, 2007

Sharing the Learning Curve

I have only been a part of Johnson & Johnson since the beginning of the year, and so I get questions from my friends and family all the time about what it is like now to be working at Johnson & Johnson, “the baby company.” This question is usually followed by a request for baby lotions, beauty products or Band-Aid Brand adhesive bandages.

It can be a steep learning curve coming into Johnson & Johnson and getting up to speed on its many businesses, but as I learn things I hope to share some of my observations with you. I want to provide a voice on JNJBTW that brings a bit of an “outsider’s” perspective.

Johnson & Johnson is no different than most companies in the fact it faces sizable business challenges every day. For example, as a health care company with a pharmaceuticals business, we have to deal with how to replace significant revenues from drugs that will be going off patent and how to handle unprecedented reimbursement challenges for drugs like erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (speaking of my learning curve…).

There is a healthy curiosity and a natural skepticism in the marketplace about how companies, including Johnson & Johnson, can overcome such challenges.

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September 1st, 2015

Cultivating Leaders Through Diversity and Service

By Marene Allison, Chief Information Security Officer, and VP Information Security Risk Management, Johnson & Johnson

On August 21, West Point Graduates Captain Kristen Griest and Captain Shaye Haver became the first female soldiers to graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School. This is a significant milestone for the military and for women everywhere.

As the Army’s premier leadership course, Ranger School is one of the military’s most challenging and exhausting training programs, designed to create elite combat leaders. Out of the 381 men and 19 women who enrolled in April, only 94 men and two women completed the training.

I am so inspired by Kristen and Shaye. As a graduate of the first class of women from the United States Military Academy in 1980, I have also spent most of my life in “non-traditional” female roles. I served in the U.S. Army for six years, and when I got out, I became a special agent with the FBI. I got my first job in security in 1992 at A&P and my introduction to healthcare in 2005 as Chief Security Officer for Medco. In 2010, I was contacted about the Information Security Officer job at Johnson & Johnson. I came in to interview and decided it was the perfect fit.

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September 1st, 2015

LifePump: How DePuy Synthes is Bringing Fresh, Clean Water to Africa


How many times today did you reach for a faucet and turn it on to get water for drinking, cleaning or cooking? Most of us do it without a second thought because we’re accustomed to having it always there on the other side of the tap. But for one in nine individuals worldwide, that’s not the case. More than 780 million people lack access to clean, safe water according to And that daily struggle to obtain one of life’s most basic needs motivated our DePuy Synthes colleagues to act. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers who put their problem-solving heads together to help others in need, there are now innovative deep-well water pumps humming in several African villages, providing clean, safe, convenient water to the families who live there. And more are on the way!

Seeds of Innovation

Since 2010, Warsaw-based DePuy Synthes Staff Engineer Abe Wright has spearheaded a humanitarian effort that has brought clean water to 12 African villages to date. During mission trips to the Central African Republic (CAR), Abe saw first-hand the dire circumstances caused by lack of potable water. He explained, “In many regions in Africa, water is located very deep underground. Traditional pumps either don’t reach deep enough or break quickly because they aren’t designed for such depths.”

Struck by watching people carry buckets for miles to access clean water when he could simply walk to the sink, Abe rallied engineer contacts from around the United States including colleagues from DePuy Synthes.

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August 26th, 2015

Working on smart solutions to combat nasty bugs

By Hanneke Schuitemaker, PhD, Vice President, Head Viral Vaccine Discovery and Translational Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, Janssen

Doing research is wonderful.  And making steps forward, even small ones, is always rewarding.  Rewarding because of the potential impact on thousands, if not millions, of people.

When I had to choose what I wanted to be in life, I knew the field of medicine was for me.  At that time I also knew that I was too impatient to be a treating physician yet wanted to have a significant impact on people’s lives.  My biology teacher agreed with my self-diagnosis and recommended medical research.

Worldwide there are 1 billion cases of influenza, including 3-to-5 million cases of severe illness and 300,000 to 500,000 deaths every year.  Influenza remains one of the most serious public health challenges and new therapeutic and preventative solutions are needed.

Yesterday, Science published results from pre-clinical research conducted by a team of Janssen scientists at the Janssen Prevention Center led by Jaap Goudsmit, in conjunction with The Scripps Research Institute, to determine whether it may be possible to develop a single “universal” vaccine against influenza strains.

This very early-stage and exciting research underscores the novel and diverse approaches we are taking across our therapeutics and vaccines research and development program to address serious respiratory infections such as influenza.

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August 25th, 2015


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


First row, left-right: Annette Russo (peeking out), Jackie Maestri, Patricia Watson, Marion van Werven-Franssen; Second row, left-right: Veronica Smith, Tammie Champlin (partially visible), Heather Rodriguez, Joy Ntombura; Back row, left-right: Jim Breen, Brian Francis

Who do you think of when you think of an engineer? I think of the eight thousand engineer colleagues we have here at Johnson & Johnson.  These are the men and women who make it possible for J&J to provide the healthcare products and services that enable millions of people to live healthier, happier lives every day. Recently I came across the provocative #Ilooklikeanengineer on Twitter.  One of the things that excites me about social media is its ability to foster and maintain connections. #ilooklikeanengineer has inspired thousands of tweets reinforcing the notion that there’s no place for stereotypes when pursuing your passion, and that in any profession, diversity makes for a stronger workplace.  Count me among those who look like an engineer – educated, trained and leading the Johnson & Johnson Global Supply Chain today.

For me, it was an obvious choice to study engineering, even though there were not a lot of women in the field at that time.

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July 28th, 2015

What Sustains Us, We Sustain

Editor’s Note: Our Chairman and CEO, Alex Gorsky, recently shared some thoughts with our employees about why exercise is important to him and what gets him out of bed for a workout every day.  Below is his message.

By Alex Gorsky, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Johnson & Johnson

In a recent New York Times Well blog post, health columnist Jane Brody talks about her personal motivation for getting in daily workouts. You might be surprised to hear she isn’t driven by weight loss or even overall health goals. Jane focuses on the immediate benefits of exercise – like greater energy, a clear head and an overall preparedness for the day’s tasks.

According to the article, people who focus on the long-term, ironically, spend the least amount of time exercising. Studies show that the instant effects of exercise, such as increased energy, are better motivators than long-term goals like physical fitness, health and weight loss.

I couldn’t agree more with Jane’s approach and this philosophy. I start each morning at 5:00 A.M. with an hour workout of both cardio and weight training. Even on my busiest days I never skip a workout because it makes me feel energized and ready for the day ahead.

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July 28th, 2015

J&J Launches the Consumer Experience Center

By Josh Ghaim, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies

Consumer Experience Center

I often remind my team to keep our consumer purpose at the center of everything that we do. To me, our purpose centers on caring for people around the world by anticipating their needs, creating solutions and experiences that help them and those they care for live healthy, vibrant lives.

Today’s launch of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Experience Center is all about that consumer purpose. The center is a state-of-the art research & development (R&D) hub focused on gaining holistic insights about the millions of consumers we serve every day.

Our R&D teams get to interact with our volunteer consumers in ‘labs’ designed to replicate how people live and use our baby, over-the-counter (OTC), beauty and oral care products. The center’s testing rooms allow us to simulate real-life consumer interactions with our products, including the shower, the tub and the vanity sink within a bathroom, a dental lab and a hair and color cosmetics station.

Many people on our team have been working diligently to bring the vision of an on-site consumer laboratory to life. With the realization of this hard work and the opening of this state-of-the-art center, our internal research teams will now work more cohesively to engage each other and the consumer for brainstorming, as well as observations in home-like settings.

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July 20th, 2015

We can and We Must #MakeHIVstory

By Brian Woodfall, M.D., Head of Development and Global Medical Affairs, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

As I arrived at the International AIDS Society conference this weekend, my mind wandered to the last time the IAS conference was in Vancouver in 1996.

Back then, HIV was still a mysterious and invariably fatal disease. It was also a divisive one, with patients frequently marginalized and the event itself scathingly labelled an “AIDS Circus Comes to Town” by some in the Canadian media.

Yet that 1996 conference provided a watershed moment: the arrival of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). This ground-breaking method of combination therapy literally changed HIV treatment overnight and meant patients with months to live suddenly faced the prospect of surviving for many years.

Fast forward to today and our world is very different. There is still much to do, particularly in places like Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, but in many cases, new and improved therapies have turned HIV from a death sentence to a chronic, treatable condition. As people with HIV increasingly enjoy normal lifespans, at Janssen we continue to seek out and collaborate with the best scientists to develop potentially even better, more convenient treatments.

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July 9th, 2015

Relentless. Forward. Motion.

Editor’s Note: Starting on July 14, ultra-endurance brothers Scott and Rhys Jenkins from Wales, United Kingdom, hope to set the World Record for the ‘Fastest Double Crossing of Death Valley on Foot’ by attempting to run 10 marathons in four days. The pair is also hoping to raise £10,000 or $14,000 for Save the Children and Operation Smile – two signature partners of Johnson & Johnson. In addition to raising funds on their own, the brothers are supporting the charities by raising funds through the Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo app and the Charity Miles app. Scott, who works for our DePuy Synthes business, shares his trepidation about the almost impossible race terrain and his motivation to help children around the world.


By Scott Jenkins, Sales Consultant for DePuy Synthes in Great Britain

On Tuesday (July 14), my younger (and in his humble opinion, better looking) brother and I will be attempting to run a double crossing of Death Valley in California, trying to set a new world record in the process. Rhys and I have aptly named this challenge the Death Valley Double. To date, only eight individuals have attempted such a feat and only three have managed to complete it.

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