December 18th, 2009

To give or to take?

Note from Marc Monseau: The following is the third — and final — post from my colleague Angela Chiu based on the time she spent volunteering in Africa earlier this year. As 2009 winds down, and as my family and I gear up to celebrate the holiday season, I thought Angela’s words provided a poignant take on what we can all gain by giving to others.

From Angela Chiu, Interactive Marketing Manager, Vistakon, Hong Kong

Some clips from the work conducted earlier this year:

29 July 2009, Kampala King’s School, outreach activities and distributing gifts

1 Aug 2009, Cherish classroom dedication ceremony

How long did your joy last after getting an iPhone? How happy were you when you acquired a Kindle or a 72-inch plasma TV?  We have almost forgotten the joy that we used to have when getting a toy car, a doll, or a basketball when we were small. Over time, especially when we start to accumulate some wealth, value becomes nothing more than an entry in the books. How much meaning does it still carry?

Kampala King's School

When I looked at the children we visited in Kampala King’s School, Uganda, they had very little compared to us. Their school uniforms were not ironed, their socks were loose and shoes were torn.

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November 30th, 2009

World AIDS Day: Quality AIDS Care in Africa

By Ben Plumley, Vice President, Global Access and Partnerships, Tibotec

33 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and 70% of those are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa countries – already some of the poorest in the world – do not have adequate financial and human resources to provide the services their citizens living with HIV need.

The healthcare capacity gap is one of the key themes of 2009’s World AIDS Day and World AIDS Campaign. A number of extraordinary innovative approaches to providing AIDS treatment and care have been developed in recent years. Whether it is through “Centers of Excellence” with state of the art treatment, training and research facilities, or community-led and managed providers of home based care, African solutions to particular African problems are now driving the response to HIV/AIDS.  

Uganda is a prime example of both hi-tech and low-tech approaches. The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, is a leading East African center providing optimal care and prevention for HIV and AIDS and works to develop innovative approaches to health training. Operated by Makerere University, IDI is a non-governmental organization that offers a full spectrum of advanced HIV care, support, training and groundbreaking, globally respected research.

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November 26th, 2009

How Hope Can Cure

From Angela Chiu, Interactive Marketing Manager, Vistakon, Hong Kong

30 July 2009, building classrooms at Cherish

How Hope Can CureMost days at Cherish, we laid bricks for an hour or so before we were invited to join their daily morning prayer session. The children were between 1 year old to 10 years old, and all were carrying lovely faces, some smiled, some giggled, some laughed, some jumped, some danced…they were so energetic and lively.  No one could tell they were actually HIV-infected. 

I had a chance to speak one-on-one with Rachael Parson, a full time childcare manager. She told me that the children being taken care of in Cherish seldom fall very sick. The virus inside their bodies has been well contained.  This is an amazing result, and it comes not only because of being given the right antiretroviral treatment but also a well-rounded diet fueled by the self-sustained organic farming at Cherish. Most important of all, it’s the living hope and love being provided to these children. At Cherish, these children are embraced with a promise of future hope. The strength of that love and hope goes so far, it is able to cure and enliven them. I think every one of us can imagine that hope is a crucial factor to save one’s life; no treatment or doctor can cure if a patient loses hope.

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November 23rd, 2009

What’s the ROI?

Every now and then I hear about work that is being done by people in their own time that causes me to stop and think to myself, am I doing enough to help others?  Earlier this year, a coworker of mine contacted me to tell me about a trip she was taking to Africa – not to take in the sites, but to give something back to the communities.  She asked if she could share her experiences with the folks who read JNJBTW, and I was more than pleased to say yes.  The following post is the first of three that I have the pleasure to put up on the blog. Now, keep in mind, Angela’s trip to Africa and the work that she did there was not an official Johnson & Johnson project, but I felt it was important to share her accomplishments as an example of what people can do outside of their work lives when they set their minds to helping others.

From Anglea Chiu, Interactive Marketing Manager, Vistakon, Hong Kong

1 August 2009, classroom dedication at Watoto

When a coworker heard that I was going to Uganda to build a school, he said to me, “From an ROI perspective, it doesn’t make sense for you guys to go all the way from Hong Kong to Africa to build a school! 

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November 18th, 2009

How to Prevent the Spread of Swine Flu in Schools

From Bill Lin, Director, Corporate Contributions

With the majority of swine flu cases occurring in children and young adults, schools have become a battleground for the disease. School nurses and administrators play a crucial role in preventing the spread of the swine flu and responding appropriately to outbreaks of flu cases in their schools and districts so healthy kids can continue going to school.

The New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and Johnson & Johnson recently held a Swine Flu (H1N1) Preparedness Training Seminar to provide school health professionals and administrators with accurate information about the current pandemic and prevention methods, such as educating students about hand hygiene and what to do when a sick child comes to school. Videos from the training seminar are available on the health channel.

This video features Dr. Tom Kirsch, an Associate Professor and the Director of Operations for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, talking about effective prevention strategies to stop the spread of swine flu in schools:

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November 13th, 2009

A Leader’s Perspective on Ethics

From Devon Prutzman, Director, WW Communications, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics


Business ethics isn’t a new topic, but it does seem to take on particular relevance in light of today’s complex business environment. The tough challenges facing leaders in all sectors of society certainly aren’t going to be solved overnight and one Johnson & Johnson leader recently recognized the importance of helping current and future business leaders better understand the role of ethics in shaping the way they — and their organizations — do business.


I had the chance to watch Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Company Group Chairman Nick Valeriani speak to members of the Rutgers University Institute for Ethical Leadership a few weeks ago on the topic of Creating an Ethical Organization and Dealing with Ethical Issues. Nick delivered the keynote address to more than 50 business students and business leaders for the first installment in the Ethical Leadership Speaker Series at Rutgers’ Business School campus in Newark, New Jersey. While he’s known for being an engaging speaker on any topic, it was clear that talking about ethics brought out Nick’s sense of passion about setting high standards for business leaders and for always doing the right thing. 


He began by discussing Our Credo and offering examples of how its values drive Johnson & Johnson’s business by encouraging “candid, transparent discussions to reach what we believe are the right decisions for our patients, our employees, our communities, and our shareholders.”  He talked about why building an ethical culture in an organization is important and shared some of the ethical challenges he has faced in his career, conceding that “it never gets easier to make these kinds of decisions as a leader. 

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November 13th, 2009

Greetings From the FDA Hearings on Social Media

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, though healthcare companies (like Johnson & Johnson) would like to take a more active role in the ongoing conversations online, most are still sitting on the sidelines. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is that there is quite a bit of uncertainty about just what is appropriate under the current regulatory framework.

It’s all rather complicated, but in the US a lot of the uncertainty around how to engage online concerns how companies that sell highly regulated prescription medications and medical devices can do so and still meet their regulatory requirements to 1) report any side effects that people may experience while taking their products and 2) to ensure they don’t promote their products beyond what is covered in their approved product label. It may sound relatively straightforward, but the reality is that these requirements cause pause since there is no clear guidance from the regulator about what behaviors or approaches are frowned upon and which are acceptable.

This uncertainty has not gone unnoticed, and for the past two days the FDA has held a hearing on the subject. I’ve been sitting in a crowded (and increasingly hot) conference room WITHOUT WiFi watching a steady stream of presentations.

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October 29th, 2009

Diabetes “Role” Call: Animas? Here!

“What is our role in social media within the Diabetes Community and who gets to define it?” 


All companies are trying to cross the bridge from the conventional way we’ve always communicated with customers to participating in the social communities where our customers are talking to one another.  It is a scenario filled with all the adolescent angst of trying to insert yourself into a conversation between the “cool” kids in school whom you are afraid will reject you if you say the wrong thing.  The truth is that every company is struggling with the same question.  Are we a resource?  Do they trust us?  How do we stay credible and remain within the regulatory guidelines?


People with diabetes are on call for their disease 24/7.  Information is coming at them fast – between testing products, treatment alternatives, drugs, devices – they most often rely on the advice and support of their peers.


During the past three years, I have seen significant changes in how people interact and share information about their healthcare.  In the past, healthcare companies hadn’t been part of that conversation.  Now Animas, along with many other companies, is trying to take steps to get more involved. I thought I would take a few minutes to explain just what we at Animas are doing to join in the online conversation about diabetes.

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October 28th, 2009

How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?

From Kristin Cooke, Breast Care Specialist, Ethicon Endo-Surgery

October marks the beginning of many things each year: the falling of leaves, the first frost, Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may have noticed the pink ribbons, gloves and hats worn by the players, coaches and refs of the NFL. You have probably seen billboards around your city advertising in pink. And if you have been anywhere near your local hospital, it is likely there are pink ribbons tied around trees or hanging from a banner atop the hospital. Many of you may be thinking, why all of the hoopla?

Well, here are some sobering facts. In 2009, the American Cancer Society (ACS) projects that over 250,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed and over 40,000 women will die of breast cancer. Worse is that thousands of cases will NOT be diagnosed because nearly 50% of woman over the age of age 40 will NOT get their mammograms. If you are like most people, you are probably thinking, this will not happen to me or someone in my life. Unfortunately, the numbers tell a different story.

In this year’s Breast Cancer Facts and Figures, the ACS predicts that women who are currently 40 years old have a 1 in 69 chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years.

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October 22nd, 2009

Getting Nexters Interested in Health Care

Conrad Person, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

I’ve been privileged to visit many of the inspiring charitable organizations that the company supports, such as the Nyumbani Children of God Home in Nairobi. But one of the things that challenges me the most takes place right in my office. During the past four years I’ve been a mentor to students in the Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment program, and they’ve taught me a lot along the way.

The Bridge to Employment program, which was launched in 1992, provides mentoring to high school students to help prepare them for college and, ultimately, for future careers in the health care industry. Johnson & Johnson employees volunteer as mentors to show students various career opportunities that exist in health care, as well as practical workplace skills such as how to communicate in a company setting.

I know Bridge to Employment was designed with the student in mind, but as a mentor, I have gotten a lot out of it, too. We talk a great deal about the multigenerational workforce and how we all must effectively manage our interactions with associates of other generations. Mentoring has brought this message home to me and made me challenge assumptions about communication.

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