When Boston began to take COVID-19 pandemic precautions last year, the Boston Lyric Opera had just opened a production of Bellini’s Norma. Artistic director Esther Nelson turned to a longtime friend of the organization to help them determine whether the season could go on.
During this pandemic, health care workers have truly been superheroes. These eight individuals represent the work of all of our health care workers. We are honored to recognize and reward them with this trip to Tampa for Super Bowl LV. It is nice to care for those who provide such compassionate care for us.
Patriots Chairman and CEO
Eight lucky MGHers are going to Super Bowl LV, as guests of the Kraft Family and the New England Patriots.
Though the beloved Patriots are not playing in the big game this year, the National Football League (NFL) and the New England team wanted to use this year’s football championship as a way to say thank you to Boston’s health care heroes for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Massachusetts General Hospital leadership randomly chose eight front line workers to travel to this year’s game:
- Sidney Argueta, a physical therapist, who helped COVID-19 patients regain their strength and recover, both in the hospital and once they returned home
- Joshua Baugh, MD, assistant director of clinical operations and physician in the Emergency Department (ED), who has been key to the ED’s efforts to provide care for patients with COVID-19 since the pandemic began
- Catherine Chittick, RN, is a staff nurse in the outpatient Yawkey Infusion Unit, where patients with cancer receive chemotherapy and other infusion treatments. During the height of the pandemic, she was redeployed to an inpatient hematology/oncology unit that specializes in the care of patients who have received a bone marrow transplant. Chittick’s willingness to redeploy ensured that Mass General could continue providing crucial, lifesaving care throughout the pandemic
- Michelle Diop, MD, second-year resident in Internal Medicine, who treats inpatients on the medical units and also sees primary care patients in clinic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Diop also treated patients in the Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Units
- Raquel Kochis, NP, a nurse practitioner in the White 12 Clinical Research Center, was instrumental in recruiting participants for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine trial and was recently “redeployed” to work in the hospital’s employee vaccination clinic
- Marlon McLeod, a hazardous waste worker on the Environmental Services Team, who disposes of hazardous waste from inpatient buildings
- Paula Restrepo, RN, a staff nurse who works in both the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit
- Jairah Zinni, RN, a staff nurse in the Emergency Department, who with other emergency providers, have spent the past nine months treating patients throughout the pandemic
“I was shocked, but I feel honored to be able to represent my profession as a physical therapist,” said Argueta. “This trip represents hope for the future, a new day, if you will.”
When given the opportunity to honor health care workers with a trip to the Super Bowl, the Patriots naturally turned to the team’s hospital, Mass General.
“During this pandemic, health care workers have truly been superheroes,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “These eight individuals represent the work of all of our health care workers. We are honored to recognize and reward them with this trip to Tampa for Super Bowl LV. It is nice to care for those who provide such compassionate care for us."
Travel and Game Time Precautions
With the ongoing pandemic, the NFL and the Patriots are taking precautions to ensure that traveling and attending the game will be safe for the eight MGHers and 7,500 other health care workers who will be attending the Super Bowl and related festivities.
The Patriots will use the team’s private plane to fly its special guests to and from Tampa on Sunday. Consistent with CDC guidance, masks will be required inside the stadium, except when individuals are eating or drinking, and seating will be arranged in a way that allows for proper physical distancing.
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