September 1st, 2010

Aid for Pakistan

The recent flooding in Pakistan has devastated the region.  One-fifth of the country, an area about the size of Italy, is now underwater, and entire villages have been swept away.  It is estimated that 15 million people have been displaced by the flooding.  Johnson & Johnson has distributed three Johnson & Johnson Disaster Relief Modules to the region, which include items such as sutures, wound dressings, BAND-AID Brand Adhesive Bandages, Neosporin and emergency medicine.  In addition to these modules, Johnson & Johnson is providing cash and product donations, and working with partners in the area to give immediate assistance to the victims. 

Johnson & Johnson companies and individual employees from around the world have joined in contributing to the Pakistan relief efforts. Our colleagues at Johnson & Johnson Pakistan have been working with local emergency relief organizations in Pakistan to distribute flood relief kits to victims in the region. These kits contain emergency medicine among other items.

The Citizen’s Foundation, with support from Johnson & Johnson, is dispensing ration packs that consist of food, water-purifying packs and basic medicines.  These ration packs provide enough materials to sustain a family of 5 for an entire month.  Since the flooding, TCF has distributed packs to nearly 2,000 families.

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August 18th, 2010

A Passion for Caring

Last week I was lucky enough to be part of the Johnson & Johnson team at the BlogHer 2010 conference.  It was a great opportunity to meet a lot of amazing people and see the diversity of interests that bring bloggers to the conference and the blogosphere in general.

Our goal at the conference was to make connections and find out what people really care about. To that end we constructed a small tv booth on site, to record and edit “stories of caring” from attendees. We got some great stories, which we posted on-site to the Johnson & Johnson health channel, but we learned even more off camera.  I thought when we came to BlogHer we would mainly hear stories of caring, but as the conference continued we heard about so much more.   People did talk about caring for others, but more than that people talked about the causes that move them.   Bloggers talked about topics as diverse as education for children developing countries to the prevention of heart disease, but the thing they all had in common was passion.

You could see that passion in the attendees and you could feel it when they shared their stories with us. 

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August 9th, 2010

Blogher 2010

Just returned from BlogHer2010, the premier event for women bloggers, who cover topics such as kids and family, relationships, “green” living, coupon collecting and fashion. Quite a wide range from the approximately 2500 “bloghers” who showed up at the Hilton, in New York City, on Friday and Saturday, August 6-7.

For the first time, Johnson & Johnson had a booth representing the company. During the previous 2 years at BlogHer, we sponsored a SAFE KIDS USA booth. The theme of our booth this year was “Johnson & Johnson, A Legacy of Caring”, which celebrates our 125 year history of helping people lead healthier and happier lives. We invited attendees to tell their own “stories of caring”, which we videotaped and posted to the Johnson & Johnson health channel on you tube. We had over 50 stories over the two day period, focusing on caring about family, children, helping others, charitable giving, and even a couple about pets.

All in all, it was a great experience and a wonderful way to connect with people, and we hope to have a continued presence at BlogHer going forward. Here’s one of the videos recorded, by Mom, Vera Sweeney

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July 16th, 2010

Preventing HIV Transmission in Newborns

From Anu Gupta, M.D., Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

As I pulled out my suitcase to pack for the upcoming International AIDS Society conference in Vienna, Austria, I was reminded of the last time I used it. A month ago, I had traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Global Health Council Award Dinner. While I had been to the dinner before, this was a very special year because I had nominated mothers2mothers (m2m) for an award and they had won! 

As I sat with m2m founder Dr. Mitch Besser at the VIP table with luminaries in global health, I recalled my last visit to m2m in October 2006 to open a series of new sites in East London, South Africa, where Johnson & Johnson has had a manufacturing facility for more than 75 years. The mentor mothers I met on that trip, their stories, their songs and their struggles have stayed with me. 

It was no surprise to me that when Mitch went to the podium to accept the award, his speech was all about the mothers – the mentor mothers, all HIV-positive, who had recently delivered and gone through the process of taking antiretrovirals to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and the pregnant women, also all HIV-positive, whom the mentor mothers were actively empowering through words and by example to have healthy children and live healthier lives. 

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July 15th, 2010

McNeil Consumer Healthcare Statement on its Manufacturing Operations

McNeil Consumer Healthcare is today announcing two actions related to its ongoing efforts to upgrade the quality of its manufacturing operations, and I wanted to share with you their statement:

McNeil Statement on Plan Submission

Today McNeil Consumer Healthcare has submitted to the FDA a comprehensive action plan on quality improvement. The submission details the next steps to be taken by McNeil to ensure that its operations meet the level of quality that consumers expect of us, and that we expect of ourselves.

McNeil looks forward to the FDA’s review of the plan and to working with the Agency moving forward. McNeil already has taken a number of significant steps to enhance quality, and is taking a systemic approach to strengthening quality through longer term improvements.

The plan addresses a number of areas, including:

  • Assessment and improvement of management controls;
  • Improvements in quality processes;
  • Interim controls and the use of outside experts to provide additional product quality assurance while the plan is being finalized and implemented;
  • Significant investment in manufacturing facilities, equipment, and laboratories, and;
  • A comprehensive program to ensure sustainable compliance with regulatory and McNeil quality requirements.

McNeil is committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to improve quality and earn consumers’ trust.

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July 8th, 2010

Bridges to Brighter Futures

From Michael Bzdak, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

No matter where you live, you have the opportunity to play a role in the education and development of young people. Many of my colleagues at Johnson & Johnson are active in youth programs in their communities around the world ranging from sports to science to the arts and to the environment. Often, volunteer opportunities are linked to the organizations we support in many of the communities where we have offices and other operations.

I have had the privilege of serving as a volunteer mentor to a number of high school students in New Brunswick, New Jersey through the Bridge to Employment (BTE) Program, a partnership between Johnson & Johnson and the Academy for Educational Development. BTE was founded by Johnson & Johnson in 1992 to stem the high school dropout rate and address a projected shortage of health care workers by opening teens’ eyes to their own potential and guiding them toward promising careers in health care. BTE has helped thousands of students with mentoring and coaching over the years.  

In my eight years of mentoring, I have seen profound changes in the students as they progress through high school and into higher education.

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July 7th, 2010

Partnering to Fight Diabetes

From Anthony Carter, Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Johnson & Johnson

Chronic disease is a serious problem for our healthcare system and the nation. Few communities have been more seriously impacted by the spread of chronic disease, and diabetes in particular, than the African American community. Diabetes now affects about 3.7 million African Americans, almost 15 percent of individuals over the age of 20, and it is responsible for one out of every five deaths.

In an effort to help fight this epidemic, Johnson & Johnson and its affiliates are supporting launch of the Spirit of Healthy Living (SoHL) program with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.  The goal of SoHL is to promote diabetes education and awareness and give people the tools they need to prevent and manage this disease.

The SoHL educates community members about obesity, diabetes and the link between the two conditions.  The program also increases awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, encourages the use of local health and wellness resources to prevent and manage diabetes, and integrates online health coaching into health education sessions.

One other component of the Spirit of Healthy Living campaign that I really enjoy is our partnership with faith-based health ministries. 

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July 6th, 2010

Delivering HIV Education Through Soccer

From Brittany Hume, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

Among those who play it, soccer can lend lessons of the power of believing in yourself, working as a team, overcoming challenges, and persevering toward a goal. 

As it happens, these lessons are also the most important to teach youth at risk of HIV/AIDS. Low expectations, low self-confidence, and lack of hope are among the most dangerous risk factors for HIV/AIDS, as they can lead to risky behaviors. For this reason, evidence has shown that HIV prevention education is most effective when coupled with behavioral programming—like soccer—that addresses the social and personal root causes of risk.    

Since 2007, Johnson & Johnson has supported soccer-based HIV prevention programs for youth, working with partners Academy for Educational Development (AED) and Grassroot Soccer in northern Namibia to deliver Grassroot Soccer’s proven (and fun) “Skillz” curriculum to 8,000 youth per year.

This year, we decided to go one step further, drawing upon the world’s soccer zeal and the African backdrop to highlight the power of soccer as a tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We chose to focus on teenage girls, who are at three times greater risk for HIV/AIDS than boys, and with whom soccer’s messages of empowerment and leadership resonate well.

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July 1st, 2010

Collaboration is Key to Maternal and Newborn Health

From Paul Stoffels, Global Head, Pharmaceuticals Research & Development

Last week I was privileged to represent Johnson & Johnson at the Pacific Health Summit (PHS) – an annual gathering that convenes nearly 250 leaders in science, policy and industry to focus on issues of critical importance to global health. It is a unique event that connects decision makers to spark solutions in the quest for a healthier world.

This year’s theme was Maternal and Newborn Health. The idea is that caring for mothers and providing opportunities for better prenatal, newborn and childhood care can lead to a healthier, more productive world.

For many of us in the developed world, access to maternal and child care is a given. But for many mothers and children around the world, that’s not the case. According to a recent report, globally, 8.8 million children a year die before their fifth birthday, more than 40 percent of them during their first four weeks of life. At least two-thirds of all child deaths are preventable.

No theme could be more aligned with the work and values of Johnson & Johnson. Women and children have been at the heart of our core business for nearly 125 years.

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June 25th, 2010

Richard B. Sellars

Earlier today, we learned that Richard B. Sellars, who was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer between 1973 and 1976, passed away this week at age 94. My colleague, Margaret Gurowowitz, uploaded an extensive post on Mr. Sellars over on her blog, Kilmer House, that I thought I would share in its entirity here. From Margaret:

Kilmer House salutes Richard B. Sellars, retired Johnson & Johnson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (he served from 1973-1976), who passed away this week at age 94. Though only chairman for three years, Mr. Sellars had a 40-year career with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and he had an impact that continues to be felt today. Two of the things we owe to him are successfully steering Johnson & Johnson through the tough economic times of the early 1970s, and committing the Company to stay in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where it was founded in 1886.

Richard Sellars joined Johnson & Johnson 71 years ago, at the tail end of the Great Depression in 1939, as a junior salesman for the newly formed Ortho Pharmaceutical Division and 40 years later, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. From 1941 to 1945, Sellars was president and general manager of the Canadian Ortho affiliate company, after which he helped establish the manufacturing and sales divisions for Ortho in England and Scandinavia.

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