Be safe, be smart, give patients what they need.

Erin Smith, PA, works at South County Health’s Express Care in Westerly. Shortly after COVID-19 arrived in Rhode Island, she gave birth on March 25, 2020, to a healthy baby boy named Seamus.

Initially, Erin and her husband, Christopher, simply stayed home and enjoyed time with their new baby. However, as her maternity leave came to a close, Erin knew she could be exposed to COVID-19 as a frontline employee.

“It was definitely scary,” Erin said. “I was super diligent about masking at work and showering as soon as I got home before caring for my baby.” However, Erin says both she and her husband were grateful to both have employment. “It is what you make it,” she remarks. “We counted ourselves fortunate.”

Erin says she focused on patient needs and stayed flexible as South County Health adopted new ways of treating patients—through telehealth visits or swabbing patients for COVID-19 in their cars. She also recognized the need to care for patients who didn’t have COVID-19 but still needed medical care. She says her mantra became, “Be safe, be smart, give patients what they need.”

Her husband, Christopher, couldn’t be prouder. Earlier this year, he posted on Facebook: “These times have definitely been cruel and they have been amazing. Since the day Seamus was born, he has been 100% breastfed. Erin, rocking the frontlines at South County’s Express Care as an exceptional PA and medical provider, still has time outside her 50+ hour workweek to nurse and pump for our son. She is our hero!”

Erin lost her father in early 2021. Yet her dedication to her work and her family continues.

Christopher says, “Seamus Brody and I are so lucky to have you. You are such an amazing mommy. Your father could not be prouder as he raises a glass to you in heaven!”

Annual Report 2020

Next up:

“I’m really fortunate. Maybe my dad helped save my life.”

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