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NFL Invites Four Mount Sinai South Nassau Vaccinated Health Care Workers to Super Bowl LV

Posted: Feb. 3, 2021
NFL Invites Four Mount Sinai South Nassau Vaccinated Health Care Workers to Super Bowl LV

In recognition of their tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is sending four Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital employees to participate in the NFL’s Super Bowl experience for front-line workers.

The four hospital employees – two physicians, an emergency department nurse and a respiratory therapist – are among the 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who will receive free tickets from the NFL to the Super Bowl in Tampa as part of the NFL’s salute.  A Rockville Centre resident and grateful patient of Mount Sinai South Nassau is helping to make the trip possible by sponsoring the hotel and travel expenses for the nurse and respiratory therapist.

The four Mount Sinai South Nassau employees who will participate in the gameday experience are: Eileen Carolan, RN, Emergency Department nurse; Iris Halem, Director of Respiratory Therapy; Frank Coletta, MD, Chief of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine; and Adhi Sharma, MD, Chief Medical Officer. They all have received their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This is a dream come true,” said Ms. Carolan. “I’m a big football fan and I never thought I’d get to attend a Super Bowl. After the challenges of the last year, this will be a welcome break.”

“These four employees represent the very best of Mount Sinai South Nassau. They have been leaders in the fight against the virus since the start of the pandemic last February and we are proud they will be able to represent Mount Sinai South Nassau at the Super Bowl,” said Richard J. Murphy, President and CEO of Mount Sinai South Nassau. “Like so many other members of the hospital’s staff, they worked tirelessly, sometimes around-the-clock, putting the needs of our patients before their own family and putting themselves in harm’s way to provide care for our community. We are very grateful to the NFL for recognizing them and all health care workers at the Super Bowl,” said Mr. Murphy.

The Mount Sinai South Nassau staff members will be included among the approximately 7,500 other health care heroes at this year’s Super Bowl and around the country that the NFL will recognize through a variety of special moments both in the stadium and during the CBS broadcast of the game.

Each of hospital’s four staff members chosen played a different role to support the more than 1,600 COVID-19 patients treated at Mount Sinai South Nassau during the pandemic.

A full-time Emergency Department nurse for Mount Sinai South Nassau since 1990, Ms. Carolan cancelled a planned vacation last spring so that she would not miss a single shift during the height of the first patient surge.  Throughout the duration of the pandemic, she has served at the hospital’s on-campus and Long Beach-based emergency departments.

When the first COVID-19 patients arrived, Ms. Halem’s role as Director of Respiratory Therapy took on a new urgency. She worked side by side with nurses and doctors to provide respiratory treatments to severely ill patients. During the height of the pandemic in April, Ms. Halem was coordinating the care of 97 patients on ventilators and 110 on bi-pap therapy.

As Chief of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine, Dr. Coletta oversees the treatment of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients. He has spearheaded the training of hospital physicians, physician assistants, and medical residents from all medical disciplines to assist critical care, emergency medicine, and respiratory physicians as they treated the more than 1,600 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Sharma, the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, has provided steadfast leadership in Mount Sinai South Nassau’s ongoing response to COVID-19, overseeing the medical staff’s response to the pandemic and coordinating with the Mount Sinai Health System to ensure the hospital’s patients and staff had access to the latest therapies, equipment, and research. Dr. Sharma helped lead the hospital and its clinical staff to meet daily unforeseen challenges, reallocating resources and redeploying staff to Mount Sinai South Nassau as needed during the yearlong and unprecedented public health crisis.

According to the NFL, all the health care workers at the Super Bowl will have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.  It is using this special initiative as an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.

The limited attendance for Super Bowl Weekend and the game itself has been cleared by public health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health, and area hospitals and health care systems. These officials reviewed and provided feedback on the NFL's comprehensive plans to enable the league to host vaccinated health care workers and fans safely and responsibly.  Super Bowl COVID-19 protocols include mandatory mask-wearing, social-distancing, podded seating, touchless in-stadium experiences at concessions, restrooms, and security checkpoints, as well as controlled entry and egress.

About Mount Sinai South Nassau
The Long Island flagship hospital of the Mount Sinai Health System, Mount Sinai South Nassau is designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for outstanding nursing care. Mount Sinai South Nassau is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,500 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services and operates the only Trauma Center on the South Shore of Nassau County, along with Long Island’s only free-standing Emergency Department in Long Beach.

In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, Mount Sinai South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty, and offers Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. Mount Sinai South Nassau operates the only Trauma Center on the South Shore of Nassau County verified by the American College of Surgeons as well as Long Island’s only free-standing, 9-1-1 receiving Emergency Department in Long Beach. Mount Sinai South Nassau also is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons; is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program; and an Infectious Diseases Society of America Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence.  For more information, go to www.mountsinai.org/southnassau.