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To mark the one year anniversary of the event that forever changed Haiti, University of Miami medical students will be sponsoring a memorial ceremony to benefit Project Medishare.

The event will be Wednesday, January 12 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in front of the Lois Pope Life Center at the medical campus and will culminate with a candlelight vigil.

UM medical students invite Project Medishare volunteers to reflect upon their personal experiences as well as participate in the open mic event during this time of remembrance.

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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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Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare staff and volunteer doctors consult with doctors at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine about a critical care patient admitted recently.

By Jennifer Browning

Last week Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM) volunteers participated in a teleconference with Miami doctors regarding a critical care patient who arrived at HBMPM.

HBMPM has teleconferencing capability and have participated in telemedicine meetings with teams in Miami. The system in Miami is located at the Ryder Trauma Center. The teleconferencing system was donated by Cisco Telecommunications.

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By Jennifer Browning

Project Medishare’s future is mapped out in the most recent issue of the University of Miami’s Medicine. The magazine’s special edition focuses on how the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and its partnering organizations like Project Medishare and the UM Global Institute rushed to the aid of Haiti’s earthquake victims.

Fostering a Healthy Future” takes a look at Project Medishare’s various programs between Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare in Port-au-Prince and Haiti’s Central Plateau where the community health and development program has been operating for over 10 years.Before the earthquake, Project Medishare was getting ready to celebrate the completion of two major projects, the Akamil production facility and a new maternal health center. The earthquake delayed the opening for both projects, however Project Medishare is determined to continue efforts to improve healthcare in rural Haiti through these programs as well as through the critical care and rehabilitation hospital in Port-au-Prince.

Click here to read the full article in Medicine, or click here to browse through the entire 2010 Summer Edition.

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By Jennifer Browning

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson vowed, during a visit to the Miami’s Ryder Trauma Center last week, to continue his efforts to secure funds for the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare, a critical care and rehabilitation hospital, operated by  Project Medishare and the Global Institute in Port-au-Prince.

Originally the critical care and rehabilitation hospital was located in four tents at the edge of the airport for five months following the January earthquake. The hospital joined forces with to an existing community hospital in June and continues to serve as a vital critical care and rehabilitation hospital as well as a training center for local physicians, nurses and allied health professionals eager to fill the large gaps in Haiti’s shattered health care system.

Dr. Barth Green, co-founder and president of Project Medishare said the organization is counting on a $17.7 million federal grant to operate the hospital over the next 18 months and help Haiti build a sustainable health care system. Nelson wrote a letter urging the U.S. State Department to direct a portion of the Haiti relief funding in the 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to the hospital.

Days after the January 12 earthquake, the senator praised Americans for their quick generosity to the earthquake relief effort. The senator singled out UM’s Miller School of Medicine for having the first medical team on the ground in Haiti which was led by Dr. Green.The team began treating the critically wounded within five minutes of landing at the devastated Port-au-Prince airport  twelve hours after quake.

Project Medishare’s programs currently rely heavily on independent donations. If you would like to make a donation to help us continue our important work through projects like those at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare, Haiti’s ONLY critical care hospital, please click here to make an online donation today.

Source: University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.

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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.

Project Medishare's co-founder and president, Dr. Barth Green, accepts FANO's Lawton's Heart Humanitarian Award from Bud Chiles, son of the late Governor Lawton Chiles for whom the humanitarian award is named.

“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.”

Dr. Green is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Miami School of Medicine and Chief of the Neurosurgical Services at Jackson Memorial Hospital and Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. He is also co-founder and President of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Dr. Green also co-founded the University of Miami Global Institute for Community Health and Development, a university-wide program focused on improving healthcare and advancing community development in our hemisphere.

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