February 04, 2021
Sun City Center, Florida – As the week gets shorter and the weekend closer, South Bay Hospital caregivers are getting more and more excited. Several lucky hospital caregivers benefitted from the 7,500 Super Bowl LV tickets that the NFL presented to local healthcare workers and are headed to the game February 7.
“I’m looking forward to the Bucs winning,” said Bill Piper, a physical therapist at South Bay Hospital, and one of the ticket recipients. “I’m looking forward to just the whole experience. This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Piper will be joined by his wife Casie Piper, also a South Bay Hospital healthcare worker who was randomly selected from a pool of local healthcare workers who had received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
“We get to go as a happily married couple,” said Casie Piper, a registered nurse case manager at South Bay Hospital. “I found out first. We were eating dinner at the table and I received an email from the NFL congratulating me on receiving a ticket. He (Bill) was super supportive and then twenty-minutes later he checked his email and said ‘oh wait! I’m going with you.”
The Pipers met at South Bay Hospital and will celebrate eleven years of marriage in April. They are making this a weekend getaway together and are planning to stay in Tampa. They are grateful for the opportunity and appreciate the recognition being given to healthcare workers through these tickets.
Other hospital caregivers shared that they opened email to see that they were headed to the Super Bowl.
Simone Callahan described calling her father late at night when she realized she’d received a ticket.
“My dad was already asleep and he said, ‘ok that’s enough, it’s just a game’ and I thought oh he must be sleep talking,” said Callahan. “In the morning he realized what I had told him and was so excited for me.”
Callahan, a nurse at South Bay Hospital, is from Tampa and describes the unique experience of being given a ticket to a Super Bowl hosted in Tampa and the opportunity to cheer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the game.
“I feel like everyone has been acknowledging the work of healthcare workers already, and then to have the NFL do something like this, it is just so tremendous,” said Callahan. “I just want to thank the NFL and HCA Healthcare for this amazing opportunity.”
Healthcare workers from across the hospital received tickets including Patient Care Technicians (PCT), caregivers in the laboratory and pharmacy, a handful of Emergency Department nurses, physicians, case management workers, food and nutrition team members and more.
“I think it is just the greatest thing to honor people who have literally put their lives on the line to help others,” said Wade Thomas, a South Bay Hospital PCT who is also headed to the Super Bowl.
When asked what he was most looking forward to about the game he said, “I would say commercials, but…”