Dr. Patrick Keaney, a pulmonary physician at Mid Coast Hospital, is one of four Maine health care workers randomly selected from an applicant pool of 21 by Gov. Janet Mills to be sent to Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida this weekend.

The all-expenses-paid trip is a gift from the family of New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft, who gave four super bowl tickets to each New England governor outside of Massachusetts for healthcare workers.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, Keaney played an essential role in the Mid Coast Hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and also serves as a valuable source for information about the virus: “For six straight weeks without a break, he arrived each morning to care for ill patients, share the latest information on treatment options, and offer words of encouragement to those around him.”

The other healthcare workers from Maine include emergency department nurse at Mercy Hospital Joe Looper, Northern Light Home Care & Hospice of Clinical and Community Health Services Manager Cathy Bean Manager of Clinical and Community Health Services at Northern Light Home Care & Hospice, Cathy Bean and registered nurse at RiverRidge Center Lisa Ireland.

“The four Mainers will be part of a group of 76 vaccinated healthcare workers hailing from all six New England states and representing a range of hospitals and roles, all of which have been supporting COVID-19 units during the pandemic,” according to the governor’s office.

Keaney, along with the other vaccinated health care workers, will be flying round-trip to Tampa on the New England Patriot’s team plane the morning of Sunday, Feb. 7.

“I am grateful to the Kraft family for providing this special gift to our frontline COVID healthcare workers as a measure of our enduring gratitude,” said Mills in the statement. “I ask all Maine people to join me in thanking all of our healthcare workers who have heeded the call of duty and worked long hours, days, and weeks, often at great sacrifice to themselves and their families, to protect Maine people during this extraordinary crisis.”

“Last April, when our plane returned with masks from China, we never could have imagined the devastation this pandemic would cause, nor could we have dreamed of the heroic stories and achievements that have come to be as a result, especially the dedication of healthcare workers on the front lines and the creation of safe and effective vaccines,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft was quoted in the statement.

“Ten months later, it’s an honor for us to celebrate these healthcare workers by giving them a well-deserved break for a day and an opportunity to enjoy the Super Bowl, a reality that is only made possible because of the vaccines. We hope that in doing so, others are also encouraged to get vaccinated as they are able. Once again, we want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of the healthcare heroes who have risked their well-being to ensure ours. They are truly superheroes to us,” Kraft said.

The 76 healthcare workers will also receive transportation from Gillette Stadium to Logan Airport with police escort, a ticket to a health care worker exclusive Miley Cyrus concert and other items.

The workers from New England are part of the 7,500 health care workers nation-wide who will attend Super Bowl LV.


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