DeMarcus Lawrence and Charlotte Jones teamed-up with Baylor Scott & White and Sleep Number to honor four local Healthcare Heroes who will attend Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay in recognition of the medical workers' unwavering commitment to their community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to tickets to the Super Bowl, the heroes will enjoy a VIP weekend that includes air travel with American Airlines, a $500 cash-gift card, hotel stay, car service, and a Cowboys' swag bag. And knowing that healthcare workers have toiled tirelessly over the past year as our country battles the pandemic, Sleep Number and the Cowboys also are gifting each hero with a Sleep Number 360 smart bed, the same model used by Cowboys players.
The four Healthcare Heroes include: Dr. Clifton "Cliff" Molak, resident physician at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas; Nhi Phan, specialty triage nurse at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Round Rock; Tony Neal, patient services specialist/mental health at Baylor Scott & White Clinic in College Station; and Amy Talley, certified medical assistant/orthopedic department/COVID drive-thru at Baylor Scott & White Specialty Clinic in Marble Falls.
Molak, Phan, Neal and Talley knew they were headed to Tampa Bay to see the Super Bowl, but when they joined a video conference on Thursday afternoon to learn details of their itinerary, they had no idea that two-time Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and Cowboys Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones would surprise them with a virtual meet-and-greet.
"What's up guys?" Lawrence asked the surprised heroes. "I just wanted to say 'thank you so much' for all you're doing for our families, for our community, and for our country. Y'all are the real heroes. To be able to wake up every morning, day-in and day-out, to serve us on a daily basis, we thank you. And congratulations on making the Super Bowl. I wish I were there playing in the game and not watching. But congratulations to you for this opportunity to go. I've never been to a Super Bowl in my life, so y'all beat me there. But hopefully I get my opportunity next year."
"I can't believe this is happening," exclaimed Dr. Molak, a lifelong, die-hard Cowboys fan. "I can't believe who I'm on this call with, it's incredible."
Lawrence replied, "Well, Cliff, I can promise you one thing ... We're going to make sure we get healthy in the offseason and we're going to come back with a bang next year."
Jones lauded the heroes and their fellow healthcare workers for their efforts.
"You represent an incredible group of people who probably haven't stopped working since the day we all learned COVID would be part of our lives," noted Jones. "We thank you for that. We hope you feel our genuine authenticity for how much we appreciate you."
Talley admitted he was "at a loss for words" and said, "I'm still processing this incredible experience. Thank you so much."
Neal, whose birthday is coming up quickly, says this VIP Super Bowl experience and new Sleep Number 360 smart bed are two of the best gifts he can imagine.
"My brain is still trying to catch up to the fact this is happening," Neal said with a laugh. "I still don't believe it!"
"It's really amazing to see how we all have come together to provide the best care for our patients," added Phan.
Phan roots for the Cowboys, of course, but her favorite team in the AFC is the Chiefs. She is super-stoked about getting to see the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs take on Tom Brady and the Bucs.
"I'm really excited to see Patrick Mahomes play in-person," said Phan.
Phan, Talley, Molak, and Neal will be among more than 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers attending Super Bowl LV as guests of the NFL.
"As the NFL season culminates in Tampa Bay, we are thanking our Healthcare Heroes who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Peter O'Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business and league events. "We are honored to salute those who have demonstrated dedication, commitment and courage and deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration."
On game day, the Dallas Cowboys will also honor healthcare professionals working Super Bowl Sunday by making special deliveries to the Irving Baylor Scott & White Hospital as a thank you for their continued service to the community. The Cowboys will provide Papa John, Tiff Treats, Cowboys swag, and a variety of other gifts to enhance their Super Sunday at work, celebrating 400 healthcare heroes for all they have done locally.
"We appreciate this recognition of the commitment and dedication our team members have to battle this devastating pandemic," said Alex Arroliga, MD, chief medical officer, Baylor Scott & White. "Our Baylor Scott & White caregivers and other healthcare workers across the country have earned their place as the 'Most Valuable Players' in our communities."
Here's a closer look at the Cowboys' four Super Bowl LV Healthcare Heroes and the work they are doing:
Dr. Clifton Molak, from San Antonio, began his medical journey at Texas A&M University graduating with a degree in biomedical engineering. After attending medical school UT Health San Antonio, Dr. Molak began his residency practicing radiology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas in June 2019. As a second-year resident in radiology, Dr. Molak uses medical imaging to diagnose and perform procedures to help treat a patient's injury and/or disease. Becoming a physician has been a long-time dream for Dr. Molak and he considers helping the community an honor and a privilege, even more so personally rewarding during this pandemic.
Nhi Phan, originally from Vietnam, moved to Chicago 10 years ago to pursue a career in nursing. Upon graduating, she moved to Austin, Texas to be closer to her parents. For more than six years, Nhi has worked as a nurse caring for patients and currently serves as specialty triage nurse at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Round Rock, Texas. In her role, she specializes in orthopedic, podiatry, and pain management care for her patients. Nhi has a natural inclination to care for people in need and she says being a nurse gives her a sense of purpose. That purpose has driven her to enroll at Duke University where she is pursuing a Doctor of Nursing practice degree as a family nurse practitioner.
Anthony (Tony) Neal II, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, moved to Texas almost five years ago to be closer to his family in Bryan. Since coming to Texas, Anthony began his medical career as a patient service specialist at a Baylor Scott & White Clinic in College Station, Texas. Anthony currently works in the mental health department assisting patients by scheduling their appointments and follow-ups for medical services. Working in healthcare was an easy choice as a strong sense of community service runs in his family. Motivated by his daily work, he plans to enroll at Blinn College to begin his pursuit in clinical psychology and aspires to be a doctor.
Amy Talley, born and raised in Llano, Texas, always had a passion for the medical field. In true Texas fashion, she spent her time outdoors and raising livestock before joining the healthcare field as a certified medical assistant in the department of orthopedics at Baylor Scott & White Specialty Clinic in Marble Falls, Texas. With 15 years of experience, she has enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside other medical professionals in different fields of medicine. She loves to interact with patients and has future plans to advance her medical career.