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Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on August 1, 2010

Labels: Haiti , Humanitarian Aid, Volunteers

For many weeks after the January 12th earthquake, the daily sound of chopper blades filled the quiet town of Milot, Haiti, as a 40-bed hospital swelled to serve 600 patients during helicopter airlifts to the Hopital Sacre Couer.

Sacre Couer has served the community of Milot, with a population of 35,000, since 1977, with additional referrals coming from Cap Haitian, the second largest city in Haiti. The hospital--whose specialty services, from complicated deliveries to neurosurgery, are renowned--has earned its place in history for its response to the first major earthquake to hit the country in many generations. And Project HOPE was at the heart of this effort.

Many of the earthquake-affected patients were transferred from the USNS Comfort where rotations of HOPE volunteer doctors and nurses were hard at work. They were admitted to the hospital where they benefited from the best of HOPE’s corporate partnerships.

For example, in the neonatal unit, dehydrated infants received Hospira fluids. In the intensive care unit, the sickest of patients were monitored by Siemens equipment. In the operating room, patients underwent surgery with the latest in cardiac monitoring from Philips. And throughout the hospital complex, patients and staff alike enjoyed clean water made possible by a solar-powered purification system from DynGlobal.

As I have mentioned in recent postings, I believe that in the direst of tragedies, the best outcomes are those made possible by not one but many heroes. In Haiti, these heroes were on the Comfort with its Navy and Project HOPE doctors and nurses, among the U.S. Marines making around the clock airlifts, within the staff at Sacre Couer, and found in the generosity of U.S.-based health care corporations. Each of these heroes joined HOPE in putting a face on America’s humanity.

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