More than 200 people in Florida have been hospitalized with diseases caused by the coronavirus, according to the state health and emergency response departments - and a large increase is about a week or two away.
Doctors with the Broward County Medical Association are launching an effort to create a medical reserve, similar to what Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties have. The group of doctors would be non-emergency room doctors, nurses, and support staff that will fill in when frontline doctors get tired or infected with the virus.
One of the volunteers is Audrey Calero, a physician assistant at a local urgent care. The unit in Broward County will help credential her for area hospitals.
“It could perhaps be the biggest medical crisis of my generation, my career, and I don’t want to look back and say I didn’t do anything,” said Calero.
This effort would be similar to a medical arm of the Community Emergency Response Team, launched in 2001, to recruit, train and organize volunteers to respond to major disasters, most commonly hurricanes.
“There’s a lot of anxiety about what’s going on with the pandemic. People are at home, worried, stressed out," said Dr. Warren Sturman, a Fort Lauderdale cardiologist and the medical response unit leader. "I find that after a hurricane with our response unit, people have one of two options, staying home is very frustrating and scary. Or they could be part of the solution."
If you want to volunteer, Dr. Sturman requests you contact the Broward County Medical Association at 954-714-9477 and CPeterson@BCMA.com.