Johnson & Johnson Harnesses Collective Impact for Healthier Communities

By Alexandra Luterek and Vera Oziransky

Some neighborhoods are full of “assets” that promote health – bike lanes, gardens, public art, green space and playgrounds. Others are emblematic of social and economic challenges and instead feature vacant lots, cracked sidewalks, and a scarcity of local businesses. The built environment and non-medical determinants are strong predictors of health. To harness the resources necessary to make equitable and sustainable improvements in local population health, engaging all community stakeholders is critical.

Collective Impact is a framework for cross-sector collaboration that catalyzes large-scale social change. The private sector can be a key player in these initiatives, serving a funding, strategic, technical, and/or direct programming role.

Johnson & Johnson has been headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ, since 1887. It has more than 9,000 employees that live in work in the area, and works with 52 partners to impact the health of its workforce and local residents. One of the recipients of its philanthropic funding is the Healthier New Brunswick (HNB) Initiative – a collective impact effort that works with academia, local hospitals and clinics, the city, and nonprofit organizations to scale up community-based services, improve infrastructure, and measurably impact population health. One of HNB’s initiatives, Ciclovia, launched open streets, which makes streets car-free for 5 hours a day, to encourage families to run, bike, and explore city streets. Another initiative, the Perinatal Diabetic Management Service, works with the health system to ensure that pregnant women at risk for diabetes get proper care before, during, and after pregnancy.

Read more about J&J’s investment in collective impact here and about the role of business investment in community health in our report “Beyond the Four Walls: Why Community is Critical to Workforce Health

How does your community do in terms of promoting a “Culture of Health”? Do big companies play a part in supporting a healthy built environment? We’d love to hear from you, either below or on social media at @VitalityInst and using #Beyond4Walls


Thumbnail image credit: NJ Healthy Kids

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