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Katherine Hannan: The Intrepid Nurse Who Battled the Deadliest Flu Pandemic in History

By Erika Janes
via the Johnson & Johnson web site

Katherine HannanKatherine HannanSome 50 million people would succumb to the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918. And this Johnson & Johnson employee went out of her way to be at the very front lines of caring for the sick. 

For Johnson & Johnson employees, Our Credo is more than just a company mission statement—it’s a way of life. And even before the guiding document was crafted in 1943, employees personified its commitment to put the needs and well-being of the people we serve first.

For the latest installment in our Historic J&J Heroes series spotlighting the impressive feats of past employees, we're featuring Katherine Hannan, an employee who took Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to well-being to heart and put her nursing skills to use on the front lines during World War I

Her role at Johnson & Johnson …

Hannan, who was a nurse by training, worked in the early 1900s in Johnson & Johnson’s in-house advertising department, which was responsible for producing ads for such popular company products as sterile surgical dressings, Johnson's® Shaving Cream Soap and Red Cross® Kidney Plasters.

Why we think she’s worthy of being called a hero …

“When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the Red Cross put out a call for nurses and Katherine volunteered,” says Margaret Gurowitz,Chief Historian, Johnson & Johnson, Chief Historian at Johnson & Johnson. “She was a pioneer at Johnson & Johnson in that respect.”

In fact, Hannan is the only known female Johnson & Johnson employee to have volunteered for military service during that time. “Roles for women in the military were far more limited 100 years ago,” Gurowitz says, adding that nursing was one of the few positions women could fill.

As a field nurse for the U.S. Army, Hannan was first sent to General Hospital #6 at Fort McPherson in Georgia, where she was quickly promoted to head nurse and superintendent, overseeing 100 nurses.

Read the entire article on the Johnson & Johnson web site.

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