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Posts Tagged ‘earthquake relief efforts’

By Ginger Gorham-Hart

Trying to sum up my time spent in Haiti with Project Medishare is almost impossible. I have made two trips with Project Medishare and just arrived back from my third stint last week.

Ginger Gorham-Hart at the Project Medishare Field Hospital

Ginger Gorham-Hart at the Project Medishare Field Hospital

Working at the Project Medishare tented field hospital after the earthquake was the hardest, most grueling work I have ever done. I spent 14-16 hours a day in the operating room. The Haitian patients would walk for days from their small towns just because a surgeon would be at the field hospital. How could we say no? How could we be too tired? We were there to help and so we did.

I would spend my “free time” in the pediatric tent with a sweet, little Haitian boy named Andre. We read books, Andre would teach my Creole and we would laugh all night. At the end of my stay during my first trip, I went to his cot. Andre looked really sad. I asked him what was wrong. He looked up with his big, brown eyes and asked if I was going to be leaving the next day. I responded with what every volunteer says: “yes I am leaving but of course I will be back.” Tears began to appear in his eyes, he grabbed my hand and said “but I love you and will miss you too much.” I have never felt so much emotion at one time as I did at that moment.

I knew after my first trip that I would volunteer again to go back to help in Haiti. I returned to Haiti with Project Medishare, this time to Hospital Bernard Mevs. I was reunited with Andre.

I came to Haiti to be able to help the people after the devastation they faced from the earthquake. However, I can honestly say they have helped me more than I will ever be able to help them. I look forward to returning again to continue My Project Medishare experience.

Ginger Gorham-Hart with patients in the waiting room at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

Ginger Gorham-Hart with patients in the waiting room at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

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This great documentary on Project Medishare premiered on Plum TV this past weekend. In case you missed it, take a few minutes to watch the video below.

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This past weekend a group of Haitian Americans visited Haiti with Project Medishare. The group consisted of wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, Pierre Garçon, recording artist Phyllisia Ross & DJ Griot. During their stay, the group toured Project Medishare’s facilities in the Central Plateau as well as the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare in Port–au-Prince.

The group was able to see the Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) in Mirebalias, the Akamil Production Facility and the Community Health Program in Thomonde as well as the Community Health Program, Maternal Health Center and staff residence in Marmont.

This was only Garçon’s second time returning to Haiti since the earthquake. After the trip, Garçon said that “the work that Project Medishare is doing in Haiti is inspiring. Witnessing it firsthand just proves how critical it is that they are able to continue performing their lifesaving work.”

The group was also able to spend a day at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare in Port-au-Prince. “I was very impressed and touched by the care the babies in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit were receiving. We were able to see premature twins arrive in the NICU just as we were walking in,” Ross said. “Haiti is a beautiful country filled with the most resilient people. It is truly heartwarming to know that the most deserving people are able to receive advanced health care because of the Project Medishare staff and volunteers.” Hospital Bernard Mevs houses the only Pediatric neo-natal ICU in Haiti.

Below are a couple of pictures that were taken during their trip.

DJ Griot, Marie, NFL Star Pierre Garçon, Medishare's Wilfrid Macena & Singer Phyllisia Ross

Singer Phyllisia Ross with a baby from the NICU at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

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By Jennifer Browning

Today marks one year since a powerful earthquake devastated Haiti causing widespread death and destruction. That day, in less than 40 seconds, millions of lives were changed forever.

In less than 40 seconds, millions of peoples lives changed in Haiti after a 7.0 earthquake struck a year ago today.

Just 20 hours after the earthquake, Project Medishare volunteer doctors, nurses and emergency personnel touched down in Port-au-Prince. They were among the first to respond to the disaster. Over the past year more than 5,000 doctors and nurses have joined us in treating more than 75,000 patients.

While Haiti has faced a hurricane, flooding and cholera, Project Medishare has continued to stand by the Haitian people in our mission to improve medical services in Haiti. But things are worse here in Haiti today than they were a day after the earthquake.

After Project Medishare transitioned from the field hospital to Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM), the hospital staff there have treated over 45,000 patients, provided over 10,000 emergency room visits and performed an estimated 200 surgeries each month.

Not only is HBMPM Haiti’s only critical care and trauma facility, it also continues to operate the only pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU/PICU) and spinal cord injury unit.

A Project Medishare nurse evaluates a child at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare, currently Haiti's only critical care and trauma facility. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

Through our Amputee Rehabilitation Program we have fitted over 200 children and adult patients with lifesaving prosthetic limbs. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, who have joined us in our quest to provide prosthetic limbs to Haiti’s amputees, we will be able to provide prosthesis and therapy for children. As these children grow, we will be able to fit them with up to three prosthesis including two years of therapy.

Project Medishare’s training and education programs for HBMPM medical staff are also moving forward with a generous grant from the American Red Cross. Today University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Enrique Ginzburg, M.D., and Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., are meeting here in Port-au-Prince with leaders from the American College of Surgeons international program and other universities to coordinate the education and training of critical care health professionals in Haiti.

Tomorrow, architectural plans that will double the 45 beds at HBMPM and add an education center to train Haitian health professionals in critical care will be finalized. This will help us achieve the long-term goal in making HBMPM and its Haitian medical staff self-sustainable.

Project Medishare’s existing Community Health Program continues to serve over 100,000 in the Central Plateau. Through this program community health agents have been essential in battling cholera in and around the community along the Artibonite River. Armed with bullhorns and packets of oral-rehydration therapy, as well as donations of bleach and soap, our teams initiated a community education campaign. Our community doctors and nurses are also working at the Cholera Treatment Center in Mirebalais where we have treated over 10,000 patients suffering from this disease.

Project Medishare community health nurse Wiseline Celestine uses a bullhorn to educate people in Thomonde about cholera. Project Medishare's health agents were vital in educating the people in order to prevent cholera in their communities. They are also conducting additional home visits since the epidemic occurred. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

In the coming months, Project Medishare will celebrate the opening of the Akamil Production Facility in Thomonde and the Maternal Health Center in Marmont.

The final pieces are being put in place to finalize the Akamil Facility. Ground breaking began June 2007 for the construction of the facility, but final construction and equipment installment was delayed after earthquake. When production begins, it will mean so much to rural Haiti and those Project Medishare serves in the commune of Thomonde.

Thanks to the Greig Family, who completely funded the construction of the Maternal Health Center, women in the Central Plateau are closer to having access to a full package of women’s health services including reproductive health education, family planning, along with HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.

With the ongoing support of volunteers and friends around the world, Project Medishare has accomplished so much in the past year.

There is still critical need in Haiti today. Today, Project Medishare remembers those victims who perished or were injured in the earthquake.

To show your support Text “Save” to 501501 to donate $5 or click here to make an online gift to assist Project Medishare in continuing lifesaving work in Haiti.

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By Jennifer Browning

Marcus Solis from ABC Channel 7 out of New York features the important work being done at the Project Medishare hospital, but especially the work of Certified Prothestists Orthotists (CPO) and volunteer physical therapists as they continue to fit earthquake victims with much needed prosthetic limbs.

The piece also features amputee patient Wilford Messine. After being fitted with his prosthetic leg, Messine began playing soccer. Project Medishare has hired him to help fellow Haitians overcome the physical and cultural obstacles of being an amputee.

Almost four months later, Project Medishare is keeping our promise to continue providing much needed medical care to the Haitian people drastically affected by the January earthquake. Such efforts are still in need of funding so that we can continue to help people like Wilford Messine and others.

If you would like to help us fund such relief efforts please click here to make a donation online.

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Medical volunteers work among a soggy field hospital in Port-au-Prince. As the rainy season approaches, Project Medishare is looking to move to a permanent facility. Photo by Jennifer Browning. (File photo taken March 20, 2010)

By Jennifer Browning

While the rainy season doesn’t officially start for another two and half weeks, Project Medishare’s medical volunteers and logistics team are already getting a good taste of what is to come.

It has rained every night since Friday night for at least an hour or more. Last evening, Port-au-Prince received four hours of rain.

In order to protect the tents, the logistics team on the ground have arranged for trenches to be dug around the camp in an effort to keep as much water as possible out of the tents.

Medical volunteers are encouraged to come prepared with plenty of clean, dry socks, ponchos, and boots.

Project Medishare has been searching for an existing building to move to within the city of Port-au-Prince, in order to have better protection from the impending rainy season and to continue the care we are providing to the people in a safe environment. A location has not been determined so far, but we hope to move our hospital in the coming weeks.

As Project Medishare provides ongoing relief efforts in Port-au-Prince and the Central Plateau, we will continue to need support. If you have already made a donation, we thank you, but if you can make an additional contribution today, please do so by clicking here.

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Donna Joyner dances with one of the children in the Project K.I.D. Network play area. Donna and her husband Tom Joyner, of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, volunteered their time at the Project Medishare Hospital in Port-au-Prince. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

This week Tom Joyner from the Tom Joyner Morning Show arrived with his wife, Donna, and several  colleagues, including his co-host Sybil Wilkes, to volunteer at the Project Medishare Hospital in Haiti.

American radio host, Tom Joyner, of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show sorts through medical supplies in the Project Medishare supply tent next to the hospital in Port-au-Prince. Tom along with his wife Donna and 11 others in their group, including Tom's co-host Sybil Wilkes, spent three days in Port-au-Prince volunteering at the Project Medishare Hospital in Haiti. Photo by jennifer Browning.

Instead of spending their entire Spring vacation in the Dominican Republic, the group decided to stop off for three days in Port-au-Prince to further understand the situation two months after the earthquake.

Upon arriving, the group toured the hospital  and eventually the city to survey the damage the January 12 earthquake left behind.

The next two days the Joyner party volunteered at the Project Medishare hospital. In the beginning, the group split up. Some chose to assist with organize the supply tent and while others worked with Project Medishare’s logistical team at the command center.

Thank  you all for taking time our on your vacation to volunteer with Project Medishare in our mission to help Haiti through this trying time!

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