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Posts Tagged ‘Port-au-Prince’

We wanted to share this lovely message we received from a member of the Project Medishare for Haiti staff:

“What a great and busy few days Team Zaryen has had! The trip included: a halftime exhibition at the DC United vs. Portland Timbers game at RFK Stadium in DC, a live taping at Fox News CT, a meet and greet with the Governor of Connecticut at the State House, scrimmage and soccer clinic in Stamford, a re-union with Ralph Gedeon who was an ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) Medivac patient from the earthquake, a NY Red Bulls Pre-Game exhibition and a meet and greet with the team, an appearance on Fox and Friends’ national morning show followed by a tour of Times Square and the surrounding area, a Soccer Clinic in Astoria, and finally a shopping trip in Newark, New Jersey’s Wal-Mart where they shopped for their families with such care.

Suffice it to say that the past week has been nothing short of magic! With their sincerity, humility and big hearts; the members of Team Zaryen captured hearts and inspired those wherever they went. It has been my privilege to be part of this team for the past 21 months and I am most grateful. The team wanted to extend their thankfulness to everyone affiliated with Project Medishare and the Knights of Columbus. You all would have been so proud of these incredible, resilient and spiritual men and women as they shared their experience, strength and hope not only with the Wounded Warriors but everywhere they went.”

Team Zaryen in their Nike Soccer donated uniforms

Team Zaryen in their Nike Soccer donated uniforms

Project Medishare for Haiti would like to once again thank Nike Soccer, Perry Ellis and of course the Knights of Columbus.

Team Zaryen meeting with members of the NY Red Bulls

Team Zaryen meeting with members of the NY Red Bulls

We also wanted to send a special thank you to everyone that came out to meet and support Team Zaryen during their Inspiration Tour, without all of you this would not have been possible.

Team Zaryen in Times Square

Team Zaryen in Times Square

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EMPACT Northwest is a charitable organization comprised of medical professionals providing disaster relief, medical education and ongoing medical aid to communities in need. EMPACT NW partnered with Project Medishare for Haiti in the pursuit of providing emergency medical response and transportation for the sick and injured by identifying and educating Haitian EMT student candidates and educating the Haiti National Police and the general population in basic first aid.

EMPACT NW volunteers are specialized pre-hospital providers from the Pacific Northwest (PNW). EMPACT NW is also comprised of members who hold extensive backgrounds in firefighting, HAZ-MAT, chemical/biological weapons, auto extrication, building collapse, confined space, trench, high angle rescue, disaster/wilderness medicine, tactical/combat medicine, flight medicine, and communications.

The intent of EMPACT Northwest/EMPACT Haiti was to join their resources with Project Medishare and offer their expertise in creating a high quality, functional Emergency Medical Service (EMS) program in Haiti. Besides creating an effective ambulance service, EMPACT NW believes that citizen involvement is critical to minimizing pre-hospital injury and death. They are committed to educating professional pre-hospital providers who will in turn be tasked with delivering basic first aid education to the public and government entities such as the Haitian National Police.

Among other goals, EMPACT Haiti is committed to providing 24 hour staffing for one of our generously donated ambulances, management and oversight by EMPACT NW staff of an EMS program and its volunteers and management and training of Haitian EMS students/translators. The training of Medishare staff as EMT’s incorporates all levels of staff in the capacity building of the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare as supported by the American Red Cross.

We are very pleased to announce that the first class graduated on September 20th, 2011! You can see photos from the Graduation Ceremony here! This class, the first graduates of this partnership and program of its kind in Haiti, will also rotate as EMS providers and work in our Triage Unit at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. A grant from the United Way Worldwide to Project Medishare played a major role in allowing for this group to graduate and will continue to influence the EMT program.

Armadeus Davidson PM, HCA-F, EMPACT Northwest Project Manager, EMPACT Haiti said it best; “It is an honor to serve the people of Haiti and we thank you for your participation.”

The 1st graduating class of EMT's in Haiti with the head of Haitian National Fire Service

 

A special thank you to EMPACT Northwest for your support of Project Medishare. Thank you to United Way Worldwide for your generous grant. Thank you again to the City of Miami Beach for donating the ambulances that our EMT’s will be using to save so many lives. And a big thank you to the American Red Cross for your continued commitment to our efforts to provide healthcare in Haiti.

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Allow us to introduce you to one of our young patients. Frantz is a 2-year-old boy who was abandoned at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. Frantz was admitted to the hospital in early July for malnutrition and fever. His father said he would be back for his son but was admitted to a different hospital himself. Unfortunately, Project Medishare staff has not been able to reach him since.

Frantz is now a thriving and healthy young boy. He continues Physical Therapy everyday and receives lots of love from the families and volunteers in the pediatric department. One of the Project Medishare volunteers from this past week, Jill, gave Frantz a few new outfits and the adorable sunglasses he is wearing.

Frantz at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

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In July 2011, Jimmy arrived at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare exhibiting symptoms of a rare condition called myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder, which involves the muscles and the nerves that control them. Our hospital staff and medical volunteers treated Jimmy. The volunteer group that week was from Eastern Health, an organization that went to Haiti with Project Medishare all the way from Newfoundland, Canada.

It was clear that Jimmy would not be able to leave our Intensive Care Unit due to needing intravenous medication every two and a half hours to control his condition. In the United States, myasthenia gravis is treated with a daily medication and patients lead very normal lives. In a third world country like Haiti, quality of life is much different with myasthenia gravis. In order to leave the hospital, Jimmy would need oral pyridostigmine, an expensive medication that is not available in Haiti. Without this medication, he would need to be an inpatient indefinitely. As a 21-year-old first-year medical student, this was a debilitating and heartbreaking realization.

Only two short weeks after the Canadian volunteer group returned home from Haiti, a one-year supply of oral pyridostigmine arrived at the Project Medishare warehouse in Miami, FL. The medication was delivered to Port-au-Prince that Saturday morning by our weekly volunteer staff.

The Intensive Care Unit coordinator at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare, Judith, gave Jimmy the medication and explained to him that with the medicine he would be able to return home and lead a normal life. Jimmy had been ill since April and was near death just a few short weeks ago. When he was asked what the first thing he wanted to do when he left the hospital, Jimmy stated, “return to medical school.”  None of the hospital staff had known he was a medical student until that moment.

Jimmy wanted us to extend his sincere thanks to the Canadian group who, by sending this medication, gave him the gift of continuing to live his life and allowing a (future) fellow doctor graduate in a country much in need of medical personnel.

Jimmy with his mother at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

The hospital staff sends their best wishes to Jimmy and his family. And again, thank you to the Eastern Health Canadian team for sending us pyridostigmine.

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Project Medishare for Haiti would like to thank the pediatric team from Nemours for joining us at Hospital Bernard Mevs. Nemours is a Children’s Health System. Their Mission is “to provide leadership, institutions and services to restore and improve the health of children through care and programs not readily available, with one high standard of quality and distinction regardless of the recipient’s financial status.” The team that came to Hospital Bernard Mevs traveled from the Nemours hospital in Delaware. They brought down a team of six nurses, two doctors and a Respiratory Therapist. Some members of the team were actually at the Project Medishare field hospital last year. They plan on sending two more teams down to Bernard Mevs this year. The team was made up of Beth Moore, RN, Joey Muller, RN, Gail Gallagher, RN, Debra Miller, RN, Sandy Glenn-Vernon, RN, Becky Schorn, RN, Amy Renwick, MD, Edward Cullen, MD, Suzanne Moon, RT.

Suzanne Moon, RT spent a lot of time teaching Ms. Blanchard, one of the Haitian nurses training in pediatric critical care, how to use the ventilator and the different types of ventilation used in pediatrics. The rest of the team was working side by side with the Haitian nurses training them in neonatal and pediatric critical care. The team has also gathered a lot of donated supplies that they have brought to Haiti and will continue to bring more on their next two trips.

Nemours founder, Alfred I. duPont firmly believed that “it is the duty of everyone in the world to do what is within his power to alleviate human suffering.” Mr. duPont’s words and his legacy of compassion have lived on for more than 70 years through the care and services provided to children and families at Nemours. The care and services have now been shared with our staff and in turn our patients in Haiti.

Suzanne Moon, RT from Nemours training Haitian nurse, Ms. Blanchard on a pediatric ventilator.

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Project Medishare for Haiti would like to extend a huge thank you to Network Computing Architects, Inc., a Bellevue, Washington based firm. Network Computing Architects, Inc. recently donated several pieces of high-grade network electronics to Project Medishare. These electronics are the backbone of the CT scanner imaging network located at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The donated goods are valued between $20,000-$25,000. Registered Technologist Dean Lee and Dr. Bill Crenshaw met with Thomas Gobeille, President and CEO of Network Computing Architects, Inc. and Lee Craft. Thomas and Lee kindly asked what else they could do to help Project Medishare and without hesitation, donated the electronics.

Thomas Gobeille is responsible for management and direction of Network Computing Architects, Inc.  His ultimate focus is on the technical sales process and providing the tools and support to drive consultative lead business solutions. Mr. Gobeille was nominated for “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the State of Washington and sits on several CEO and Operating Officer roundtables.

We are extremely grateful to Network Computing Architects, Inc., Thomas Gobeille and Lee Craft for their generous donation.

Network electronics

The old network electronics

Registered Technologist Dean Lee, Dr. Marlon Bitar, Dr. Jerry Bitar, Dr. Barth A. Green & Dr. Bill Crenshaw in front of the new donated network electronics

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My Project Medishare
By Karen Miller

I am adventurous by nature and a traveler at heart, so last summer when I considered what the next stage of my life would look like as I headed into my thirties sent me into panic mode.  I have always wanted to do medical work overseas and it felt like my opportunity to do so was “now or never,” so it had to be now.  Aside from becoming a Nurse Anesthetist, my decision to move to Haiti last September was the best one I ever made.

Family members through CFM brought me to Haiti.  They offered me a place to stay and the emotional support that every person needs when taking on an adventure like this.  When I arrived, I didn’t know what I was getting into.  Where would I work?  How would I get around?  What exactly would I be doing?  Everything was up in the air.  I knocked on the gate of Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare, and little did I know, I was home.  The four buildings behind a large guarded orange gate would challenge me, frustrate me, reward me, and change me.  The people I saw hustling around would become dear friends, coworkers, or maybe just a nuisance, but a part of me nonetheless.

My first job assignment was to work as an anesthetist in the operating rooms.  We had new volunteers coming every week and sometimes we would have anesthesia help, and sometimes we wouldn’t.  Dorothy was my mentor, a locally trained Anesthesiologist who had the patience of a saint.  I will never forget my first patient; he was a little 5 month old with hydrocephalus.  I wasn’t used to doing pediatric cases, and the resources were so limited and unfamiliar that I wasn’t sure I could.  But, the weeks went by and I slowly became less green.

My second week, I was asked by our wonderful medical director to become the director of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the hospital.  This was intimidating for two reasons.  The first was – Director?  The second was the fact that our hospital’s ICU is the only one in the country.  We had all the ventilators, all the medications, and most of the gadgets to offer.  That meant if someone needed to be intubated and mechanically ventilated, they came to us.  If somebody needed support with medications, they came to us.  With only four beds in the ICU, it amazed me that we were not overflowing continuously.  The people of Haiti are very resilient and they can withstand almost anything thrown at them, but, just in case their defenses were down, we were there.

I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I felt to have helped each one of our patients.  As I am writing this, I can see their faces.  Some stories ended badly, some ended triumphantly, but we always tried our best with what we had.

The most rewarding part of my journey was working with Haitian ICU nurses, all of whom I grew to know and love.  When I met them, they were slightly standoffish.  Most likely they were tired of all the new faces, and medical volunteers constantly telling them the “correct” way to practice nursing.  I slowly gained their trust and their respect and together we made a great team.  With their increase in confidence came a new desire for learning; they were constantly asking great questions and studying on their own.  I started holding some classes for all the hospital nurses, and everyone loved it.  They would repeatedly ask me to teach them again.  It made me realize how much I took my education for granted during my schooling years.  Groaning about doing homework, or missing an event to study seems silly to me now.  What an amazing opportunity we have in the United States, to pick up a book in our native language and read it; to be able to research anything that comes to mind using a search engine.  I wish that everyone had the opportunities for education that I did.

Last month, as my time in Haiti was winding down, I began training one of our very talented Haitian nurses to take over my position as Director of the ICU.  She is perfect for the job and I’m so proud of her and all of the nurses for their dedication to nursing, to Hospital Bernard Mevs, and to the people of Haiti.  The ICU will still be receiving volunteers, but the nurses have really made it their own unit.

My future plans include another adventure – Boston this time.  I will begin my career as a pediatric nurse anesthetist at Children’s Hospital Boston this September.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to have learned about myself and the people of Haiti.  It has entirely changed the direction of my life.  I am also grateful to Hartville Mennonite Church and CFM for granting me that opportunity.  It would not have been possible without them!

Karen Miller with a patient at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

From everyone at Project Medishare for Haiti:

THANK YOU KAREN, GOOD LUCK & SEE YOU AGAIN!

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