Jen Medina won’t be on the job at MelroseWakefield Hospital this weekend. The registered nurse is headed to Florida to watch Tom Brady play in his 10th Super Bowl.
“I don’t have any predictions. I just want Tom to win,” Medina said with a laugh.
She's one of the 76 health care workers from around New England who Patriots owner Bob Kraft has invited to attend the big game with him, recognition for their dedication during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s just a way for my family, the Patriots’ organization to say thank you for doing what you’ve done,” Kraft said in a video call with the recipients this week.
The red, white and blue Patriot plane will take the health care workers down and back. Nick Duncan, director of emergency medical management at Tufts Medical Center, will be on board, too.
He pointed out that, during the pandemic's first surge in the United States, Kraft offered up the plane's services to help fly much-needed personal protective equipment he'd purchased from China to Massachusetts.
“It is unique, right? They delivered the PPE that we were all talking about back in March and now here we are taking it to the Super Bowl as kind of a joyous celebration,” Duncan said.
The health care workers come from a variety of roles, according to the team. The governors of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut each selected four of them, while the remaining 56 were picked from Massachusetts hospitals.
Medina is the only health care worker selected from MelroseWakefield. Still, her colleagues are thrilled and appreciate the honor her selection -- from a community hospital -- represents for all them.
Her family is excited, too. They’re fans of Tom Brady and the local NFL franchise, especially her husband.
“So I’ve been joking around saying like he’s been jealous. But he actually was like, you know, 'I’m actually not jealous. I’m just really happy for you because you really deserve this,'” Medina said.
It’s a quick trip with the group returning home after the game.
Along with the flight to Tampa Bay, which is the first city that will host its home team in a Super Bowl, and Super Bowl tickets, the health care workers will get a police escort from Gillette Stadium to Logan International Airport, a gift bag, spending money and more.