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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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March 26th, 2015

#MuseumWeek and the Importance of Heritage

By Margaret Gurowitz, Chief Historian, Johnson & Johnson

#MuseumWeekThis week, thousands of museums and their fans across the world are celebrating #Museum Week. It’s an opportunity to use social media to engage people and get them excited about museums. Johnson & Johnson is proud to participate this year for the first time.

As the chief historian for Johnson & Johnson – and as a lifelong museum nerd – it’s not difficult to get me started on talking about the rich history of Johnson & Johnson and about our museum.   Since Johnson & Johnson was founded in 1886, our company has advanced health care and helped shape the modern world through innovations such as helping make surgery sterile, the first commercial first aid kits (1888) and first aid manuals (1901), trusted consumer products and maternal and child health kits to make childbirth safer (1894), the first premade commercial dressing for small wounds (1921), breakthrough medicines, community programs and much, much more.  Understanding our history is one of the best ways to understand Johnson & Johnson and the values that guide our company.

But our heritage is more than just a look back at the past: it’s a look at our present and future too.

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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 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 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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