The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered the world unrecognizable in myriad ways, but for Brian McHugh, something about the daunting challenges presented by the virus rang familiar. It took him back to his nearly 30 years of service to the U.S. intelligence community and an experience testifying before Congress during the Iraq War.
“I remember going to them and saying, ‘This is going to get much harder before it gets easier.’ And that proved correct,” McHugh says. “The same is true for this pandemic.”
ManTech, a top U.S. government contractor for which McHugh serves as senior vice president for external affairs, sees the situation similarly. That’s why the company launched a major COVID-19-focused charitable giving campaign in the spring of 2020. ManTech committed to matching employee contributions up to $2 million, benefiting employee-recommended nonprofits supporting front-line workers – including Johns Hopkins Medicine.
“We’re a national security company, and this pandemic is a national security threat,” McHugh says. “In the same way ManTech sent people to Ground Zero after 9/11 to support air quality and environmental control experts, we believe it’s important to support the heroes working in the pandemic. Supporting these individuals and groups is a natural response.
“ManTech’s mission since its beginning 52 years ago has been to enhance and safeguard national security. In today’s environment, that means hospitals, clinics, food banks, first responders and more. These essential personnel take on significant personal risk to safeguard our well-being and assist others. We wanted to recognize the vital role front-line workers play in the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Through emails and messaging over the past several months, ManTech encouraged employees to participate in the campaign. Amy Swire, a ManTech project control analyst, learned about the campaign and chose to give to Hopkins in part because it isn’t far from her Bethesda, Md., back yard.
“I live and work in Maryland, and I wanted to contribute to something local that was also serving all communities, and Johns Hopkins is all of that,” Swire says. “All I can do is say ‘thank you’ for the work that has been done.”
Swire is just one of many ManTech employees supporting local and global charities. Providing a way for employees to contribute empowers them, and gives them a way to make a difference while connecting to each other and their communities.
ManTech’s relationship with Johns Hopkins dates to the early 2000s, when the company provided support to the U.S. military in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company’s founder, George J. Pedersen, and his wife, Marilyn, saw soldiers coming back from these wars with injuries and illnesses requiring extensive treatment and support. The Pedersens and ManTech partnered with Johns Hopkins to create the Brain Science Institute to help translate the work of neuroscientists and clinicians who focus on traumatic brain injuries. Over time, the partnership grew to support research on diseases including ALS, Alzheimer’s Disease, and brain cancer.
McHugh says that longstanding, successful relationship, plus Johns Hopkins’ leadership in the collective fight against COVID-19, made including Johns Hopkins Medicine on its list of charities an easy choice.
“From tracking the virus, to the public outreach on your website, to developing fast and cost-effective testing methods, to researching new ways to treat the critically ill, we chose to support [Johns Hopkins] to help continue the work [it has] started,” he says. “You could say supporting the front line is in ManTech’s DNA.”
Topics: Corporations, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Promote and Protect Health