BILLINGS, Mont. — This week is considered 'peak week' in New York City for active cases of Coronavirus. This is the week that health experts expect the daily number of fatalities to occur, with that number declining moving forward.
With the surge of cases, volunteer medical personnel from across the nation are heading to New York to lend a helping hand, that includes a group of doctors from Montana.
Dr. Brian Smith is an anesthesiologist at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings and today, he will be flying cross country to New York City to help with the Coronavirus pandemic. "I follow the news pretty closely and it seemed like the need was pretty high out there. One of our new partners is from New York, and I asked him if there was anyone that he knew would be there to contact about maybe some positions to help out," said Smith.
Smith will be working at the South Side Hospital for one month in the ICU. Though he is not an ICU doctor by training, his background in anesthesiology allows him to fulfill similar duties as the two medical practices are closely related.
When asked about what gets him through these uncertain times, Smith turns to a quote once said by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Smith said "He said "courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that there's something more important than fear." So that is basically where we are at."
Some may refer to Smith's action as a sacrifice, but for him, he is trying to make a positive impact any way he can. "I'm just doing a part that I think I can do. I don't think I'm a hero I just think I'm a small fragment of reality and I can make some small, meaningful impact even if it is on the other side of the country."
Smith goes on to say South Side Hospital assured him there is plenty of personal protective equipment for him and the doctors who are arriving later this evening.