As a father and as CEO of a company advancing the latest innovations in science and health care, it is unthinkable to me that nearly three million newborns throughout the world die each year from mostly preventable conditions.
It’s unthinkable, but sadly it’s also true.
Knowing this fact, I feel an even deeper commitment to upholding our company’s long legacy of caring for the health of women and children and ensuring the health outcomes of individuals are not determined solely by where they are born.
This is an important week for maternal and child health as the United Nations General Assembly convenes in New York City and global health advocates, country health ministers and thought leaders will gather to assess the progress toward achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
If you are unfamiliar with the MDGs, these are eight goals the U.N. established at the beginning of the new millennium to address the most critical, unmet needs of the most vulnerable populations with a deadline of fulfilling these goals by the end of 2015. Of these goals, three are related to health care and are the focus of our work:
- MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality
- MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
- MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Working with our partners, we are on track to meet our MDG commitment, having reached more than 200 million women and children since 2010 when we became one of the first private-sector companies to pledge our commitment to the health goals.
Yesterday, Johnson & Johnson together with our partners hosted a day-long conversation focused on progress to improve health, the hurdles that remain in achieving the MDGs, and how new innovative solutions and partnerships can help us to reach even more at-risk women and children by 2015 and beyond.
I am proud, knowing Johnson & Johnson has a hand in making an incredible impact on the health outcomes for millions of women and children in low-resource settings through our MDG pledge.
For more than a century, Johnson & Johnson has been committed to ensuring women and children are healthy and thrive and it is incredible to see this legacy carry on and grow.
Alex Gorsky is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Johnson & Johnson. Under his leadership, J&J has been noted for its patient-centered innovation, its diverse pipeline of talented leaders, and recognized for its corporate citizenship by Fortune, Diversity Inc., and Working Mothers. After graduation from the United States Military Academy, Alex served six years in the military and earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. He joined Johnson & Johnson as a sales associate in 1988.