Archive for September, 2010

By Jennifer Browning

This past Saturday, Fritz & Franz Bierhaus hosted Project Medishare’s Mission: Haiti, a volunteer and fundraiser event which recognized the more than 7000 volunteers who joined our organization in providing aid to earthquake victims over the past eight months.

At the MISSION:HAITI event guests peer inside a MASH Unit-style tent. Over a four month period Project Medishare operated Haiti's only critical care hospital out of three large tents where over 20,000 people were treated before Project Medishare partnered with Hospital Bernard Mevs. Currently, critical patients continue to be cared for in Haiti at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. Photo by Omar Vega.

Throughout the evening, over 300 volunteers reunited at the Bierhaus where they enjoyed good tunes by South Florida’s Nightscape Band.

Over $36,000 was raised during the event with generous donations from International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT), The Bierhaus, Nightscape, and the Michael Kelley Family.

Thank you to all who joined us and donated. Project Medishare couldn’t continue our important work without our volunteers, donors and supporters!

Click here to see images from the MISSION: HAITI event.

If you missed the event and would like to make a contribution to help Project Medishare continue its mission to improve Haiti’s healthcare infrastructure click here to make an online donation today.

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By Jennifer Browning

When plastic surgeon Dr. Joel Kopelman and his son Ross volunteered at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM) several weeks ago, one of the most noticeable things the two saw were the amount of amputees.

What impressed upon Ross Kopelman the most was how hopeful the amputee patients at HBMPM seemed.

“I was standing out in courtyard saw one amputees who was spinning around on one leg and he seemed like he was very happy,” Ross, a student at New York University said. “It was an amazing thing to see.”

Today at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM), certified prosthetic orthotist (CPO) Davor Krchelich uses a BioSculptor to scan the patient’s limb to determine how the socket for the prosthetic leg should be constructed. Davor said it is fantastic technology to have here in Haiti, but there is currently not a machine in Haiti to make the socket mold.

Once the BioSculpter gathers the images, the file is saved and transmitted over the internet to a machine in Florida that can read the file at the prosthetic plant where the socket for the prosthetic leg is currently made.

It takes about two to three weeks for the socket to be received at HBMPM where the patient is then measured and fitted for the new limb.

If the actual machine that custom fits the socket was on site in Haiti, Joel told The Ridgewood News, it would cut the amount of time and effort needed to go through that process. After returning home, Ross and his father couldn’t forget the devastation, serious injuries, extreme poverty and the amount of amputees, so they decided to do something.

While volunteering with Project Medishare, Ross said he noticed that even those who have their limbs struggle to live in Haiti.

“But imagine what it is like when you don’t have your arm or leg,” he said. “If we could somehow provide these prosthetic legs for them it would change their lives in a dramatic way.”

When Ross returned to the United States, he and his father began working toward a plan to raise money for the people of Haiti by working to get the NYU community involved. Ross and his father are working to raise $85,000 to purchase a carving machine for making molds of the patient’s residual limb. This piece of equipment will directly help those many amputee patients they saw firsthand.

Currently, Ross is planning a fundraiser in New York City in hopes to raise a large portion of the funds needed to purchase the carving machine. The Kopelman’s have also created an online fundraising team through Project Medishare’s website. Click here to donate toward their project that will allow HBPM’s prosthetic and rehabilitation team assist our amputees more efficiently in the future.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Los Angeles’ ABC Channel 7 features University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine’s Dr. Henri Ford who is Director of Medical Education and Training at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM).

Dr. Ford grew up in Port-au-Prince just a few miles from the epicenter that shook Port-au-Prince in January. Just days after the quake Dr. Ford found himself back in the capital helping provide medical aid. When he returned to LA, he told ABC 7’s David Ono that guilt overcame him because he felt he left people behind in their greatest time of need. So now Dr. Ford travels back and forth working at HBMPM.

View the video above to see the hope that transpires from what is currently Haiti’s only critical care hospital. A place where lives have not only been saved, but for some, like the many amputees that come through the door, where lives are rebuilt.

If you would like to donate to help Project Medishare continue improving healthcare in Haiti through facilities like Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare, click here.

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Dr. David Andrews, Dr. Gillian Hotz, and Commissioner Ed Tobin

Commissioner Ed Tobin (right) presented Project Medishare a proclamation yesterday. Accepting the proclamation and the donation raised from the Rock for Haiti event on behalf of Project Medishare were Dr. David Andrews and Dr. Gillian Hotz. Photo by Omar Vega.

Yesterday Miami Beach Commissioner Ed Tobin presented a proclamation to Project Medishare for their dedication and assistance to the people of Haiti and continued support of the earthquake relief efforts. In the proclamation, Matti Herrera Bower, Mayor of the City of Miami Beach declared September 15, 2010 Project Medishare Day.

Commissioner Tobin presented  a check for donations collected from Rock for Haiti, a benefit concert that was coordinated and performed by City of Miami Beach employees and elected officials. The Rock for Haiti event raised over $16,000. Part of the donation went towards outfitting and repairing two surplus emergency medical vehicles which the Miami Beach Mayor and Commission donated to Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare in Port-au-Prince.

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Project Medishare volunteer Dr. Eric Dehoux goes over a patient's chart with Sindy Abdon, a nurse working with spinal cord patients. Dr. Dehoux along with nurse practitioner Lorenette Patrick are working with Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare nurses to improve care for the spinal cord patients in the MedSurge unit. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

At Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM) motivated volunteers to work side by side as mentors to their Haitian colleagues in medicine, nursing and allied health professionals, in the traditional Project Medishare model of “Train the Trainer.”

Lorenette Patrick, a nurse practitioner who works at Jackson Memorial Medical Center’s spinal cord rehab, participated in training nurses working with spinal cord patients.

While volunteering at HBMPM, Lorenette not only teaches local nurses, but also teaches the patient and their family members basic lessons on how to care for people with spinal cord injuries. This is mainly teaching them the importance of proper bowel care for these patients, as well as how to prevent bedsores.

Sindy Abdon, a nurse working in the spinal cord unit, said she has learned a lot from Lorenette and others who have come to volunteer at HBMPM.

“One of the most important thing I have learned is the bowel care for the patients because it is so important for these types of patients so they don’t become septic and have troubles from infection,” she said. “Also I have been learning a better way to turn and position the patients to help prevent wounds and bedsores.”

For the spinal cord patient and their families, Lorenette presents these care giving tasks as important jobs.

“By teaching them basic spinal cord injury care the nurses here and the patient’s family members can understand why the patients have these specific problems,” she said. “This helps them fully understand why these problems need to be addressed immediately or the patient is going to have serious problems.”

Sindy said she feels that the training program at HBMPM is very important because not only is she able to further her own education as a licensed nurse, but she is also learning how to teach her nursing colleagues.

Sidney Abdon prepares daily medication for the spinal cord patients at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

“The way they teach me is to learn one thing and then practice it. This helps me also learn how to teach other Haitian nurses how to care for our spinal cord patients here. It is important for me to be able to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves,” she said. “But now, with the volunteers here to help us, I am learning how to better take care of our patients.”

Lorenette said by mid-week she was already seeing progress.

“I was pleased to see a nurse was already starting to teach others,” Lorenette said. “It reinforces that they are the ones who are going to be in charge and not be intimidated by volunteers coming from the U.S.”

For Lorenette seeing the Haitian nurses take charge is important and shows that Project Medishare’s mission to empower the Haitian people is being accomplished here.

“It shows how much Project Medishare is invested in the patients here and how they have the Haitian people’s well being at heart,” Lorenette said. “When you come here and work you see how much is being done for the Haitian people. [The doctors and nurses] are not only helping earthquake victims, but they are also helping people who had no other means of getting care and here they continue to do that.”

Project Medishare continues to stand committed to Haiti nationwide. Training programs like this one that is improving nursing care for spinal cord patients in Haiti, is just one of the many ways we are working to improve Haiti’s healthcare infrastructure.

If you would like to support training programs like this one, please click here to make an online tax-deductible donation today.

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Photo by Omar Vega


By Jennifer Browning

Project Medishare’s prosthetic technician in training, Wilfred Messine, works with people like him everyday. An amputee patient himself, when Wilfred was fitted with his prosthetic limb in April, we immediately began running and kicking a soccer ball.

Last week, encouraging others like him, he formed a small soccer team of amputee patients. Wilfred provided an inspiration of hope to those who would soon be fitted at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare with their new limb. His message: if you can do this without a leg, imagine what your possibilities are with a prosthetic leg!

Wilfred had his leg amputated shortly after the earthquake happened in January. Part of his job is not only to help with the fitting and the physical therapy, but he and Cedieu Fortillus, another prosthetic technician in training, also help these patients understand what the prosthetic means for them.

Together Cedieu and Wilfred work to change attitudes of the patients they see and show the patients the possibilities after receiving their new limb.

“Every time we want to explain something to the patient, we use Wilfred as an example,” Cedieu said. “We show them that he has a prosthetic and then we say, look what he can do!!”

Wilfred said that he loves his work at HBMPM because he is helping Project Medishare change people’s lives.

“What Medishare is doing here is helping people start their life again,” Wilfred said. “I talk to the amputee patients and let them know that one day, they can be like me. I tell them that I can walk, I can drive, and I have learned to run….there are so many things I can do with my new leg and that they will be able to do these things one day. I let them know they can have a new life. That if you are an amputee it doesn’t mean your life is over.”

If you would like to help Project Medishare continue programs like this one at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM) click here to donate today.

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By Jennifer Browning

Fritz & Franz Bierhaus will be hosting a free performance by South Florida’s Nightscape on Saturday, September 25 between 8 p.m.-midnight as part of Project Medishare’s MISSION: HAITI.

The evening will recognize the more than 7000 Project Medishare volunteers who rushed to Haiti’s aid after the January 12 earthquake to provide critical care and rehabilitation to over 30,000.

Nightscape performed at a fundraising event at the Bierhaus in February raising over $7000 to assist Project Medishare’s earthquake relief efforts.

“We wanted to do it for someone who was on the ground knowing that it would go directly to people and immediately help those in need,” Bay Elliot of Nightscape said.  “It was important for us to have the money go to an organization that would use the money immediately.”

During the event, Fritz & Franz Bierhaus will donate a portion of their proceeds to Project Medishare in support of their mission to provide quality healthcare to the people Haiti.

Project Medishare had the first international trauma team on the ground in Port-au-Prince after the January 12 earthquake. Within a week, Project Medishare set up and operated a 250-bed tent field hospital at the Port-au-Prince airport providing trauma and rehabilitation care to those affected by the devastating earthquake.

Currently, Project Medishare operates out of Bernard Mevs, a local community hospital. This important partnership allows medical volunteers to work side by side with our local Haitian medical staff.

Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare provides critical care and rehabilitation, as well as important training in all units including nursing, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, surgery, pharmacy and physical therapy. Project Medishare has hired 82 Haitian medical professionals in its efforts to empower the Haitian people to take over the operation in a step to improve Haiti’s healthcare system.

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