As we prepare to welcome the start of the New Year, we’re wrapping up the challenging year of 2020 by celebrating the winners of the Jeffrey Sherman Life-Changers Award – a prestigious BD award that recognizes associates who are making a lasting impact on those around them, both through what they do at work and outside of work. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories about our five 2020 winners and the incredible impact they’re having on those around them.
Our final Life-Changer Award winner profile features Angela Kontas, District Manager, Targeted Temperature Management, Louisville, Colorado.
At BD, Angela is credited for adding value every day, through her team approach to every challenge; and by the way she lives out BD’s core values in every project she touches. She’s also credited for listening as much as she contributes, for always striving to do the right thing, and for never being satisfied with status quo. She earned a 2019 Marketing Excellence Award, has served as a member of the US Sales Effectiveness Leadership Team, and was recently promoted to the role of District Manager in Total Temperature Management, in recognition of her leadership, contributions to the team, and commitment to supporting the professional growth of her clinical and territory manager colleagues.
Her nominators enthusiastically praised Angela for her willingness to go above and beyond to serve and support hospital customers in the field – even when that has meant hopping last-minute flights and managing multiple flight delays so she can relieve a BD colleague who was providing on-site customer training to ICU nurses. She is also credited with collaborating with key BD stakeholders to leverage her diverse sales and clinical nursing background to revamp the way her team delivers education to customers – driving a more engaging, interactive and effective training environment.
Outside of BD, Angela’s nominators say that she is an inspiration to her co-workers, friends, family and community members, for the grace and strength with which she manages a rare, potentially life-threatening immune system disease, which makes her exceptionally vulnerable to infections. For the rest of her life, Angela will receive weekly infusion treatments that aim to protect her from developing serious infections. She has also developed a rare complication that impacts fewer than 10% of patients who share her already rare diagnosis – and this complication unfortunately has a low survival rate.
While Angela is currently receiving experimental treatments to address her condition, her nominators say that she isn’t just managing her illness, she is leveraging it as a tool to help others.
“With these hurdles in her day to day life, Angela still has the mindset to always think of people in need, working hard to at both work and outside of work to better the lives of others,” said Amy Lawrence, Senior Manager, Global Marketing Management, and one of Angela’s colleagues who nominated her for the Life-Changers Award.
Knowing that most patients who share her diagnoses are overwhelmed and can feel very isolated, Angela connected with the manufacturer of her weekly infusion medication to become a mentor for fellow patients when they start infusion treatments. She also regularly speaks at events for patients, their families and medical professionals, sharing her experience with the disease; and serves as a patient advocate, participating annually in Rare Disease Week on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, during which she meets with members of Congress to advocate for support on specific policies relevant to her disease.
Angela’s nominators say that she’s an inspiration for the way she pours her boundless energy into fighting her illness, advocating for others who share her condition…and for the way she supports her colleagues and BD customers in their efforts to save patient lives.
In honor of the life-changing impact Angela has on her colleagues at BD and the world around her, BD is donating $5,000 to the non-profit organization of her choice: National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), a patient advocacy organization dedicated to individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.
Make sure to check out all of our 2020 Life-Changer Award winner stories, like Angela’s, on the BD newsroom.
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