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Johnson & Johnson GenH Challenge Pitch Day

Organized by Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact

January 17
1:45 PM – 6:00 PM (PST)
South San Francisco, California



The GenH Challenge, a global social venture competition hosted by Johnson & Johnson, asks social entrepreneurs and everyday innovators on the front lines of care to develop novel approaches for the health challenges facing local communities.

From more than 1,000 registrants and 323 submissions, we have narrowed down to six finalists.These six teams will be pitching their ideas during a live event on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at JLABS @ SSF in South San Francisco. All six teams will receive a monetary award, with one winner receiving $250,000, one winner receiving $150,000, and the four remaining winners each receiving $50,000 each. To learn more about the six finalists, click here.

GenH Challenge Pitch Day Schedule:

1:45 PM | Registration begins
2:00 PM | Program begins
4:30 PM | Cocktails, appetizers, and reception

Winners announced live! 

Coming Clean for Child Health: Putting Urban Sanitation and Vaccines on the Global Agenda

Organized by Global Citizen

September 21
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Tenement Museum
103 Orchard Street
New York, New York

(RSVP by September 18)

This reception will bring together prominent voices and experts in water, sanitation, and global health to celebrate the leadership of the High-level Panel of Water in working to achieve the entire scope of Global Goal 6: clean water & sanitation, and to discuss what more needs to be done to achieve Global Goal 3: good health & well-being.

This event in particular will focus on access to fecal sludge management and essential vaccines linking into broader issues of access to clean water and medicines. Through this cross-cutting collaboration, we are presented with a unique opportunity to come clean for child health and secure for all children a better tomorrow.

GenH Challenge Workshop

Organized by Johnson & Johnson (J&J)

September 20
2:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Blender Workspace
New York, New York


New solutions for today’s enduring health challenges can come from anyone, anywhere. A new method… a twist on a tried-and-true practice… an adaptation out of necessity that reveals a new way forward… These everyday innovations have the potential to transform health for people, communities, and humanity.

Join Johnson & Johnson during the UN General Assembly for a hands-on discussion, workshop, and networking mixer to help turn your spark of an idea into the concept that could win one of six prizes from the GenH Challenge, a social venture competition offering up to $1 million in cash and other incentives to pioneers of ingenuity worldwide. Whether you’ve started an application or are just forming a possible idea, this event will provide tools and insights that can strengthen your application to the GenH Challenge.

MomConnect by Johnson & Johnson

This blog was provided by Johnson & Johnson. This program recieved a plaque of commendation in the Innovation/Technology to Improve Health category of the 2015 GHC-GBCHealth Business Action on Health Awards. 

Launched in 2014, MomConnect is a South African National Department of Health initiative that uses mobile technology to educate and empower new and expecting mothers, monitor the quality of health services, and support nurses and midwives.

Women register with MomConnect at their local clinic to receive evidence-based, culturally-sensitive SMS messages throughout pregnancy and up to the infant’s first birthday, timed by estimated date of delivery. Messages advise on the importance of attending antenatal visits and provide information on preparing for a safe labor and tips for newborn care. Each registration is captured in South Africa’s first national pregnancy registry.

Johnson & Johnson has made funding and in-kind contributions to MomConnect, including support to MAMA South Africa – a precursor mobile messaging program launched in 2011 – and content development by BabyCenter, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

Critical Success Factors

  • Since August 2014, more than 570,000 women received MomConnect messages and more than 441,000 confirmed pregnancies were registered with the national database – 1/3 of South Africa’s annual live births.
  • 34,887 health workers were trained on MomConnect, covering 95% of public health facilities.
  • MomConnect’s help desk provides a confidential environment for women to ask questions and provide feedback on clinical services. Approximately 3,100 MomConnect users submitted feedback in the last year, with a compliment to complaints ratio of 6:1.
  • In a phone-based survey (n=1,999):
    • 98% said the messages had helped
    • Nearly 81% said they shared the messages with friends and/or partners
    • 80% said the messages helped them remember clinic visits
    • Nearly 77% said the messages helped them feel more prepared for childbirth

Replicability and Scale Up

  • MomConnect will be adding messages for health workers and mothers living with HIV. The program is also exploring expanding the child messages to age 5 and adding messages for partners.
  • Aspects of MomConnect have already been replicated in other countries, including Uganda.

Additional resources: includes flyers, posters and other visuals from the program–wnO7a?dl=0 includes photos from a MomConnect launch event.


Health Workers Count in Leadership and Management

This blog was cross-posted from the Leadership, Management & Governance Project, and written by Jason Wright, Project Director. 

On September 22 in New York, I represented Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project at a Johnson & Johnson (J&J)-sponsored event entitled “Leadership and Management Training: Unlocking the Potential of Health Workers.” J&J Director of Corporate Contributions, Michael Bzdak, made introductory remarks, and Rutgers University Center for Organizational Development and Leadership Executive Director, Brent Ruben, facilitated the discussion.


Participants included LMG Project consortium partner Amref Health Africa‘s new Chief Executive Officer, Githinji Gitahi, and Executive Director, Bob Kelty. Githinji discussed our joint work on the African Health Leadership and Management Network (AHLMN) hosted at Amref. He announced that Amref will launch its International University in 2016, and Bob discussed our joint work with midwives.

Other participating institutions included Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP), the Aga Khan University (AKU), Duke University, the General Electric (GE) Foundation, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Health (GIMPA), the Global Business School Network (GBSN), IntraHealth, the Office of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for Malaria, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

GE Foundation Director of Global Health Agha Varghese previewed an upcoming announcement on September 25 of the foundation’s $25 million Global Safe Surgery Initiative.

There were three breakout sessions to address the following questions:

  1. In terms of your leadership development efforts/experience, how do you define and measure success? Have you seen any practices in your work/experience?
  2. What is the role of e-learning and digital health in leadership and management training? Have you seen any good examples of blended learning?
  3. What opportunities do you see for collective/collaborative efforts to advocate for, promote, and/or expand leadership and management training as a health systems strengthening intervention?

I participated in the third breakout session facilitated by Michael Bzdak.

During the session, I discussed my experience with the graduation and transition of countries from development assistance from USAID (I worked as USAID Donor Coordination Advisor and Multilateral Team Leader in 2002-2011); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (I served as USAID Liaison to the Global Fund for many years and currently serve on the Developed Country NGO Board delegation); and Gavi.

Githinji and I discussed the need to shift leadership, management, and governance (L+M+G) interventions from in-service to pre-service training. I described how MSH and LMG work to push down (i.e., from headquarters to the field) and out (i.e., from us to regional and national partners) the capacity to provide technical support as we have through Amref and our other consortium partner the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and its African Regional Office and Member Associations (MAs).

I noted the underinvestment in L+M+G and warned of the false dichotomy posited by some between L+M+G interventions and service delivery results. There was great interest from other participants in an LMG Project study of the added value of our Leadership Development Program Plus (LDP+) for postpartum family planning service delivery results in Cameroon. I promised to share results with participants when they become available.

Michael Bzdak cited the need for participants to advocate for L+M+G investment including through presentations at international conferences. He highlighted that MSH is one of the few organizations to provide evidence of the efficacy of L+M+G interventions. I noted that the LMG Project would be presenting its work at the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Indonesia and the International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) in Bangladesh both in November 2015.

Participants were provided copies of a theme issue of the journal World Health & Populationentitled “The Global Health Workforce: Striving for Equity.”