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Advancing Public Health

Six healthcare professionals attend to a patient suffering from COVID-19 in an operating room setting
ESG Policies & Positions

Our Race to Health Equity

In the first year since the launch of Our Race to Health Equity (ORTHE) platform, a $100 million five-year U.S. commitment to help eradicate racial and social injustice as a public health threat by eliminating health inequities for people of color, we have been working to create meaningful change through three priority areas:28

A father wearing a mask adjusts his son's mask

(1) Creating a people-first culture: We are committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce and achieving ambitious goals to increase ethnic/racial diversity across our organization, including at management levels (see section: Our Employees). To support these goals, we have strengthened partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), among others.

(2) Building healthier communities: We are committed to closing the racial health gap by investing in culturally competent community care models that create healthy outcomes for people of color. Working with various partners, we aim to help build trust between minority communities and health systems, backed by our commitment to supporting 200,000 HCPs HCPs Healthcare professional and researchers by 2025.

In 2021, 159,000 U.S. healthcare professionals and researchers were provided development and support.

In 2021, we supported 11 health clinics as part of the National Association of Community Health Center’s Workforce Development Grant Program and partnered with the Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association to increase nursing scholarships for underrepresented groups. We further supported 27 partner organizations and projects focusing on community health workers and health centers that serve people of color.

We also created a six-episode video series, hosted by Michael Sneed, now retired Executive Vice President Global Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer, Johnson & Johnson, featuring conversations with Black doctors and nurses on the front lines of health equity across the U.S.

Health Equity Innovation Challenge

In 2021, entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and community-based organizations were invited to submit their ideas for transformational innovation to advance health equity in six cities where Black and Latinx communities face significant disparities in health outcomes: Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia. With $1 million in available funding, Johnson & Johnson called for ideas that enhance equitable access to care, stimulate diversity in science, advocate for more trustworthy community-based healthcare, and prevent and treat illnesses that disproportionately affect Black and Latinx communities. More than 180 applications were submitted and evaluated by an independent judging committee, and awardees will be announced in 2022.

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(3) Establishing enduring alliances: Johnson & Johnson is partnering with universities, health systems, NGOs and governments to build coalitions to develop and expand programs that help close the health gap for people of color. To support the creation of a next generation of diverse physicians, Johnson & Johnson, along with Janssen, strengthened our 20-year partnership with the National Medical Fellowships (NMF), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity among U.S. physicians. With our support, NMF introduced an inaugural class of 25 physicians into the NMF Diversity in Clinical Trials Research program to increase the number of underrepresented minority clinicians who serve as lead research managers or principal investigators.

Our investments to date have included:

  • Research: Investments with partners to conduct research to better understand and raise awareness for health disparities impacting communities of color.
  • Healthcare models: Support partners to develop and scale culturally competent healthcare models for communities of color.
  • Frontline health worker representation: Scholarships and other non-financial support funding for a range of professional healthcare and advocacy organizations to help increase the representation of people of color in medical, scientific and health professions.
  • Community-based healthcare solutions: Funding to support community-based healthcare solutions that improve quality of and access to care for people of color.
  • Advancing climate solutions and health equity: Support leading organizations that are addressing the disproportionate impacts of climate change on the health of communities of color. For example, working with the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health and the National Medical Association, we created the pioneering Climate and Health Equity Fellowship to support physicians of color to become leaders in climate and health equity education, advocacy, and policy solutions. We also supported 20 full scholarships for students of color to attend the first-ever Youth Summit on Climate Change & Health that was hosted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE).

See section on Supplier Diversity for metrics related to the enduring alliances priority area.

Additionally, we advance ORTHE through our business activities and through our brands.

Boosting diversity in clinical trials: We share the concern about the historic underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials, and Janssen has taken specific steps to (1) advance internal awareness on the need to successfully recruit underserved and underrepresented patients and apply new tools to increase enrollment of diverse populations in our clinical trials, (2) increase underserved and underrepresented populations’ access to participation in clinical trials through various internal and external initiatives that address barriers to enrollment, and (3) improve awareness and education about clinical trials in underrepresented populations to facilitate greater trust and participation in clinical trials.

Driving innovation: For example, we encourage innovation through our QuickFire Challenges that invite ideas from diverse groups with the aim to solve healthcare challenges to create equitable and inclusive healthcare systems (see section: R&D Innovation). In 2021, we launched an innovative program in the UK to help drive a more diverse healthcare workforce and provide young people with opportunities to pursue a career in STEM STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics . The Johnson & Johnson STEM Scholars Programme was created to support Black students studying STEM in further education. The five-year program is championed by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London and supports 25 students for two years, and a cohort of 10 students for a further three years during their time at university. The program aims to build understanding of the healthcare industry and STEM careers and will enable students to gain experience through work placements and paid internships at Johnson & Johnson UK locations, supported by a Johnson & Johnson mentor.

At Johnson & Johnson UK, a key priority is to invest in the next generation of healthcare talent and to ensure that young people everywhere have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, regardless of their ethnicity, background or circumstances.
This programme will help build a more diverse talent pool for Johnson & Johnson and create a stronger and more resilient healthcare workforce.
Rhoda Steel
UK Corporate Social Responsibility Lead, Johnson & Johnson

Advancing health equity though MedTech: At Johnson & Johnson MedTech, we use our role as a MedTech leader to address health disparities and promote health equity solutions across surgery, orthopaedics, interventional solutions and vision. We aspire to reach more than 1 million HCPs HCPs Healthcare professional through partnerships with the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Advances in Surgery (AIS) and others to execute training initiatives focused on addressing disparities in healthcare.

In 2021, we advanced multiple initiatives to advance health equity, including:

  • Supporting a two-year scholarship and mentorship program for diverse medical students in the U.S. conducted by the NMF;
  • Partnerships with the NMF Diverse Clinical Investigator Training Institute with MedTech Color to increase patient diversity in clinical trials;
  • Training sessions for HCPs on healthcare diversity, in collaboration with AIS and the American College of Surgeons (with more than 60,000 participants from 150 countries having attended the training);
  • Launching an initiative to drive change in stroke care, starting with the collection and analysis of data and insights needed to identify and drive the change in closing the disparity gap associated with stroke care; and
  • Helping publish, as a member of AdvaMed, industry-wide principles on health equity and engaging regularly with the FDA FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other groups to advocate for communities of color.
Johnson & Johnson Vision is the first major eye health company to sign the 13% Promise, an initiative created by nonprofit Black EyeCare Perspective to increase equity and representation in optometry to mirror the 13% of Black people in the U.S. population.

Also in 2021, J&J MedTech continued its My Health Can’t Wait program in the U.S. and around the world. My Health Can't Wait is a global education initiative and online resource to encourage patients and HCPs to access and provide care safely during the pandemic and beyond. The program provides resources to help HCPs and patients reengage in meaningful conversations about how and when to get the right medical treatment. In 2021, we launched a localized My Health Can’t Wait pilot program, focusing on underserved communities in, focusing on underserved communities in Chicago, informed by research that indicates that Black and Hispanic adults deferred care at higher rates throughout the pandemic, reinforcing the inequities facing communities of color in the region. Through both initiatives, we were able to reach millions of individuals with resources that can guide them to receive the healthcare they need.

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To learn more about our progress in ORTHE, please visit Our Race to Health Equity.

To learn more about our efforts to advance DEI DEI Diversity, equity and inclusion across our organization and through our business activities, see also our third annual DEI Impact Review.

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