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on a positive impact

Building health leadership capacity through the J&J One Young World Change Makers


Johnson & Johnson One Young World (OYW) Ambassadors across the globe are actively engaging with young leaders on the front lines of delivering care to help formulate innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing health challenges, through the J&J OYW program.

Johnson & Johnson has partnered with OYW, a not for profit organisation advocating young leadership development, since 2013. To date, over 80 J&J delegates (now OYW Ambassadors) have participated in the annual OYW Summit, each year taking place in a different continent across the globe, providing them with a unique platform to engage with inspirational world leaders and to share new ideas and best practice with their peers.

J&J OYW Scholarship Program; Supporting those on the front lines of delivering care

In 2017, 33 J&J young leaders (aged 18-30) from across the globe attended the 2017 OYW Summit in Bogotá Colombia where they were joined for the first time by eight aspiring external scholars from the J&J OYW Scholarship Program; a newly launched J&J/OYW partnership program open to young leaders working on the front lines of delivering care. All scholar recipients were selected by One Young World.

The aim of the J&J OYW Scholarship Program is to help build external youth leadership capacity within the health and care giving arena and to further support this, all scholar recipients receive 1:1 coaching from senior J&J executives to further develop and incubate their initiatives.

Says Annet Eijkelkamp, Director Employee Engagement, J&J Global Community EMEA and Global Program Lead, “By investing in executive coaching pre, during and post Summit, we can share our knowledge and corporate experience on specific challenges that our scholars are facing, for example organisational development and business expansion, to help strengthen health leadership capacity.”

Adds Ben Davies, Executive Director, GCI EMEA and coach to Charles Akhimien, MOBicure, Nigeria:

“This is a mutual opportunity to share learnings and experience.  Through my networks, I have facilitated meetings with Charles which I hope will benefit him and  his organisation in the future and I have no doubt that we will also learn a lot from Charles as he continues growing his organisation in Nigeria.”

J&J OYW Buddy teams: Sharing best practice to drive positive change
Learning from your peers, sharing experiences and making change are some of the goals of the J&J One Young World program and each of the eight 2017 J&J OYW scholars has been buddied with up to five 2017 J&J OYW Ambassadors, with the scholar and their business needs remaining at the heart of the team.

In total, eight 2017 J&J OYW buddy teams have been created with a global diversity of experience. Each of the scholars is supported by J&J Ambassadors from across the J&J business sectors and regions, who share best practice, networks and resources to support and advance the scholar’s ideas and initiatives.

Below is an overview of each buddy team and their outcomes to date:

Buddy Team 1:

Focus area: Oncology

Scholar: Abdul Zurak, Zurak Cancer Foundation, Ghana

J&J OYW Ambassadors: João Castro (Janssen, Portugal), Alice Lovell (J&J Consumer, UK), Zhou Xuanbo (Janssen, China), Tan Weilin (J&J Medical, China)

Abdul Zurak is CEO of a youth run NGO educating individuals about cancer, creating awareness, supporting cancer patients and advocating for cancer in Ghana. His buddy team is helping him to empower his team of people in Ghana in leadership and decision-making skills freeing Abdul from managing all aspects of the Foundation’s day to day management and allowing him to focus on and expanding his organisation. Already, the buddy team has provided leadership training tools and SMART goal setting to Abdul which is sharing with his administration, finance and marketing and communication teams.

Alice Lovell, Senior Brand Manager, J&J Consumer, UK:Being on this team means that I have met people I would not normally have met and have learnt how business is run in other countries. It has also reinforced the value of our Credo and why I work for Johnson & Johnson.”

Abdul Zurak, Founder & CEO, Zurak Cancer Foundation: “The OYW Summit was the most inspirational moment of my life. My team in Ghana relies heavily on me to make all decisions, so learning from my buddy team members how to empower them to make their own decisions is an important step forward. They provide a place for me to share ideas.”


Buddy Team 2

Focus area: Mental Health

Scholar: David Medina Andrade, Fundación Qubo, Colombia

J&J OYW Ambassadors: Cesar Lujan (J&J Colombia), Karla La Gant (Janssen Panama), Polina Rigakou (Janssen Greece), Selda Bülbül (Janssen Turkey)

David Medina Andrade founded Qubo Foundation in Colombia to provide psycho-social support to adolescent victims of armed conflict through an innovative sports and culture program called PazArte el Balón. Providing funding for this initiative is a key challenge and David’s buddies are helping him to promote his organisation to potential donors through the development of new material. The team has now sourced a professional video company which will film David in February 2018 and be used for Crowd-funding purposes and is also looking at how J&J employees in Colombia can become actively engaged through volunteering.

David Medina Andrade, CEO, Fundación Qubo: “My buddy team spreads my vision about PazArte el Balón, opening a new world of alternatives for me and my team to be self-sustainable”. 

Karla La Gant, Marketing Product Manager, Janssen, Panama: “As a team we are so passionate about working with David and believe in his cause. We speak frequently and together we personally funded his video so that we can ensure that something tangible has been achieved from the limited time that we are working with him. I am sure we will continue to connect and to support David and I hope to travel to Bogota to watch the filming in February.”


Buddy Team 3

Focus area: Maternal & Child Health

Scholar: Charles Immanuel Akhimien, MOBicure, Nigeria

J&J OYW Ambassadors: Diane Foong (Janssen, Singapore), Zhu Jiayi (J&J Medical, China), Ahmed Medhat (J&J Consumer, Middle East), Nada Kashkari (J&J Medical, Middle East)

Charles Immanuel Akhimien, is the co-founder of MOBicure, a social enterprise providing mobile technology solutions in healthcare for Nigeria. Its flagship product is OMOMi, a mobile app to enable mothers and pregnant women, particularly in rural areas, to easily monitor their children’s health. Charles’s goal is to expand the reach of OMOMi into new countries and his buddy team are exploring market entry into Myanmar which has a similar maternal and child health challenges. The team has already reached out to J&J leads in Myanmar who have confirmed the need and market potential for this app and scoping is in progress.

Charles Akhimien, Co-founder, MOBicure: “Women need to be empowered with the right information to stay healthy; that way they can live long enough to innovate their own way out of poverty. The OYW summit and my buddy team experience has given me the platform and opportunity to share my vision with the world. I believe more amazing work can and will be done by the OMOMi app to improve the lives of mothers and children.”

Diane Foong, Product Manager, Janssen, Singapore: “I am passionate about developing leadership opportunities in SE Asia. Being on the buddy team has broadened my horizon. The next step for me is to translate inspiration into action and being on the buddy team is making that possible. It has been amazing to work with J&J colleagues from across the globe and in different business sectors and I have made friends for life.”


Buddy Team 4

Focus area: Primary Health Care

Scholar: Jack Hisard, Mama Clinic, Kenya

J&J OYW Ambassadors: Tiina Annus (Janssen, UK), Gero Joks (Janssen, Germany), Camila Olarte (J&J Medical Devices, Colombia), Laurie Kan (Janssen, Canada), Rami Khoury (Janssen, Lebanon)

Jack Hisard founded the Mama Clinic, a health centre in Suna-Migori, Kenya when he was 19 yrs old. The clinic provides primary healthcare, outpatient/inpatient services, maternal/child healthcare and other services. He believes that everyone should have access to health care and his goal is to expand his clinic into a regional research centre to investigate the most urgent medical needs. Jack’s buddy team has helped him to identify Type 2 Diabetes as a neglected disease in East Africa which frequently leads to amputation and disability. The opportunity to show a significant benefit with a simple intervention makes this an interesting topic. To date, the research design for the study has been identified by the team and Jack is in discussion with his university professor to undertake this study as part of his PhD thesis.  

Jack Hisard, Founder & Executive Director, Mama Clinic: “Meeting my buddy team remotely was a great opportunity to talk about issues and share our common purposes. We brainstormed on my challenges from across different continents and came up with solutions for Mama Clinic. Our connection transcends beyond just work to great friendships.  For instance, at a personal level I am currently building creative solutions to diabetics in my community and country as part of my research proposal for my graduate school and the buddy team has been with me in this journey as we try to refine my research interests. We are currently working on ideas of how to set up a well-equipped diagnostic laboratory to screen for diseases especially non-communicable diseases so that the disease burden can be reduced with an early detection”.

Gero Joks, Country Scientific Advisor, Janssen, Germany: “When I was at the One Young World Summit and listening to other young leaders who are changing the world, I felt humbled and kept thinking how can I create value and make an impact. To be working in this team and using my clinical and scientific skills to support Jack with his research program has given me a great sense of purpose.”


Buddy Team 5

Focus Area: Sexual & Reproductive Health

Scholar: Kaleigh Heard, The Unmentionables, Canada

J&J OYW Ambassadors: Petr Prochazka (J&J, Czech Republic), Adriana Rodriguez (Janssen, Panama), Glenn Maricaux (Janssen, Germany), Icìar Luengo Arratta (J&J Consumer, Spain), Sarah Friars (J&J Consumer, Canada)

Kaleigh Heard is Co-founder and CEO of The Unmentionables, an organisation that provides undergarments, feminine hygiene products, sexual health products and related education across refugee communities. Funding is a challenge for Kaleigh and she asked the buddy team to support her with creative pitch material for potential donors. Currently the team are reviewing pitch decks for different stakeholders and will be working on a marketing and communications plan with Kaleigh to create greater awareness of the program.

Kaleigh Heard, Co-founder & CEO, Unmentionables: “The J&J buddy team supporting The Unmentionables is a phenomenal asset to our growth, influence, and ability to provide dignity through hygiene around the world.  Their knowledge, skills, and investment in leading change in the world has assisted The Unmentionables in creating the conditions and materials necessary to grow our community of supporters and donors in 2018.  I am tremendously grateful for their dedication and commitment”.

Glenn Maricaux, Sr. Analyst Solution Architecture Digital Janssen, Belgium: “To be able to give back to someone who can make a difference in the world has been amazing. I think the skills we can share from the corporate world with our scholars can act as a catalyst for them to move ideas into action.”


Buddy Team 6

Focus Area: Disease Prevention

Scholar: Minh Tuan Ta, HELP International, Vietnam

J&J OYW Ambassadors: Leila Jenayah (Janssen, France); Shaojia Yang (J&J Medical, China); Siyuan Cheng (J&J Medical, China); Swagato Cheng (J&J Consumer, Singapore)

Minh Tuan Ta is a social entrepreneur in Vietnam and Chairman of HELP International, a healthcare service which provides medical homecare and telemedicine service to treat and advise customers and patients at home, reducing the burden on hospitals in Vietnam. To improve the efficiency and add value for his end customers, Ming Tuan Ta asked his buddy team to identify current service providers in other countries. The team identified a similar health care service in China, and are currently studying the business and customer engagement model in China to identify transferrable best practices.

Minh Tuan Ta, Founder & CEO, HELP International: “Our team is like a world and we can create a world-class solution together”

Swagato Cheng, Management Trainee, J&J Consumer, Singapore “It has been an enriching experience to work for change makers in the field and to see the impact we can make through our own knowledge and skills.”

Buddy Team 7

Focus Area: Infectious Disease

Scholar: Patience Osei, Johns Hopkins University, Botswana

J&J OYW Ambassadors: Shelina Ramnarine (Janssen, US), Ekaterina Komleva (Janssen, Russia), Caroline Mackenzie (Janssen, EMEA), Amy Lipschitz (J&J Consumer, Canada)

Patience Osei is a Human Factors Specialist at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute. Her research includes the application of human factors engineering to infection control and prevention through personal protection equipment. Patience refined the technical design of new Ebola protective suits and is now working on and refining the design of a novel respirator and hood to protect healthcare workers from air-borne and infectious diseases. She asked the buddy team to support her by exploring new funding opportunities for this product and the team has now created a pitch deck and connected Patience with colleagues within the J&J Medical Devices business. The next steps are to define long-term goals and a strategic vision for commercialisation of this product.

Patience Osei, Product Development Manager, Johns Hopkins University: “Being a part of the JNJ OYW delegation has been completely life changing. I have been exposed to a world of possibilities, which have inspired me to do more in healthcare. My buddy team has been extremely supportive of my vision throughout this process. The has helped me to refine my problem area by thinking through important questions. They also enabled me to connect with resources within and outside the J&J network who have been a breath of fresh air for my project. My project now has a clearer focus and strategy, and hence I feel more empowered to bring my innovative products to the market. I am truly grateful and certain that because of this opportunity, the lives of many more healthcare workers all over the world will be saved.”

Amy Lipschitz, Assistant Brand Manager, J&J Consumer, Canada: This has been a life changing experience. It has been exciting and stimulating to work in this team and support Patience with a product that has the potential to save thousands of lives worldwide. It has changed my mindset and made and makes me think is a different way”.


Buddy Team 8

Focus area: Prison Health (mothers and children)

Scholar: Umar Kabanda, African Prisons Project, Uganda

J&J OYW Ambassadors: Monika Sitnik (J&J, UK), Marco Ocana (J&J Consumer, Mexico), Alexander Cipriani (Janssen, Colombia)

Umar is a volunteer at the African Prisons Project advocating access of health care and treatment to inmates in Africa. He has introduced the Child Mobile Clinic in Uganda, providing a network of health workers to provide paediatric care to children in the prison setting with HIV/Aids, TB and other child related diseases. His goal is to increase health care access to inmates with a focus on children born in prison and his buddy team is supporting him on revisions for the mobile clinic model and a stakeholder engagement strategy. In addition, they have linked him with Kaleigh Heard, another 2017 J&J OWY Scholar, to discuss the potential for providing sanitary protection to women in prison.

Umar Kabanda, Prison Project Volunteer, African Prison Project: “My buddy team has worked on the strategy of engaging health providers through vision and a project designing approach. This has helped me to attract more health providers, specifically in the field of HIV and TB.”

Monika Sitnik, Policy Assistant Government Affairs​, J&J Corporate, UK: OYW has taught me that you have choices and can make a tangible difference. Working with Umar in the buddy team has shown me a different perspective on Africa and challenges people face on a day to day basis. What you read in the media is not what it is really like to live there and governance system is so unstable that even the smallest success is a huge victory”.  

For more information on the J&J OYW Program, please visit our website or send an email to