Feb 17, 2021
BD Volunteers Administer COVID-19 Vaccinations, and Hope, from Coast to Coast

BD has received more than 1 billion orders for needles and syringes to support global COVID-19 vaccination planning efforts. Behind each injection device is a story – a frontline worker tirelessly providing life-saving care or an at-risk individual who has been waiting to see her grandson for the first time.

Knowing the impact that our medical devices and technologies can have in improving the lives of patients is what drives us every day to help fulfill our purpose of advancing the world of health. For three BD associates who volunteered at COVID-19 vaccination sites, our purpose has never been more evident.

Jason Lebowitz (right) at a vaccination site in San Diego, Calif.

Jason Lebowitz, Medical Science Liaison for BD Diabetes Care and Digital Health, and a licensed pharmacist, volunteers a couple times a week at different vaccination sites in San Diego, Calif., administering shots to more than 100 people a day. He decided to volunteer after hearing a “call to action” briefing by California Governor Gavin Newsom about the need for licensed medical professionals to volunteer and expand the pool of vaccinators.

So far, Jason’s most memorable vaccination experience involved an elderly man who was escorted to his station by a caregiver, where he asked to recite a short blessing from a prayer book. Jason immediately recognized it as the Shehecheyanu, a Jewish prayer to celebrate special occasions, and decided to join in.

“It put things in perspective for me, recalling how challenging this past year was and what this vaccine means for so many people,” said Lebowitz. “This is just one example of the priceless experiences that can come from volunteering.”

Judy LaJoie, DNP, RN, CRNI, CENP, Chief Nurse, BD Medical Solutions and Outcomes, and Marty Viegas, BSN, RN, CCRN, CPEN, CRNI, Senior Manager, BD Medical Education and Outcomes, have 48 years of combined nursing experience. As registered nurses, they volunteered through the Medical Reserve Corps of New Jersey to administer vaccinations in the state. Below is a copy of an email that Judy and Marty sent to colleagues about their volunteer experience and why they’re #ProudtobeBD. 

We spoke at the end of each day about our experiences, the people we met and the eyes full of hope we looked into with every vaccine we delivered. It was nice to be back “chairside” watching our products deliver these vaccines that were developed to eradicate this disease. 

We encountered countless thankful vaccine recipients but there were a few that stood out, Marty said that one woman thanked him with tears in her eyes saying, “You don’t know what this means to me, you didn’t just give me a shot, you gave me hope.” I had the pleasure of meeting an older woman who just stopped and prayed over my hands, giving thanks for the hands that would deliver this vital vaccine. 

These are stories that Marty and I wanted to share with this incredible company, this is what drives us, this is the reason we all have worked, and continue to work so hard, it’s for our patients and the hope that this vaccine brings.

Knowing that we work for a company, who not only manufactured these needles and syringes to deliver this vaccine, but that this same company not only allowed, but encouraged us to go volunteer told us that we made the right decision six years ago to leave the traditional hospital setting and come to work for BD. 

This week, more than any other, we are #ProudtobeBD, we lived it, we saw it, we experienced it in the most visceral sense. We delivered hope, hope in a device that we manufactured which, for us, made the experience even more special.

Thanks for supporting us, thanks for continuing to recognize what this world needs to end COVID-19 and thanks for all you do on a daily basis. This week we experienced and felt that support in so many ways, and so did our patients.

Warm regards,

Judy & Marty

Judy LaJoie (left) and Marty Viegas (right) at vaccination sites in New Jersey.


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