Two weeks ago I packed up my laptop, cell phone, tape recorder and every charger I could find and headed to New York. Since Johnson & Johnson named me as one of their Social Influencers for Social Good they generously arranged for me to attend the Social Good Summit at the 92nd Street Y. I headed to the Summit alone and was a bit nervous and unsure what to expect from the day or the crowd but I was determined to get all I could out of the day.
My first stop was a coffee shop on the Upper East Side where I was scheduled to meet Susan Can, Director of Corporate Equity in the Global Marketing division at Johnson & Johnson. I was so nervous about interviewing Susan that I reached out to my husband’s lovely cousin Sandra who is the White House Bureau Chief for People Magazine. She does this for a living (and does it very well) so she sent me tons of tips and question ideas! When Susan sat down I was immediately at ease with her. She is absolutely lovely and the conversation just flowed. We started chatting right away about Text4Baby but first Susan mentioned that early in her career she was a pediatric oncology nurse and I couldn’t help but love her right away just for that!
We jumped into chatting about preeclampsia messaging via Text4Baby. I was so happy to find out that all the messaging for Text4Baby comes from relevant medical societies, nursing organizations and governments agencies. Together these organizations and agencies come up with an algorithm for what messages to send pregnant women and when. Susan also explained that when a mother signs up for Text4Baby she only needs to provide her due date and zip code. Text for baby not only sends out relevant medical advice that correlates with the stages of pregnancy but it can also send out emergency alerts to registered moms. For example, during Hurricane Sandy Text4Baby was able to send pregnant moms in affected areas information necessary to stay safe and healthy.
Susan and I chatted about so many wonderful initiatives that Johnson and Johnson have going on. There are too many to list now but look for individual posts coming in the future sharing how you can make a difference by participating in some J&J outreach programs!! I was very interested in Donate A Photo and getting information on how charities are chosen (and gave many hints about the Preeclampsia Foundation!) We chatted so long I didn’t get to ask Susan my two favorite questions that I had for her courtesy of Sandra’s awesome interview skills!
ME: With so many health issues to tackle, how do you prioritize on behalf of J&J?
SUSAN: You are right – with so many issues, we have to have a framework to focus efforts based on our expertise as an organization. We have three strategic pillars that center our social responsibility work around that include caring for moms, children and families, healthcare capacity (e.g. more health workers so people have access to care, esp. in developing areas) and health and wellness to prevent disease and keep people healthy.
ME: In a perfect world of unlimited funds and whatever technology you could dream up, what is your dream program for making sure global moms raise healthy children with a shot at success?
SUSAN: If I waved my magic wand, every woman would have prenatal care and support, enabled by mobile technology and a skilled birth attendant at birth. This mobile technology would be so smart it would access and arrange the services and 9nformaiton she needs to give her baby the best possible start in life. Picture a smart, connected network that integrates and coordinates the many good programs that are out there. She would have on-going medical care for she and her baby, encompassing physical and developmental support. The growing baby would be free from parasitic diseases as clean water is plentiful due to the a massive clean water pipeline. Mom would be empowered to care for she and her baby and will be able to read any mobile health messages as she has been educated.
After meeting Susan I really think if anyone can help spearhead a mission like this…SHE CAN!!! Hello, her last name is Can!
Susan and I walked over to the 92nd Street Y together to get to the Social Good Summit. Susan totally took care of me, helped me check in and brought me to the Media Room. I thanked her and she wouldn’t leave until she saw that I actually found a seat and sat there. I was so touched by this, Susan is fabulous! We then hugged goodbye and got ready for the Summit!!
Once I sat down the Summit started with Pharrell video chatting in. The room started buzzing. People were plugging in all over the place and within an hour there were people sitting on the floors, texting, posting and it was amazing to realize that all these people were getting messages out from the Summit. They were sharing quotes and promoting Social Good and Social Change. Then it hit….SO WAS I!! I was posting on my blog, sharing on twitter and Facebook and also sharing on behalf of World Moms Blog. I realized our mission there was to get the word out. We weren’t there to be convinced, because we all believe it, we were there to help! So here I am sharing with you my key thoughts on what I feel we need to get out there.
Before I left the Summit I got to fill out a card for Alisha Keys’ campaign called #WEAREHERE and I wrote WHY I was there
I want to give a very special thank you to Susan Can for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to meet me for tea. I also must thank the amazing people at J&J for coordinating and making it possible for me to attend Social Good Summit. I am so grateful to have been chosen as a J&J Social Influencer for Social Good!