September 28th, 2009

Language Shouldn’t Be a Barrier to Diabetes Education

From Dr. Victor Miranda, General Manager of Diabetes Juvenil

Given the volume of medical information on the Internet, you might think that reliable and accurate information about diabetes is readily available. While this may be true for online diabetes resources in English, dependable information about diabetes is harder to come by for those around the globe who speak Spanish.  (Dele un clic aquí para leer en español)

This is surprising given the prevalence of diabetes in the Hispanic population. I’ll give you an example from the U.S., where I live. According to the most recent national survey data from the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) for people ages 20 or older, 10.4% of Hispanics have been diagnosed with diabetes. Among this segment, the rates for Cubans were 8.2%, 11.9% for Mexican Americans and 12.6% for Puerto Ricans. For those who are first and second generation Hispanic-Americans, Spanish is predominately the primary language spoken at home. What is a parent to do when they receive the news that their child has diabetes? Where can they go for information after the 15-20 minute medical visit is over? 

While I found the lack of accessible information in Spanish to be very concerning, our team involved in Children With Diabetes also recognized the importance of helping to foster a community where Spanish-language speakers affected by diabetes could connect.

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September 18th, 2009

Going Mobile for Info

Though I wish I had an iPhone (I have serious app envy), I do have a 3G phone that keeps me well-connected – and that has given the concept of being mobile an entirely new meaning for me. No longer am I chained to my desk in my corporate cave here at Johnson & Johnson, but I can wander wherever, and still feel connected. I know, I know – I’m not alone in that. In fact, according to a recent comScore, Inc. report:

…the number of people in the U.S. using their mobile device to access news and information on the Internet more than doubled between January 2008 and January 2009. Among the audience of 63.2 million people who accessed news and information on their mobile devices in January 2009, 22.4 million (35 percent) did so daily; more than double the size of the audience last year.

Recognizing this, my colleagues over at McNeil Pediatrics recently created a new mobile web service that people can access from their phones to text for information about ADHD by texting “ADHD” to 87415.

(BTW: It happens that this week is ADHD awareness week as well….)

Once again, it is all about making sure information is available to people when and where they are looking for it – in this case, on their mobile phones.

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September 16th, 2009

How to Create a Culture of Health

From Fikry W. Isaac, MD, MPH, Executive Director, Global Health Services, Johnson & Johnson

I was privileged to participate in the Make Health Happen: Promoting Prevention and Wellness in Rural Communities summit at Montana State University in Bozeman. The summit was organized by Senator Max Baucus to bring together local businesses, public health workers, educators, health care providers, and nonprofit organizations interested in learning how to improve health and wellness in rural  communities. Several companies, including Johnson & Johnson, were invited to participate in the conversation.

With magnificent mountains and wide open spaces serving as an energizing backdrop, Montana was a great location to talk about innovative approaches to health and wellness—a beautiful, adventurous landscape that encourages action.

At the summit, I shared the experiences that the company I work for, Johnson & Johnson, has had in the creation of programs that are designed to help our employees improve their health – and, whenever possible, address the risk factors that lead to disease.  We call this wellness and prevention, and over the past 30 years, we’ve learned a lot about the strategies and programs we can put in place to make this work for our company.  As part of the recent discussions about  initiatives that can be put into place to  improve how we manage health in America, I’m often asked about what it takes to create a successful program – either within a community or a company like Johnson & Johnson – that can help people better manage their health.

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August 21st, 2009

Image of the week


Mama’s Club
Kampala, Uganda

As part of the Company’s philanthropy portfolio for HIV/AIDS and a partnership with the HIV Collaborative Fund, Johnson & Johnson supports Mama’s Club, a group that offers psychosocial support to HIV-positive mothers and pregnant women in Uganda. Mothers attend community outreach meetings where they learn how to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and connect with each other for emotional and social support, and participate in peer-to-peer counseling and support groups to reduce the stigma and discrimination often associated with the disease.

Here, the photographer portrays the sunlit room where young children enjoy the camaraderie of these community-based meetings. Their mother looks on from her seat behind. Though not the focus of the image, the mother’s adoration is apparent in pose and expression.

(Photographer: Myriam Abdelaziz, a Johnson & Johnson – International Center of Photography Fellowship recipient)

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August 11th, 2009

Caring for Your Eyes

From Peg Achenbach, O.D., Senior Director Professional & Medical Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Across the world, there is a common misperception that seeing well translates to good eye health. However, even people with perfect vision can be affected by serious eye diseases.

According to a new survey from The Vision Care Institute, Global Attitudes and Perceptions About Vision Care, many adults and children do not visit an eye care professional for a comprehensive exam. Additionally, one-in-three parents/caregivers have never taken their child under 18 years of age for any type of vision assessment. The findings reveal that adults in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Unites States report high rates of comprehensive eye exams, while lower rates are reported in China, Singapore, Japan, and Russia.

Given the importance of comprehensive eye exams, I was very concerned by these findings. A comprehensive eye exam is different than a vision screening, which is a type of screening that children may receive at school or may be part of a driver’s test to detect vision deficiencies. A comprehensive eye examination, on the other hand, is conducted in an optometrist or ophthalmologist’s office. Eye care professionals check for vision correction needs in addition to determining overall eye health.

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August 10th, 2009

Young Adults And Health Care Coverage

Mike Samuelson, Director, access2wellness
Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.

As graduates have completed commencement ceremonies and embarked on job searches that they hope will result in a life without parental support, many are finding that they no longer receive the benefits of their family’s employer-sponsored health plan. Adults ages 19 to 29 are among the largest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population without health insurance, totaling 13.2 million in 2007, according to The Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit research group. ScienceDaily reports nearly 60 percent of employers who offer coverage do not insure dependent children over the age of 18 or 19 if they do not attend college or only attend part-time.

While youth is often considered a time of perfect health, WebMD Health News states that unintentional injuries among young adults, such as smoking and obesity, are on the rise. “Lack of coverage and access to health care services puts the health of young adults at risk, and can subject them, as well as their families, to potentially dire financial consequences, “ said Sara Collins, co-author and assistant vice president at The Commonwealth Fund, in a report on Young Adults at Risk: 13.7 Million Lack Health Insurance Coverage.

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August 10th, 2009

Robin Smalley and mothers2mothers

Brittany Hume, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

Working in the field of HIV/AIDS, I consider myself spoiled by the caliber of people that I encounter on a day-to-day basis. Passion and gritty determination are prerequisite characteristics for choosing a career in global public health, and the organizations with which Johnson & Johnson partners on its Corporate Contributions work are peppered with unsung heroes chasing ambitious dreams and overcoming inconceivable day-to-day challenges to improve the health of millions.

Robin Smalley is one such person. As one of the co-founders of mothers2mothers, Robin helped launch an organization that tackles one of the most tragic—and preventable—public health issues in Africa today: the transmission of HIV/AIDS from a mother to her baby.

As they say, though, some leaders are born, and others are made. Robin would place herself in the latter category.

At first introduction, Robin is a bright, warm person whose sunny disposition reflects her California roots. She spent the first half of her career in television, serving as a writer, producer, and director for iconic shows like “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and rubbing elbows with actors and celebrities. Despite her success earned by years of hard work, Robin began to question her happiness and fulfillment.

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August 6th, 2009

Don’t Let Your Vote Go Uncounted

By Doug Chia, Senior Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary, Johnson & Johnson

This is my first post on JNJ BTW.

Today, I’m writing on a subject near and dear to my heart—shareholder voting. You may have heard that earlier this month the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a number of corporate governance reforms aimed at shoring up investor confidence. You can read about all of those reforms in the SEC’s press release, but I’d like to highlight in this post what is perhaps the most significant of these reforms—one that may directly impact you if you own Johnson & Johnson stock through a brokerage account–the elimination of the “broker vote” in uncontested director elections.

For those of you who don’t live and breathe this subject, I’ll attempt to translate that into plain English.
Previously, under the rules of the New York Stock Exchange, if stock brokers didn’t receive instructions from clients on how to vote their shares on the election of the board of directors at an upcoming annual meeting, the broker had the discretion to vote those uninstructed shares as they deemed appropriate. Since typically retail brokerage account holders who did vote tended to vote in favor of the recommendations made by the listed company’s management team, most brokers voted uninstructed shares along management’s recommendations.

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August 4th, 2009

The Closing Bell

2009 marks the 65th year that Johnson & Johnson has been listed as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange. To commemorate this event, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Weldon, Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso and a bunch of other folks involved with our investor and shareholder activity yesterday rang the closing bell at the exchange.

Twelve of my collegues squeezed on to the historic balcony overlooking the noisy floor of the 217-year-old exchange to literally bring trading to a halt as the clock struck 4. You can catch the footage here.

A lot of thoughtful planning goes into the bell-ringing ceremony, with participants encouraged to arrive as early as 3 p.m. As we were making their way to the balcony at around 3:50, something prompted one of our group to ask their NYSE host if any ceremonial bell-ringing individual or organization had ever shown up late for the job. As a matter of fact, he was told, just recently one celebrity performer was quite upset to arrive a couple minutes late and discover they hadn’t held up the exchange closing for him.

To mark this moment, Margaret (as usual!!!) pulled out some fascinating facts and information about what it was like 65 years ago when the company first made the move from being a privately-held company to being listed on the NYSE.

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August 3rd, 2009

Image of the week


ALIA (Associação Londrinense Interdisciplinar de AIDS)
Londrina, Brazil
ALIA protects the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and helps prevent the spread of disease through scientific and social programs. Our partnership with ALIA helps protect at-risk teens from HIV/AIDS and includes a strong dose of education about sexuality and reproductive rights.
Here, the photographer captures the passion that ALIA’s co-founder Silvana brings to her work. Community-based education is key to ALIA’s success in reaching teens at high-risk of the disease due to their social and personal vulnerability. ALIA promotes teenagers’ leadership and empowerment by focusing on community participation.


(Photographer: Kelly Shimoda, a Johnson & Johnson – International Center of Photography Fellowship recipient)

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