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JOHNSON & JOHNSON ANNOUNCES $15 MILLION INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH

 JOHNSON & JOHNSON ANNOUNCES $15 MILLION INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE
 MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
 NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ralph S. Larsen today announced a five-year, $15 million Maternal and Child Health Initiative designed to help safeguard the health of children and pregnant women.
 Larsen said Johnson & Johnson will play "a leadership role in raising public awareness and encouraging public policy" in support of programs that address the diverse health needs of mothers, infants and children through their developmental years.
 The Johnson & Johnson initiative, he said, will focus primarily on prevention as a critical element in appropriate maternal and child health care strategies and will embrace and build upon many existing programs already sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
 Larsen cited the following examples:
 -- Healthy Start - a presidential initiative to reduce infant mortality by 50 percent in 15 communities over the next five years. Johnson & Johnson is the first corporate partner to join this federal effort. The company's support includes assistance in a national public awareness media campaign targeted at pregnant women and others at risk;
 -- The Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program - encompassing monetary grants awarded annually to innovative programs primarily addressing maternal and child health care needs in local communities;
 -- The Johnson & Johnson Head Start Management Fellows Program - enabling Head Start center directors to expand and improve their personal management skills, and their local programs in education and health for disadvantaged youngsters across the nation;
 -- The Johnson & Johnson Live For Life (R) School Nurse Program - aimed at early health care intervention and drug abuse prevention; and,
 -- The National Safe Kids Campaign - a partnership with the Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C., through which Johnson & Johnson is influencing injury prevention policies and behavior across the nation to reduce childhood injuries.
 Larsen told stockholders that the company's strong commitment to the Maternal and Child Health Initiative stems from Johnson & Johnson's heritage as the "Baby Company."
 "It is sad to note...that in the United States...we currently have over 10 million children who do not have health insurance," Larsen said, in speaking to more than 1,200 shareholders at Johnson & Johnson's annual meeting in New Brunswick, N.J.
 "For a country with our wealth and resources, that's simply not right. And we shouldn't wait any longer to get them covered with a basic core of health benefits," he said.
 "The lack of timely prenatal care, inadequate maternal nutrition, and smoking and substance abuse on the part of expectant mothers puts many children at risk even before they are born," he continued.
 "Children are society's most vulnerable group. They can't take care of themselves. They are our future and it is vitally important that they get off to a healthy start in life," Larsen concluded.
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: David Swearingen of Johnson & Johnson, 908-524-3538, or home, 908-389-9641/
 (JNJ) CO: Johnson & Johnson ST: New Jersey IN: HEA SU:


AH-OS -- NY122 -- 2139 04/23/92 16:46 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 1992
Words:495
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