When you’re a company whose guiding principle is to help make the world a safer and healthier place, one person at a time, there is often no better way to measure impact than to pack your bags and experience hard work in action.
On a recent trip to Asia, that’s exactly what Johnson & Johnson’s group worldwide chairman, Sandi Peterson, did.
And what she saw left her feeling “extremely proud and inspired” by the difference that the company’s products and programs were making throughout the region.
So we caught up with Peterson to hear more about some of the most memorable moments she spent visiting with healthcare workers, patients and community members in Japan, Indonesia and India—just three of the more than 60 countries where the company has offices.
Impact in Japan: Helping to Rebuild After Fukushima
“In Japan, I met with our partners from CHIKYU No GAKKO, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the healthy upbringing of children and offering childcare support. Johnson & Johnson is collaborating with the organization to aid in the recovery and reconstruction of Fukushima following the devastating 2013 earthquake and nuclear explosion that left lingering environmental effects on the community.
Residents are still experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety. And it’s been particularly difficult for children, whose ability to go outside and play is severely limited because of the radiation in the area. I was happy to be able to spend time with local mothers and children and present them with picture books provided to the community by CHIKYU No GAKKO to help create stimulation for the children.
While in Fukushima, I also met with nurses participating in the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program, a three-year initiative that we launched last year in the Tohoku region to help support leadership development and disaster medicine training for nurses. It was gratifying to hear how the nurses were using learnings from the program in their day-to-day professional lives and leveraging the latest information on disaster nursing to make a difference for the patients in Fukushima. I’m extremely proud of our dedication to nurses and nursing education—and it was clear to me that these nurses have very successful futures ahead of them.
It was also moving to meet with the Governor of Fukushima, Mr. Masao Uchibori, and hear him say that Johnson & Johnson wasn’t just an American company, but a “Fukushima company,” thanks to our long-term commitment to economic recovery in the region.
At the end of my visit, we also announced a donation of 10 million Japanese yen to the Japan Red Cross Society, which has a long history of contributing to society by aiding people in times of conflict and disaster, as well as those who are living in poverty or suffering from sickness.”
Impact in Indonesia: Making a Difference in Maternal and Mental Health
“The Johnson & Johnson Indonesia team took me to Bunda Medik Hospital, a leading maternal healthcare facility in the country. It was great to see first-hand how our unique expertise and capabilities with infant development and care, combined with our depth of consumer insights about mothers and babies, have allowed us to offer the hospital targeted consumer products—such as Johnson’s Baby shampoo, lotion and bath time products —to help them provide a new level of service to the community.
I also observed a training session that our education team was providing to nurses and midwives at the facility. This is something we offer to the hospital on an ongoing basis to help educate professional caregivers on how to stimulate a baby’s senses through such daily rituals as bath time.
Another highlight of my time in Indonesia was the opportunity to attend the signing of the Public Health Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Jakarta Governor Ahok. We’ve had a long-standing partnership with the Ministry of Health in Indonesia, and our new MOU will open additional opportunities to contribute to the health and wellbeing of Indonesians by supporting education, as well as creating awareness about worm infections and mental health issues—two highly prevalent diseases burdening the country.”
Impact in India: Leveraging Technology to Move Us Ahead as a Society
“At Johnson & Johnson, we are highly focused on using technology to transform health. Technology plays a critical role in changing the way healthcare—and health information—is delivered and accessed.
One example of how we are doing this is with mMitra, a mobile health technology platform developed by our experts at BabyCenter®, along with local health professionals. The idea is to use voice calls and text messages to deliver crucial health information to families in underserved communities. After launching the program several years ago with much success in Africa, in 2014, we partnered with ARMMAN—a non-profit focused on improving the wellbeing of pregnant mothers, infants and children—to bring it to Mumbai, India. In Mumbai and across India, there are millions of people whose homes lack electricity or running water, but many do have mobile phones.
While I was in Mumbai, we introduced two new partners—India’s Government of Maharashtra and Tata Trust, one of India’s oldest philanthropic organizations—to the mMitra program and expanded it to include education to families to help address the malnutrition epidemic among infants and young children. Together, we can reach even more mothers who would otherwise not have access to necessary healthcare information.
To get a closer look at how the program is being implemented, I went to the slum community of Govandi, where I spent time with the mothers who described the success they’ve had with our mMitra system. To date, we’ve been able to reach over 250,000 women—and we expect to double that figure by the end of this year. We also hope to expand the program to other locations in India.
I’m excited about the endless possibilities ahead of us to leverage technology and invent new ways to help people get well and stay well. One thing we know for sure is that we can’t do any of this alone. Through new and unexpected partnerships and collaborations, we are spurring novel ideas and innovations that can help address the world’s most important challenge— improving the health and well being of everyone.”