Archive for August, 2007

Project Medishare has recently welcomed two new members to the team. Gabriele Denis is Medishare’s new Program Coordinator, and University of Miami graduate Samira Sami is serving as the organization’s first intern.

Gabriele Denis, Program Coordinator

gabriele_denis.jpgBorn in Haiti, Gabrielle migrated to the U.S with her parents in 1989 due to Haiti’s unstable political climate. Settling in New York, Gabriele completed high school at Washington Irving and in 1998 she graduated from Marymont Manhattan College with a BS in Psychology and Social Work.

During her senior year in college Gabriele did an internship as a case manager for Haitians living with HIV/AIDS at The Haitian Center in Brooklyn. Here she linked clients with institutions providing health care and psycho-social services. After graduation, she attended Quisqueya University in Haiti through an exchange program called ‘Discover Haiti.’ Through the program Gabriele traveled to a range of provinces in the country organizing mobile clinics, providing health care services, and HIV/AIDS counseling to the Haitian people.

Afterwards, Gabriele moved to South Florida where she worked as a suicide counselor in the Haitian community. In 2003 she graduated with a master’s in Global Management from the University of Phoenix. Currently, she is working on her Doctoral degree in Health Care Administration.

Gabriele enjoys her work as Project Medishare’s Program Coordinator because she says she enjoys serving the people of Haiti and learning more about her own culture.

Samira Sami, Intern

samira_sami.jpgSamira approached the Project Medishare in 2005 about collaborating with local Rotary clubs. She co-chaired a campaign to raise funds and awareness for Medishare’s Akamil Nutrition Project. Through these efforts, her group was able to raise over $110,000 and create partnerships between Medishare and Rotary clubs in Monroe, Dade, and Broward counties. After graduating from the University of Miami, with a major in Neuroscience, she has become Project Medishare’s first intern before she plans to attend graduate school to earn her masters in Public Health.

Samira is dedicated to help the people in the Central Plateau of Haiti by conducting research on and raising additional funds for the Akamil Nutrition Project.

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Four Tallahassee college students travel to Haiti’s Central Plateau today to work with Thomonde’s mobile clinic team and visit the future site of the Medical Complex and Training Center for Childhood Nutrition and Treatment.

The students who come from Tallahassee Community College and Florida State University are part of the Rotaract Club of Tallahassee. This trip is their first service project since forming less than a year ago.

Making his third journey to Haiti is Rotaract President Jorge Pedraza. The TCC student has powerful memories of working with Project Medishare in recent years. For Rotaract Vice President Brent Miller, as well as members Mandi Ruscher, and Merick Lewin, this will be their first trip to the Caribbean country.

Tallahassee’s Rotaract club is partnering with Project Medishare to help fundraising for the nutrition and medical complex scheduled for completion this December.

Click here to read Angeline Taylor’s full story in the Tallahassee Democrat and here to see the news report from Tallahassee’s WCTV Eyewitness News.

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Construction Continues on Medical Complex in ThomondeWalls are beginning to rise on the Medical Complex and Training Center for Childhood Nutrition and Treatment in Thomonde. Using money raised for the AK1000 project, Project Medishare hires locals from the community to build the medical complex. The complex and the AK1000 project will not only continue to aid Project Medishare’s goals for a growing medical infrastructure in Haiti’s Central Plateau, but also promote the economy in the region Medishare serves.

water_women.jpgMany in Thomonde work to do their part, but the task is not an easy one. Locals contributing to the construction have few tools and work with bare essentials. Rocks used to build up the walls are broken with the worker’s bare hands. Local women contribute to the project by collecting and carrying water up to the construction site from a nearby river. The water is then used to mix the cement.

You can see the construction progress in June and July inside Project Medishare’s Flickr photo gallery.

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Once There Was A Country

Examining the healthcare crisis in Haiti, Once There Was A Country highlights the rich cultural heritage and the little known triumphs of the country that became the first black-ruled nation after the first successful slave revolt in 1791. The 55-minute film, narrated by author Maya Angelou and her son Guy Johnson, sheds light on the health-care crisis in Haiti, currently the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere.

The film’s director Kimberly Green, of the Green Family Foundation, spent two years filming the documentary where she followed two families in Haiti’s Central Plateau town of Thomonde. We meet the Sonsons, a family of eight suffering from tuberculosis, and LaRochelle, a young man whose family ostracized him after learning he was HIV-positive.

While the focus of the documentary is to educate others of the country’s horrible healthcare crisis, the film illustrates Haiti’s fatal economic condition of failed governments as well as the country’s deteriorating ecological system. With charcoal being the only source of fuel for many Haitians, millions of trees are chopped down causing Haiti’s forests to disappear at a rate of 15 to 20 million trees a year.

The Miami-Herald calls the film “a great history lesson and a wonderful demonstration of how everyone can make a difference.” The movie’s trailer can be viewed below. To purchase or to organize a screening contact info@projectmedishare.org.

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