Last week, Thomas Rhett surprised healthcare workers with an acoustic virtual set to say thank you for their incredible work. Cisco and Live Nation teamed up to help facilitate the exclusive performance for healthcare workers from Banner Health in Arizona and Colorado, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
“It was really special to be able to surprise this group of healthcare workers because I’m so appreciative of their incredible work and bravery through this crazy time,” Rhett said in a statement to Billboard. “Even though I can’t thank them all in person right now, this was a really cool way to stay connected and offer up my gratitude face-to-face. They are truly inspiring.”
In the video below, Rhett explains that he has several family members who work in healthcare and wanted to do his part to show his appreciation for workers and their families. The healthcare workers were asked to record a video message for Rhett only to have the country star arrive virtually and serenade them.
“I have to say I was a bit starstruck at first, his music speaks to my heart,” said Banner Medical Group chief clinical services officer Nancy Zismann. Zismann and her team in Arizona have been operating a drive-through collection site for COVID testing. “As I stood there and shared this moment with my work team, I was so humbled to be part of this event and share with my team a special moment that will never be forgotten.”
Banner Health RN and senior director of transfer services Charley Larsen was on vacation when she decided to join in on the call. She asked her two young boys not to interrupt until she realized what was happening and gave them the opportunity to watch one of their favorite country stars perform.
“After getting off the video conference with him, my boys asked me why I got to meet him and why I got to partake in such an awesome experience. I got to explain to them the work and sacrifice of healthcare workers in today’s environment and that Cisco and Banner Health wanted to say ‘thank you’ to me and my colleagues,” said Larsen. “It was a true opportunity to teach a life lesson of service and sacrifice to my children.”
If the global pandemic hadn’t brought touring to a halt, Rhett would have been roughly half way through his 2020 Center Point tour this month. The “Look What God Gave Her” singer has rescheduled his summer dates for 2021.
The initiative to help out during the pandemic stems from a partnership between Live Nation and Cisco as they attempt to keep people connected during the pandemic. Cisco also helped facilitate The Match: Champions for Charity, where legends Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning raised $20 million for COVID-19-related philanthropic organizations.
“Cisco is all about connecting people. We are truly passionate about using our solutions to bring hope and inspiration to others, and no one is more deserving than our dedicated front-line workers. We are so grateful to them, and to Thomas Rhett for sharing this unforgettable music experience,” said Cisco’s director of global sports marketing Brian Eaton.
Check out a clip of the surprise show below.