PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- A doctor in New Jersey was honored for her work during the pandemic and is considered nothing less than a hero after providing hundreds of meals to seniors and working hard to vaccinate the people of Paterson.
Mayor Andre Sayegh honored Dr. Jabeen Ahmed on Friday with the Key to the City for her efforts during the COVID pandemic.
The City of Paterson says Dr. Ahmed was instrumental in Paterson achieving the highest vaccination rates in the state through her work at Sheefa Pharmacy, where they tested and vaccinated for COVID-19 and donated personal protective equipment to the community.
She has lived in the trenches of the pandemic since it started.
"It was so tiring but it was in a very odd way exhilarating because you feel like you're really making a difference, you know you're saving lives," she said.
Paterson loves and thanks her. And on her birthday, she was celebrated even more.
"The Clara Barton of our time, the quintessential Dr. Jabeen Ahmed with the key to the city of Paterson," Sayegh said during the ceremony.
It takes knowing how far beyond the distance she's gone to protect the people of the city from COVID.
"Dr. Jabeen Ahmed has come to the police department nonstop, brought mobile vans and testing centers," Paterson police director Jerry Speziale said.
She and her staff risked their lives to help thousands of people.
Only she was surprised that the Key to the City was presented to her.
Dr. Ahmed also provided over 1,000 meals to homebound seniors during the pandemic and risked her life to save lives by visiting people's homes to test and vaccinate them.
She has been a public healthcare professional for 28 years, working in community healthcare and outreach, clinical pharmacy practice, and pro-bono substance abuse counseling and rehabilitation.
Ahmed is a commissioner on the Board of Social Services of Passaic County, a trustee on the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, advisor to the Paterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse, and serves on several other boards and organizations.
She is also a partner in Antika Grill, a Lebanese restaurant in Montclair, NJ, committed to serving the needs of the food scarcity issues in collaboration with Toni's Kitchen, a local food bank.
The mother of five is raising the next generation of givers. Her daughter is in Puerto Rico helping families who were victims of the last storm there.
The South Bronx native said she can't imagine doing anything else except serving and saving lives.