JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A dozen health care workers from Baptist Health left for Super Bowl LV on Saturday.
“I’m feeling elated,” said Dr. Ed Gorak, an oncologist.
The group of health care heroes gathered at TIAA Bank Field for pictures inside the stadium before they boarded the bus for Tampa.
Jennifer Bloom, an assistant nurse manager of the ICU, is one of the 12 health care workers selected to go on the trip.
“I’m really happy that we all get to have this opportunity. I wish everyone else could be here because we’ve all worked very hard this year and everybody I think deserves this,” said Bloom.
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These local health care workers are among 7,500 doctors and nurses invited by the NFL to attend the big game as a way to say thank you for their hard work on the frontlines of the pandemic.
“It’s been such a rough year,” Bloom said. “The ICU is really intense most of the time anyway and this just has heightened that to a level that we’ve never seen before and everybody has come together, working really hard and I think the teamwork we have is absolutely amazing.”
As the group prepared to head south, many of the health care workers said they were excited about the entire experience and sharing it with other health professionals.
“I’ve never been to a Super Bowl so I’m excited about that and taking it all in,” Gorak said.
“I think I’m really excited to see the Tampa Bay Bucs play in their hometown,” added Bloom. “I’m excited to see Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, that’s going to be a really cool match-up.”
All of the health care workers received the COVID-19 vaccine already. They will return to Jacksonville on Monday.