Janssen Employees Unite When Disaster Strikes
[Photo: Susie Thomas, a key account manager for Janssen’s immunology department, assembles hygiene kits to send to Puerto Ricans and Floridians impacted by recent hurricanes.]
By Kaitlyn Nuebel
Employees at Janssen Pharmaceuticals took a break from their usual workday to volunteer with BBF and assemble hygiene kits for people in Puerto Rico and Florida who were recently impacted by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. Janssen, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson, gives employees one paid day off each year to volunteer. For those working in the company’s various sales departments, a day spent at Brother’s Brother Foundation provided a rare opportunity to work together in-person.
“When we get a chance to come together like this, it’s a great honor to see people and physically be together,” says Greg Radick, the Healthcare Policy and Advocacy Director for Johnson and Johnson’s strategic customer group.
Like a lot of employees at Janssen, Radick works from home, making it difficult to establish bonds with coworkers across the company’s different branches.
“I could be in an elevator with someone from my own company and not even know who they are unless they’re wearing something [with the company’s logo],” said Kristi Senko, a Key Account Specialist in Janssen’s Immunology Department.
Janssen employees are no strangers to disaster relief efforts. Susie Thomas, a Key Account Manager in Immunology, works with someone whose family members lost everything after a recent disaster in Puerto Rico. She said the Johnson & Johnson plane was one of the first on-site to provide aid.
Thomas says volunteering at BBF provides an opportunity to extend the company’s mission on a local level.
“You look at what’s happening in Fort Myers and beyond and you’re trying to figure out how you can help. When tragedy happens, at least there’s a place in your backyard that you can go to that is reputable and that you know is going to go directly to that cause,” Thomas says.
Hurricane Fiona left almost a million people in Puerto Rico without power and hundreds of thousands without water. The recovery costs are expected to be in the billions as the island still hasn’t fully recuperated from Hurricane Maria in 2017. Florida isn’t doing any better — damages from Hurricane Ian have reached estimates as high as $100 billion.