By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – The NFL has invited thousands of health care workers across the country to watch Super Bowl 55 inside Raymond James Stadium. The Denver Broncos selected four Colorado health care professionals to attend the big game.

The Broncos are sending Children’s Hospital Colorado radiologic technologists Peter Stackhouse and Renee Guillet as well as UCHealth nurses Maxi Holcomb and Lauren Kass to Tampa Bay.

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“Never in a million years would I have thought I would have started nursing in a pandemic, let alone go on a Super Bowl trip,” said Lauren Kass, a Surgical Trauma ICU Nurse at UCHealth.

The four guests will each receive one ticket to the game as well an all-expense trip to Tampa Bay. The NFL announced plans to have 22,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium for the big game on Sunday. Of that number, 7,500 will be health care workers.

“I am excited to meet other health care workers from different states and see what their experiences have been. That will bring us together, even if we don’t know each other at all,” said Kass.

Children’s Colorado team members and UCHealth nurses were randomly selected from all employees who care for patients, as part of the NFL’s celebration of frontline medical heroes.

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All health care workers attending Super Bowl 55 will have completed their COVID-19 vaccination prior to traveling.

It’s been a year since Kass has done much of anything outside this hospital. If only she could take everyone inside with her.

“All the nurses I work with are so great. I wish they could do this with me because they all deserve it,” said Kass.

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The NFL will also recognize health care heroes around the country throughout the game. The NFL says this will be a good opportunity to promote the importance of getting vaccinated and keeping up best health practices.

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Super Bowl 55 airs on CBS4 at 4:30 p.m.

Tori Mason