Mattel honors front-line medical workers with Barbie dolls

Mattel honors front-line medical workers with Barbie dolls

By Nancy Clanton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for CNT #business #editorspicks #covid-19

The dolls are based on six women ‘who are modern real-life heroes of the pandemic’

You know how your kid loves to play “professor of vaccinology,” but you’ve never been able to find a Barbie with that career? Well, now you can.

Mattel is honoring six real women “who are modern real-life heroes of the pandemic” with their very own Barbie dolls, the company said in a press release.

“Barbie recognizes that all front-line workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls at Mattel. “To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories and leveraging Barbie’s platform to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back. Our hope is to nurture and ignite the imaginations of children playing out their own storyline as heroes.”

The six women honored are experts in their fields who have shown unprecedented courage during the coronavirus pandemic. The global lineup of women honored with a one-of-a-kind doll includes:

Amy O’Sullivan, RN (United States): An emergency department nurse, O’Sullivan treated the first COVID-19 patient in Brooklyn at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, became ill and was intubated, then a few weeks later returned to work to continue taking care of others.

“I’m so proud of this opportunity to represent front-line workers, as a Barbie Role Model — not only during the incredible challenges we’ve faced over the last year and a half, but every day that I suit up and step into the E.R.,” O’Sullivan told PIX 11 news station. “It’s so important for kids to not only see these opportunities, but to truly believe that they too can step into these roles: that heroes aren’t born; they’re regular people who make the choice, every day, to be a positive force in the world.”

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz (United States): Cruz, a front-line worker from Las Vegas, joined forces with other Asian American physicians to fight racial bias and discrimination during the pandemic.

Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa (Canada): A psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, Canada, Oriuwa has advocated against systemic racism in health care, which has been further highlighted by the pandemic.

Professor Sarah Gilbert (United Kingdom): As a professor of vaccinology, Gilbert led the development of the University of Oxford vaccine in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus (Brazil): As a biomedical researcher, Goes is credited with leading the the team that sequenced the genome of a COVID-19 variant in Brazil.

Dr. Kirby White (Australia): A general practitioner in Australia, White co-founded the Gowns for Doctors initiative by developing a PPE gown that could be laundered and reused, allowing front-line workers in Victoria to continue seeing patients during the pandemic.

Barbie also introduced the Fast Cast Clinic playset, with a doctor doll and four play areas: a medical station, an exam table, an X-ray machine and a gift shop. The play set includes dough that can be shaped to create leg/arm casts and create wraps with the bandage maker, allowing children to play out roles across the medical field.

In addition to the dolls, Barbie will donate $5 (up to $50,000) to the First Responders Children’s Foundation for each eligible doctor, nurse and paramedic doll sold at Target through Aug. 28. This is a continuation of Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes signature program, launched last year as part of the company’s broader “Play it Forward” platform.

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By Troy Warren

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