JCC Pittsburgh on February 5, 2021
We are so excited for JCC Member Breen Smith, and so proud too. Breen, who is part of the swimming community at the Squirrel Hill JCC, will be one of four health care workers that the Pittsburgh Steelers is sending on an all-expenses paid trip to the Super Bowl this year. She will be one of 7,500 health care workers sent to the 2021 Super Bowl by NFL teams.
“It’s a big honor to have the ability to represent such a great group of people,” says Breen, a respiratory therapist who is Director of Respiratory Care at UPMC Shadyside Hospital. It’s been a difficult year fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and Breen has never worked fewer than 12 hours a day. She is especially complimentary of the team of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and many others who all work together as a team in what she describes as “a family approach” to care. “They’ve all been wonderful,” she says.
Breen notes that it’s been almost a year since she and her partner were able to do their regular early morning laps at the JCC. She counts this “informal” Masters swimming group as close friends. While there have been Zoom gatherings, “We greatly miss the swimming and the connections and the community,” she says. “One of the biggest losses was not being able to be with friends at the JCC.” She adds, “I look forward to those things being normal.”
Breen, a big football fan, will be rooting for Kansas City; “If it can’t be the Steelers,” she says.
And we’ll be cheering for Breen!