Tuesday, July 19, 2011


HAITI: Together We Move

Before the earthquake last year, poor Haitians had never had access to comprehensive, high quality orthopedic surgery. That has changed. Haiti Adventist Hospital in Port au Prince is now providing world class orthopedic care to all patients at no charge. The project is in need of long term funding. A high quality coffee table book has been published to raise funds to support this work.

HAITI TOGETHER WE MOVE tells the story of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers to treat thousands of patients at Hopital Adventiste d' Haiti. Prior to the earthquake, this small mission hospital did not have the capability to perform significant orthopedic surgery. That was changed by the arrival of millions of dollars worth of equipment, implants and orthopedic specialists in the days and weeks after January 12, 2010. As the earthquake victims were treated, other patients with preexisting orthopedic problems started coming to the hospital as well. Acquired, congenital and developmental deformities of the upper and lower extremities are regularly being successfully treated. The substantial costs of this project are currently being born by the hospital and generous donors, including Loma Linda University. This model does not have long term sustainability for several reasons. An endowment has been created to fund this project in perpetuity. The Haitian Indigent Patient Endowment will subsidize orthopedic care at Haiti Adventist Hospital.

The coffee table book is a collection of images from very well known professional photographers. Supplementary photos provided by volunteers involved in the project help tell the stories. The beauty of Haiti and the Haitian people and their culture is portrayed. First hand accounts of experiences in the chaotic days immediately following the disaster tie the pictures together. The months that have followed have been filled with remarkable interactions of volunteers caring for Haitians who have in many cases suffered for years with their deformities.

Every dollar donated to this project will be an integral part of the endowment. The interest generated by the fund will be used to subsidize the cost of providing care for these patients with little or no resources. As the donated implants are used, they need to be replaced. Maintenance of expensive equipment is an ongoing challenge in every hospital and Haiti Adventist Hospital is no exception. Important and complementary medical services are lacking and require funding to be developed. Hospital staffing is inadequate to care for the volumes of poor patients needing care. Haiti and Haiti Adventist Hospital have needs beyond needs. The ongoing generosity of highly trained orthopedic and anesthesia specialists is one of the core elements that is making it possible for this project to continue. Teams continue to arrive weekly to provide free care. Members of the teams bring needed medications and operating room supplies including sterile drapes, gowns, gloves. Replacement orthopedic implants including rods, plates and screws are also generously donated. In addition, these volunteers pay their travel costs and all of the costs associated with their time at the hospital. The accommodations continue to be spartan. As funding becomes available, these needs can be addressed and the project can grow and improve and expand the care being provided.

For more information, visit: HAITI: Together We Move

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