The Los Angeles Chargers today announced they have selected four local healthcare heroes to attend Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay as their guests on February 7. These guests were invited in recognition of the unwavering commitment to their communities each has displayed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Select healthcare workers from around the country, including local healthcare heroes invited by NFL Clubs, will take part in various Super Bowl LV festivities at Raymond James Stadium.
"We can't express our gratitude nearly enough to all the healthcare workers in our community and around the country who have selflessly risked their own wellbeing on the frontlines of this pandemic to save the lives of others," said Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos. "It is their sacrifice – multiple work shifts, the physical and mental toll, time away from their family – that continues to help hold our community together. We are honored to recognize not just these healthcare workers but all healthcare workers in our community who tirelessly continue to do their jobs in the face of unprecedented adversity."
The following local healthcare workers were selected for their dedication and commitment to serving the Los Angeles community throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:
Josh Albrektson, MD is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology. He has a master's degree in biochemistry from University of California, Los Angeles which has provided him a unique understanding of the spread of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of the vaccines. Albrektson was one of the first to volunteer for the Pfizer vaccine clinical trial in order to prove the vaccine was effective. During the COVID-19 pandemic he has provided videos to the public to enhance their knowledge and demonstrate proper protocols in efforts to remain safe throughout this time. In addition, Albrektson has spent much of his time assisting with patient-clinical trials for COVID-19. He recruited roughly 100 people to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials over the past several months. His work, along with many others, has proven to show that the vaccines are effective.
Stephanie Fanous, NP-C, is a certified nurse practitioner specializing in internal and family medicine who currently works for OptumCare care where she specializes in family medicine and emergency triage. Fanous earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from California State University, Long Beach. With COVID-19 cases exploding in Los Angeles recently, Fanous has been working hard triaging patients, diverting them away from already overburdened Emergency Departments. Her work is helping spare these struggling ER's, allowing them to focus care and attention to those who are in real need. Stephanie has been in the medical field serving her community for 18 years.
Vadim Fanous, MD is board certified in Internal Medicine currently working for OptumCare where he is a hospitalist – a physician who specializes in caring for patients in hospitals. He graduated from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine Science/The Chicago Medical School medical school in 2000. His focus has been on hospital-based medicine where his practice primarily involves the acutely/critically ill. Vadim has been face-to-face with COVID-19 directly treating patients since the pandemic began and the very first cases in Los Angeles emerged. With COVID-19 now surging in Los Angeles and Torrance Memorial Medical Center flooded with patients, he is playing a crucial role in helping patients overcome COVID-19. His efforts have greatly helped relieve Torrance Memorial Medical Center, which has been overflowing with patients since Thanksgiving.
Lili Ruiz is a certified nurse at CalVet West Los Angeles which serves California veterans and their families. During her past four years as a nurse, the COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike anything she has ever experienced before. However, her unfailing passion for her residents and healthcare moved her to take extra shifts and show up in the toughest of times to help those who have served for our country. The residents at CalVet West Los Angeles were placed on locked down, like the rest of the world, when COVID-19 hit the United States. Ruiz felt her calling was to take care of those who take care of us. She has shined a light on many of her residents by being by their side when their loved ones couldn't. In the darkest of times, she was the brightest of days for her now known family, her residents.
"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."
Health and safety precautions such as increased physical distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene stations, first aid areas and directional signage will all be in place to create a safe environment for all individuals in attendance. For more information on Super Bowl LV gameday COVID-19 protocols visit www.nfl.com/super-bowl/event-info/fan-gameday-playbook.
All activities during Super Bowl week, including gameday, will be conducted in accordance with CDC and local health guidelines.
All healthcare workers attending Super Bowl LV will have completed their COVID-19 vaccination prior to traveling to Tampa Bay.