A twenty-year Amgen veteran, Irma Linssen is Environment, Health and Safety Manager at the company's operations site in Breda, the Netherlands. As COVID-19 spread across Europe, Linssen—like many of her colleagues—began to work from home. However, following lockdown in late March she volunteered to return to the Breda site to help her business-critical production colleagues assemble and label medication packs urgently needed by patients.
As COVID-19 began to take hold in the Netherlands, the Breda site saw a small increase in worker absences due to seasonal flu and other illnesses. As a precautionary measure to ensure continued supply, site managers made plans to train office-based workers to step in as needed to support the assembly process and ensure that medication orders for patients could be packed and shipped in a timely manner. "For me, it was just the right thing to do," Linssen commented. "I didn't think twice and immediately volunteered to assist wherever, whenever, and however I could be helpful."
Linssen recalled gratefully that the production team showed tremendous patience in teaching her how to perform the work, and she noted how inspired she was to see the team adjust readily and in good spirit to new work configurations required by social distancing. "Under these pandemic conditions it is more important than ever to ensure that our patients get their treatment on time—every time," Linssen added. "They already have a hard time coping with illness, and they shouldn't have to worry about being able to get their medicine when they need it."