TheBeyondWoman Magazine Issue #11 - Page 29

R . SANDRA LINDSAY

D

A YEAR LATER : Embracing the Spotlight Where

Passion and Purpose Meets .

Written by Dr . Maxine Wilson
Dr . Sandra Lindsay ' s thrust into the spotlight exemplifies the belief of C . S . Lewis that " Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny ." Having been on the frontline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic , in her professional capacity as the director of nursing for the critical care division at Long Island Jewish Medical Center | Northwell Health in Queens , New York , Sandra has witnessed hardships on patients and healthcare workers alike . Armed with first-hand knowledge and an intimate view of the effects of the virus , Sandra made an informed decision supported by an important goal . She signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine , wanting to protect her patients , herself , her family , staff and colleagues , and anyone she may encounter . So , on December 14 , 2020 , at 9:19 a . m ., she received her vaccination , recorded by Northwell . Within approximately thirty minutes , after state officials ' announcements , Sandra learned that she was the first in the United States to be vaccinated outside of clinical trials . She did not set out to make history , but at that moment , it happened . Immediately , Sandra became an advocate for getting vaccinated .
Unexpectedly there was a flurry of media interviews , speaking engagements , including commencement speeches and various recognition ceremonies . First , prominently standing side by side with the President of the United States , at the White House , she was awarded the " Outstanding American by Choice " recognition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services , recognizing naturalized citizens who have made significant contributions to the country . Then , along the streets of New York City ' s Canyon of Heroes , at the request of Mayor Bill DeBlasio , she served as the grand marshal for Hometown Heroes Parade . Soon after , having the opportunity to visit Jamaica for what she planned as a vacation , Sandra was invited into the spotlight again , including an appearance at a COVID briefing with the Prime Minister of her island home and numerous media engagements . Beyond all that , and possibly a dream Sandra never perceived in her decision-making , the Smithsonian Museum of American History , as part of the COVID-19 exhibit , displays her hospital scrubs , vaccination card , vaccine vial , injection needle and syringe , and the Northwell Health work identification badge she wore the day she received her first dose .
Yet , while these events may be all that everyone knows of Dr . Sandra Lindsay , being the first to be vaccinated in the United States is just a tiny sliver of who she is . Her favorite quote , by Steve Job , puts her story in perspective ̶ ̶ " If you really look closely , most overnight successes took a long time ."
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