New Barbie dolls honor frontline workers, including nurse from Staten Island


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Staten Island nurse has been transformed into a Barbie doll.

Mattel Inc. announced six new Barbie dolls created for the real-life dedicated heroes who have worked tirelessly in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

One of those one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls was made to honor Amy O’Sullivan, a Staten Islander and an emergency room nurse at Wycoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn.

O’Sullivan worked on the front lines throughout the pandemic, and at one point contracted the deadly illness and was intubated. A few weeks later, she returned to work to continue taking care of others.

O’Sullivan lives with her partner, Tiffany Latz, and their three children in Meiers Corners.

Last year, she was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 influential people of 2020.

Thinking back to March and April, O’Sullivan said the experience in the emergency room was profoundly difficult.

“On the outside, the flowers are blooming, the streets were clean, it was quiet, but in the hospitals it was a scene from a movie,” she told the Advance/SILive.com when she received the honor from Time Magazine. “It was like a war zone.”

Staten Island nurse honored as one Time Magazine’s 2020 top 100 influential people

Amy O’Sullivan, right, was honored as one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Amy O’Sullivan)

With over 200 careers, Barbie continues to celebrate role models — as every child imagines he or she can be anything.

“Barbie recognizes that all frontline 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 & Dolls, 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.”

Barbie will donate $5 for each eligible Barbie doctor, nurse and paramedic doll sold at Target to the First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), which benefits the children of first responders. It’s a continuation of Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes signature program, launched last year as part of the company’s broader “Play it Forward” platform, focused on leveraging Mattel’s iconic brands to give back to communities in times of need.

Here are the five other Barbie dolls created to honor frontline workers:

  • Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz (United States) – Cruz, a frontline worker from Las Vegas, Nev., during the pandemic, joined forces with other Asian-American physicians to fight racial bias and discrimination.
  • 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 U.K.
  • Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus (Brazil) – As a biomedical researcher, Goes is credited for leading the sequencing of 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 re-used, allowing frontline workers in Victoria, Australia, to continue seeing patients during the pandemic.

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