DEI Lead, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine
Kimberly Nettles enjoys a big challenge. She’s climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and has her sights set next on Mount Everest. Her goal at work is equally challenging: ensuring equitable, personalized care for cancer patients.
At Johnson & Johnson, the pharmacist serves as a diversity, equity and inclusion leader, specifically in oncology. Nettles, based in Washington, D.C., acts as a bridge between the company's pharmaceutical and biotechnical teams and academic and community organizations, ensuring there is diversity among researchers and their ideas.
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Before this role, Nettles served as a pharmacist for the U.S. Public Health Service, where she worked with a Native American community in New Mexico. That served as her introduction to caring for underserved populations, and that experience continues to drive her work in health equity. She earned her doctorate in pharmacy from Florida A&M University.
Her career came full circle when her father, a U.S. Navy dentist, was diagnosed with cancer. He began receiving treatment at a small, community oncology clinic in a rural area, where access to quality care can have many barriers.
“Anybody who's sitting in healthcare right now [has] family members, loved ones [who are] going through something,” Nettles said. “Understanding the disease, treatment regimen and treatment patterns, in order to [help] them get better … is really exceptional. I definitely don't take for granted being in a position to have the knowledge and accessibility to be able to help people. You can't ask for a better job than that.”
-- Hayley DeSilva