Finding Commonality: Johnson & Johnson’s Institute on Wheels

In Where's Trish by Trishna Patel

There are only 6 doctors for every 10,000 people in India. As hard as that is to comprehend, it is the unfortunate reality for the more than 1.3 billion men, women, and children who do not have access to quality medical care, if any at all.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Mumbai and New Delhi many times but it wasn’t until I explored out beyond the city and stayed in the surroundings rural villages that I saw many of these inequalities first-hand.

For those of you who have followed my journey within the last year, you may know that my brother, who is a general surgeon, and I are in the very early stages of launching our family foundation and non-profit. Surgeons & Storytellers will aim to fund, perform, and document surgeries—along with the social, economic, and geo-political circumstances surrounding the need for them—for impoverished and underserved communities in India, Africa, and parts of the United States.

Starting an NGO has proven to be a tremendous undertaking. One of the the first things I’ve committed myself to is learning as much as I can from other leading organizations with common goals— about the challenges, successes, and unique conditions they’ve faced while trying to revolutionize healthcare, both in the third world and right here in our backyard.

Photo by: Trishna Patel (Rajasthan, India 2010)

As fate would have it—while serving on Johnson & Johnson’s Live Healthy, Live Well Council— I was introduced to Institute on Wheels, a mobile training center in India specifically designed to build the surgical skills of doctors, nurses, and medical staff to address healthcare delivery across the country to those who desperately need it. In their case, Johnson & Johnson identified that from acute, communicable to non-communicable chronic diseases, one major issue was that there was an overwhelming demand for well-trained healthcare workers that far surpassed the country’s actual supply.

Institute on Wheels will travel to various medical colleges and teaching hospitals across India to train medical professionals on cardio thoracic, gastrointestinal,  and gynecological surgeries, to name a few as well as infection protection and OT management.  With their launch earlier this year, JnJ’s Institute of Wheels hopes to train 25,000 surgeons across 400 cities in the next five years.

Read more about other high-tech ways Johnson & Johnson is revolutionizing how doctors are trained around the world and follow Surgeons & Storytellers for our next big announcement!