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      HomeOur CompanyOur societal impact Global Health Equity Advancing health for communities of color from the ground up
      A collage of MHCW community fund winners speaking

      Advancing health for communities of color from the ground up

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      Transforming healthcare to be more equitable requires collaborating with, and within, communities. That’s why Johnson & Johnson recently committed to supporting more than 100 grassroots organizations, local health centers and national associations to help address health disparities for communities of color. Our goal: to elevate their rich community knowledge and cultural understanding to help close the gap between community and care.

      As we reflect on National Minority Health Month, learn more about the inspiring healthcare leaders that power these vital organizations, their passion for health equity and their groups’ phenomenal work.

      Nurses Educational Fund, Inc.

      Headshot of nurse Laura Mata Lopez

      Laura Mata López envisions a world where she is not the only one like her. The psychiatric nurse practitioner and Ph.D. candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is Latina, a group that comprises just 5% of the nursing Ph.D. workforce. López, a first generation immigrant, is driven to help improve the mental health access, care and outcomes of Latino families like hers.

      She is passionate about advancing health equity to “allow our community to have a seat at the table in the way that they deserve and for their stories to be told in their own terms,” she said. “Because there’s no one else that can tell our stories better than we can.” López is advancing her knowledge and research with the support of the Johnson & Johnson/Edwidge Thomas Health Equity scholarship through Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. (NEF), which aims to increase diverse representation in nursing.

      Black Women’s Health Imperative

      Headshot of Paula Green Smith

      Paula Green Smith’s life’s work is confronting the systemic racism and misinformation that prevents people of color from enjoying their best, healthiest lives. And she does this life-changing work out of love.

      “My love of my people, my love of my communities—wanting to see people do better and have the best is what motivates me,” said Smith, Vice President of Training and Technical Assistance at the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), an Atlanta-based nonprofit supported by Johnson & Johnson. With Johnson & Johnson’s support, BWHI provides resources, like diabetes awareness and prevention classes, to Black and Latina women nationwide.

      Columbia Center for Community Health

      Glenn McMillan, a community health worker in New York City, believes that building trust with people is essential to fostering meaningful connections, conducting effective health outreach and providing information and services. “The trust goes a long, long way,” said McMillan, with the Columbia Center for Community Health. “People don’t care about what you know, they just want to know how much you care.”

      Glenn McMillan

      McMillan and his fellow community health workers assist residents of Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx in navigating the health system and building health literacy by linking them with insurance, offering free mental health screenings and counseling and enlisting intermediaries such as African American churches to empower people to take control of their health. Funding from Johnson & Johnson will enable the Columbia Center for Community Health to expand its community health worker training curriculum to help more people access quality care.

      We’re proud to collaborate with these trusted partners and so many other worthy organizations. They can reach people in need as no one else can: “Having community health workers with the same cultural background and same ethnicity can put patients at ease, because they’re speaking with someone they can relate to,” said Paula Stevenson, a community health worker with Columbia Center for Community Health.

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