Friday, February 12, 2010

CHRISTUS Team to Serve in Haiti Feb. 20 - 27

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, I commissioned a Task Force on Haitian Relief to coordinate CHRISTUS’ response. The task force has now finalized plans to send a 20-member team and medical supplies to Port-au-Prince to provide clinical care and spiritual assistance from Feb. 20-27 in partnership with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

I will attend as part of the team, and we plan to serve at a hospital that was opened by the University of Miami in Port-au-Prince after the quake left the city without a functioning medical institution. The 240-bed hospital is a four-tent compound at the edge of the Port-au-Prince airport. With four operating rooms, dialysis and X-ray machines, telemedicine capabilities and sleeping accommodations, it has become a beacon of life for the country's critically injured residents.

We expect to care for approximately 150 – 200 patients per day and provide anesthesia, orthopedic and general surgery services for both adults and children as well as spiritual care. We will perform many procedures currently needed in Haiti, including re-operating, wound debridement (cleaning/removing foreign objects form a wound), care of burns and infections, and many others. We will bring supplies for these procedures and medication for our patients as well as Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and water for our team.

Our team and supplies will be transported in a plane secured by Congressman Rodney Alexander and Meyer Seligmann, a member of the congressman’s staff in Washington, D.C. They worked with former Ambassador at large Henry Crumpton, who made arrangements for a charter Boeing 737 aircraft to remain available for the trip to Haiti. Congressman Alexander represents the 5th Congressional District of Louisiana, which includes CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s Home.

We expect to have internet access while in Haiti, and plan to provide reports as regularly as possible on my blog here, so please check back for regular updates.

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