By Jennifer Browning
Last night Project Medishare co-founder and president, Dr. Barth Green, received the Florida Association of Nonprofit Organization’s (FANO) Lawton’s Heart Humanitarian Award for his lifetime devotion to humanitarian causes.
The award was presented by the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt during the opening reception of the organization’s annual conference.
“On that fateful day in Haiti, January 12, 2010, Project Medishare was uniquely poised to assume a position of leadership when the 7.0 earthquake struck and devastated the country. Within 18 hours, Dr. Green, leading a team of trauma doctors, was on the ground at the airport in Port-au-Prince, offering emergency medical relief to hundreds of severely injured Haitians,” Dean Goldschmidt told FANO conference attendees. “According to the March 11, 2010 New England Journal of Medicine, four hours after their arrival the five person team of medial relief workers started working on ‘225 severely injured Haitians housed in two storage tents at the United Nations compound.’ Today, six months after the earthquake, Project Medishare and the Haitian Ministry of Health are coordinating long term medical care in Haiti.”
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Green talked about how proud he was about the work Project Medishare and the University of Miami were doing to help those in Haiti.
“We are proud now that the University of Miami and Project Medishare and all the people that support it are putting legs and arms on kids and adults every day,” Dr. Green told conference attendees. “We are joining hands with partners in this country who are helping us show the Haitian people that they haven’t been forgotten.”
The Lawton’s Heart Humanitarian Award was named after its first recipient, Governor Lawton Chiles, who posthumously received the first Humanitarian Award in 1999. Governor Chiles’ widow, Mrs. Rhea Chiles, along with their daughter Rhea, her husband Keith Powers and Chiles’ son Ed and wife, Anne. The governor was known for his leadership during the relief effort for after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Dade.
Dr. Green remembers working with Governor Chiles during those trying times.
“Lawton Chiles was a friend of mine when I was a young doctor running around the state in helicopters rescuing patients,” Dr. Green said. “He funded all of the wonderful programs that have saved so many thousands of lives. He was an extraordinary human being.”
The late Florida governor’s son, Bud Chiles, was present to hand Dr. Green the humanitarian award.
Dr. Green also encouraged FANO conference attendees to seek out opportunities to help others.
“We all have opportunities in our lives to do something every day for someone else,” he said. “You’ll never make a mistake giving because you’ll get back so much more.”