TouroCOM Alumna Featured in New York State’s Vaccination Campaign
Dr. Tieg Beazer, DO, MS, Maternal Fetal Specialist and 2017 Alum Encouraged Pregnant Women to Vaccinate and Receive Boosters
A TouroCOM-Harlem graduate was the face of New York State’s campaign to vaccinate pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Tieg Beazer, DO, MS, the star of the advertisement, has always been concerned with caring for the most vulnerable. “I grew up in a family of nurses,” explained Dr. Beazer, who attended Wake Forest University before she joined TouroCOM Harlem’s Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences in 2012 and then matriculated into the class of 2017. “I am passionate about public health and educating our patients. I want to be ahead of the misinformation from social media and internet platforms.”
The state-wide campaign includes a 30-second video that appeared on streaming platforms and social media sites including Hulu, Instagram, and Tik-Tok; an audio version of the ad was featured on Spotify, Pandora and traditional radio outlets. In addition to wide digital play, the advertisement was also displayed in bus shelters and train stations.
“I'm very thankful for Touro instilling in us the value of taking note of the community in which we serve,” said Dr. Beazer who married fellow TouroCOM alum Dr. Adam Starr. “I volunteered when I was in TouroCOM in Harlem, and I’ve taken my love of volunteering and community service with me.”
Dr. Beazer did her residency at Cooper University Hospital and is in the second year of her three-year fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine in the University of Rochester Medical Center.
She chose to specialize in maternal-fetal medicine after witnessing a maternal demise during her first week of residency.
“It was eye-opening and heartbreaking,” said Dr. Beazer. “Seeing that inspired me to specialize in complicated cases. I was attracted to patients that required additional medical care throughout their pregnancy as I felt like it was where I could have the most impact as a physician.”
During her first month of fellowship, Dr. Beazer discovered that she was pregnant. “We were completely inundated with the delta variant in our hospital,” recalled Dr. Beazer. “The local news media in Rochester was trying to encourage women so I did a piece about how I was pregnant and getting the booster.”
New York State’s Office of Health and Human Services saw the video and reached out to the hospital.
“The department felt I was a good choice to be profiled,” reflected Dr. Beazer, who is featured in the campaign alongside another maternal-fetal medicine specialist. “I was uniquely suited to the campaign since I received the Covid-19 vaccination pre-pregnancy and received the booster during pregnancy and there were no fetal effects.”
During the advertisement, Dr. Beazer speaks about how she received the booster while pregnant. “The campaign consisted of detailing my experience and also cosigning that it is safe for pregnant women and underlining that if it wasn’t safe, I wouldn’t have done it,” continued Dr. Beazer. “I've seen severe Covid take the lives of pregnant women and cause stillbirths. I would never want that for my patients and it’s such a devastating thing. The vaccine has been shown to decrease the risk of severe respiratory illness in pregnant women who contract COVID-19.”
Dr. Beazer stated she felt it was important to participate in this campaign as a female physician and a woman of color who identifies as Caribbean American and Latina. "I did the campaign to reach out to women of color who are hesitant to get the vaccine due to the longstanding history of minorities being taken advantage of by the American healthcare system,” she said. “I empathize with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, but I want to provide reassurance that it is safe and effective. It is the best protection for pregnant patients and their babies."
The campaign kicked off in January and finished in mid-March.