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Archive for February, 2010

NBA Legend Alonzo Mourning speaks to team mates, colleagues, and fans at the NBA Legends Brunch in Dallas this morning after receiving the Legend of the Year Award. The brunch was part of the NBA All-Stars festivities. During his acceptance speech, Mourning said that everyone should work toward giving back in some way. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

DALLAS, Texas–A modest  Alonzo Mourning received the Legend of the Year  Award for his service to others this morning at the NBA  Legends Brunch. Mourning was awarded for his work in his community as well as his work with Project Medishare in Haiti.

Mourning said he felt odd receiving an award for something he feels everyone should do every day.

NBA Legend Alonzo Mourning receives the Legend of the Year Award from NBA Commissioner David Stern. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

“We all got where we are today because of someone else,” Mourning said.”Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth, Mohamed Ali-who I greatly respect-once said. And I truly believe that.”

The former Miami Heat star also quoted Ghandi saying that it was important that we follow Ghandi’s words to be the change we see in the world.

“If we all did,” Mourning said, “the world would truly be a much better place than it is today.”

Mourning arrived in Haiti two days after the January 12 earthquake to assist  Project Medishare and UM Global Institute volunteers who had been working in a makeshift trauma unit. Project Medishare and the UM Global Institute had the first trauma team on the ground Wednesday morning after the quake.

Mourning has been to Haiti three times now to work with Project Medishare and the UM Global Institute. He along with Dwyane Wade created the Althletes Relief Fund for Haiti where the proceeds will go toward Project Medishare’s continuing relief efforts on the ground in Haiti. Currently, the Athlete’s Relief Fund for Haiti has raised $1 million .

If you would like to donate to the Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti, click here. If you would like to directly donate to Project Medishare’s earthquake relief efforts, click here to donate today.

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By Jennifer Browning

Buy a table or a ticket to The Blacks Annual Gala at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday, February 27 to help fund a Youth Center for at-risk youth in Haiti.

This year a portion of The Blacks Annual Gala will go to benefit Project Medishare. The event on Saturday, February 27 will feature Grammy Winner Natalie Cole, Platinum selling artist Rick Ross, Real Housewives from Bravo Network, Andrei “the Pitbull” Arlovski, and Fres “Fast Fres” Oquendo. The evening will be full of exciting events—shop exquisite boutiques, make a bid at the silent auction, or watch an exhibition boxing match.

Project Medishare will have a boutique offering Save Haiti T-shirts, wristbands, and other merchandise. All proceeds from the boutique will go directly to fund Project Medishare’s Youth Center for at-risk youth in Marmont.  Additionally, a portion of table and ticket sales will go towards funding the project.

Haitian-born NBA star Samuel Dalembert has been working with Project Medishare to build a Youth Center in Marmont located in Haiti’s Central Plateau, as well as in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. The centers will give at-risk youth an opportunity to have a safe place to play, learn and grow.

Please come out, buy a table or a ticket in order to support Project Medishare and this important cause.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.theblacksannualgala.org or by calling 305-443-8980. Please earmark your reservation as Medishare.

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By Jennifer Browning

Grab nine of your closest friends and head to The Social down at Houston’s Washington Shore Saturday, February 20; 1-6 p.m. Register your team by noon. Tickets are $25 if you sign up in advance on the Washington Hospitality Group website or they are $35 on the day of the event.

Event sponsors and participants include The Washington Wave, Pearl Bar, Brand New Media,  Washington Avenue Drinkery, The Lot, Sawyer Park, Suspect Clothing, and of course, The Social.

Pubsters will crawl between 1-6 p.m. for $2 domestics and drafts or $4 wells and frozens. Proceeds from the pub crawl go to benefit Project Medishare’s earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

Click here to purchase your ticket in advance for $25.

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Students from St. Philip's Episcopal School raised $4000 to go towards Project Medishare's earthquake relief efforts.

By Jennifer Browning

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. This is a quote by Mohammed Ali that the students at Saint Philip’s Episcopal School took to heart as they began raising money to assist Project Medishare earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

In two short weeks, St. Philip’s students, families, and staff have paid the rent.

“We have demonstrated the kind of compassion that proves we are the little neighborhood school with great big kindnesses,” Laura Yusko, St. Philips Fifth Grade Language Arts Teacher  said.

From lemonade stands to bake sales, from a pajama contest to designing Lego jewelry, from car washes to dog walks, and chores done–St. Philip’s students raised $4000 to help bolster the Haitian relief efforts of Dr. Barth Green and Project Medishare.

Thank you Saint Philip’s Episcopal School for joining us in helping the Haitian people in this serious time of need!

Thank you for opening hearts and wallets, for supporting and conducting remarkable service to others.

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By Jennifer Browning

A week after the earthquake shook the capital of Haiti, Dr. Michel Dodard* returned to the Port-au-Prince neighborhood where he grew up. He joined forces  with his brother-in-law Dr. Daniel Henrys, a family physician and public health specialist.

Haitian medical students triage a patient coming into the clinic. Photo by Dr. Michele Dodard.

With the doctors’ expertise and with Dr. Dodard’s access to supplies at the Project Medishare and University of Miami compound, the two opened up the Rue Lamarre Clinic within two days of Dr. Dodard’s arrival. The location of the makeshift clinic was a special place for these two doctors for several reasons. This was where Dr. Henrys grew up, and were his father, Dr. Max Henrys, had practiced medicine for decades.

For Dr. Dodard, this was where he met his wife, Daniel’s sister. But the landscape had changed, buildings outside were crumbled and the steps where Dr. Dodard had asked for his wife’s hand in marriage were now filled with patients waiting to be seen.

Dr. Dodard and Dr. Henrys organized medical volunteers which comprised of mostly third and fourth-year medical students and nurses. These students formed teams and traveled everyday on foot to surrounding neighborhoods such as Champ de Mars, Kafou Fey, or Bel Air where the medical care had been spotty or nonexistent.

“The clinic at Rue Lamarre became a site of “Medecins du Monde” which provided organization and logistic support as well as access to essential medications,” Dr. Dodard said.

Dr. Dodard also brought along the assistance of Dr. Arturo Brito, a Miami community pediatrician and fellow Katrina veteran, and UM pediatrician, Dr. Gwen Wurm. Dr. Brito worked with the team at Medecins du Monde and coordinated with the Haitian volunteer teams who journeyed out into the surrounding neighborhoods.

Dr.  Wurm, joined Dr. Dodard  in visiting a local orphanage to access the ground facilities there. During an assessment, Dr. Wurm seeing that the orphanage offered extensive ground facilities worked to convert the site’s lodging room into a pediatric discharge facility. The orphanage had its own medications and medical supplies which had been donated over the years, which helped establish the site as a makeshift medical clinic.

Dr. Dodard and Dr. Henrys worked efficiently and quickly to coordinate their knowledge of medicine and neighborhood logistics to help those earthquake victims not only in the city but the very heart of the neighborhood where they lived, played, learned and grew up. There are many stories like this. Tales of local heroism and bravery that were missed by the mainstream media. Many Haitian American doctors like Dr. Dodard and Dr. André Vulcain* immediately sprung into action to assist those local doctors already trying to set up medical clinics in their neighborhoods in order to meet the needs of the many victims lining up on their doorsteps. These doctors and their Haitian colleagues are hope for Haiti’s capital as they work toward helping their Haitian brothers and sisters continue the healing process.

*Dr. Michel Dodard is on the Project Medishare Board of Directors as well as the Director for The Haiti Project.  Dr. André Vulcain is the University of Miami’s Faculty Liaison for the The Haiti Project which the  Miller School of Medicine has sponsored during the past six years. The Haiti Project works towards  the training of Family Physicians and the establishment of a Family Practice Center at Justinien Hospital, a teaching hospital located in the city of Cap-Haitien, in the northern part of the country.

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Student Council from Austin Middle School in Amarillo, Texas worked toward raising money to support Project Medishare's earthquake relief efforts.

By Jennifer Browning

After hearing about the earthquake in Haiti, Austin Middle School Student Council in Amarillo, Texas put their efforts together to raise $920.64. The money donated is to assist Project Medishare’s earthquake relief efforts.

“I was so excited that our kids came through,” Student Council sponsor Vicki Mueller said.”The kids have really taken this mission seriously.”

Part of the fundraising project was a Battle of the Sexes contest. If the boys raised the most money, they would get to “whipped cream” the girls and vice versa.

The girls won.

Thank you so much Austin Middle School for showing your support to those who are not as fortunate and those who have experienced such a devastating event. Project Medishare and the people of Haiti greatly appreciate your efforts!

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By Jennifer Browning

Dr. Andre Vulcain checked into the Visa Lodge near the Port-au-Prince airport January 12 after his connecting flight to Cap Haitien was canceled due to bad weather in the region. He planned to fly out the next day, but the earth shook the capital city that evening, and Dr. Vulcain’s plans were dramatically changed.

While the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute team accompanied by Dr.

Former Project Medishare Board member, Dr. Andre Vulcain tends to an amputee patient injured in the January 12 earthquake. Dr. Vulcain, one of the first Haitian American doctors on the ground, set up a clinic in an orphanage with two local doctors. Together, they saw over 100 patients in three days. Photo courtesy of Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad- Florida.

Barth Green were the first foreign medical team to arrive in Haiti after the earthquake. Dr. Vulcain was the first Haitian-American to begin treating earthquake victims.

Former Project Medishare Board member, Dr. Vulcain said the earthquake hit while he was in his hotel room.

“For me it was a big scare rather  than real harm, ” Dr. Vulcain said. “I was emotionally shaken, but physically fine.”

After hearing about the widespread destruction caused by the earthquake, Dr. Vulcain actively looked for his immediate relatives living in the city. His sister-in-law and niece crawled out of the rubble of their heavily damaged home. They had mild contusions, but they were alive. Although happy that his relatives were fine, Dr. Vulcain couldn’t escape the despair which surrounded him.

“People on the streets were shell-shocked and some neighborhoods looked like they had been bombed,” he said. “Dead people were lying on the sidewalks and the valiant Haitian people, in an impressive demonstration of solidarity and compassion, were the first bare-hand responders without support or guidance from the authorities, trying frantically to extract some unfortunate victims from the rubble.”

Two days after the quake, Dr. Vulcain found his way to Delmas 75 where his aunt lived. While he received news of the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute setting up a trauma hospital at the airport, he couldn’t reach the team. There was lack of fuel and traffic on the roads leading to the airport was chaotic.

Instead of working his way back to the airport, Dr. Vulcain walked to an orphanage who was providing care to earthquake victims. Fifty patients crowded around the courtyard. Two Haitian doctors, Dr. Paul Pelissier, and orthopedist and Dr. Gabriel, an anesthesiologist who two lived in the neighborhood and had been working there since the morning. Dr. Vulcain joined the doctors and surveyed the situation noting the supplies and medicine available. Two rooms were converted into a pediatrics ward

“Fortunately, the orphanage looked pretty well stocked, by Haitian standards, in some basic supplies,” he said. “Two American missionary nurses offered there generous help, and some Haitian volunteers came to assist with logistics.”

The patient count grew as more people arrived outside the orphanage, desperately trying to get medical attention.

For the next three days, Dr. Vulcain, Dr. Pelissier and Dr. Gabriel worked around the clock doing splinting and casting, reducing dislocation of limbs, suturing and cleaning infected wounds and open fractures, providing oral pain medication as needed,…….the injury list was long. The team worked desperately to save limbs of those with severe crush injuries where they could, but found it necessary to perform two amputations.

“Our team was, by luck, highly complementary and just after a couple of hours we were working effectively and efficiently focusing on the goal of helping our unfortunate brothers and sisters,” Dr. Vulcain said, who is also the University of Miami’s faculty liaison and representative in Haiti for the Haiti Project.

The three doctors saw over 100 patients in their make-shift clinic within a three day period.

“We had no death of patients who made it to our facility,” Dr. Vulcain said. “My surgical training and experience that preceded my dedication to Family Medicine were definitely helpful in these particular circumstance.”

After visiting Leogane and helping a medical team of Haitian and Cuban doctors set up a medical clinic there, Dr. Vulcain returned to Miami for a week. He is now back in Haiti continuing to help his country.

You can read Dr. Vulcain’s full trip report on the AMHE site here.

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By Jennifer Browning

Twenty-eight-year-old Evans Monsigrace is reported in stable condition in ICU at the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute Hospital in Haiti after being pulled from the rubble yesterday.

Hospital administrator, Elizabeth Greig, said Monsigrace was admitted yesterday suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration, however, while he was trapped he did have limited access to food and water.

“Under the circumstances, he is doing pretty good,” Greig said.

Today, Monsigrace’s family told press that Monsigrace was in a flea market selling rice when the earthquake hit. He was trapped in a void of rubble, but not hurt. He was even able to move around a bit.

He was found after a block was being cleared of debris.

Monsigrace came into the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute Hospital bone thin dehydrated and delirious asking doctors to let him die.

After a night of rehydration and bits of chocolate he is doing well and in stable condition in intensive care.

Monsigrace said he is thankful to God for giving him a second life.

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By Jennifer Browning

Today a 28-year-old man was pulled alive from the rubble of a building in Port-au-Prince. Doctors at the Project Medishare/UM Hospital reported to CNN that he may have been trapped since the January 12 earthquake.

The man’s family told Project Medishare/UM Global Institute staff that the man being identified as Evans Monsigrace was found in the rubble of the market where he sold rice. While he did not appear to have severe crush injuries, he reportedly suffered from extreme dehydration and malnutrition

“He was emaciated. He hadn’t had anything in quite some time. He had open wounds that were festering on both of his feet,” Project Medishare/UM Global Institute volunteer Dr. Mike Connelly told CNN.

We will report more about this situation as we learn about it from our team on the ground.

Click here to read the most recent story on CNN.

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By Jennifer Browning
In the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute Hospital in Haiti, earthquake victims join together in gospel song in Creole, led by a Haitian pastor who came to give the people spiritual support.

In song, they tell God they are thankful they are alive. In movement and spirit, they demonstrate the hope, strength and determination of the Haitian people. Video footage by Gabriele Denis.

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