Three current and former players with the Washington Football Team were special guests on a Zoom call Tuesday afternoon, where they shared their appreciation with Inova Loudoun Hospital’s frontline workers who have spent much of the year battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis, running back Peyton Barber, and former tight end Robert Royal participated in the call, which was moderated by the football team’s director of community and charitable programs Calvin Parson, Jr. Participating in the call were frontline healthcare workers in the Medical/Surgical Unit, Intermediate Care Unit, Progressive Care Unit, Environmental Services, laboratory hospitalists, respiratory therapists, and staff with the Inova Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Parson acknowledged the team’s heightened emotions following Sunday’s week one victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, and teammates shared their excitement to keep the momentum going this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. The team provided the healthcare workers with lunch from Paisano’s Pizza as a show of gratitude.
“Thank you for your countless and tireless effort, and the amount of hours you guys have continued to put in. I know this hasn’t been easy for anyone in the healthcare space, but we want to let you know your work has not gone unnoticed. Being right in our backyard it’s super important that we have the opportunity to chat with you guys,” Parson said.
“I really appreciate what you guys have committed your lives to especially in the last year,” Ioannidis said. “From the bottom of my heart, from my family to you, thank you guys.”
Frontline workers also had the opportunity to ask questions of the team members. As the team, and the rest of the NFL adjusts to the new coronavirus normal of playing in mostly empty stadiums, Barber said it was a much different feeling this past Sunday. Barber had a big week one, with two touchdowns against the Eagles.
“When I scored out there I could only hear the team cheering. It was pretty quiet out there,” he said to laughs.