Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Final Haiti Update and Thoughts on Answering a call
Our flight left Haiti around 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, which was fortunate for the patients, because many caregivers left at noon, with the next team not arriving until around 3 p.m. The CHRISTUS team worked until 2 p.m. in all areas, and then packed and left for the airport around 3:30 p.m. We worked to ensure that there were knowledgeable and hard-working leaders for each of the patient care areas who were adequately trained and transitioned before we left.
Fortunately, there was no rain throughout the duration of our team’s stay, but rain is expected this week. The inpatient areas and the operating room consisted of ply-board flooring, but the remainder of the tents, including the team’s sleeping tent, was packed with straw on the floor.
The team all arrived in Dallas safely, and bedded down in a hotel near DFW International airport at about 1 a.m. Sunday. Team members then made it to their homes safely throughout the day Sunday.
The CHRISTUS team performed 85 surgeries, hundreds of procedures and outpatient visits and delivered nine babies in Port-au-Prince. The Haitian people will be forever grateful and will benefit from the CHRISTUS family long into the future. We were truly blessed to be able to support and send this mission in answer to the call from Haiti, which was very similar to the call that would eventually found CHRISTUS Health.
CHRISTUS traces its roots back to 1866, when Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis issued a call for Religious Sisters to immigrate to Texas to help care for those struggling with illness, disease and poverty of staggering proportion. In a letter to his friend, Mother Angelique, Superior of the Monastery of the Order of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Lyons, France, he wrote, "Our Lord Jesus Christ, suffering in the persons of a multitude of the sick and infirm of every kind, seeks relief at your hands."
Mother Angelique found three young Sisters to travel to Texas from their native France to answer the Bishop’s call, and they founded the two congregations that brought their health care ministries together to form CHRISTUS in 1999.
Almost 150 years later, our hands, supported by the hands of the CHRISTUS family, served our brothers and sisters in Haiti who also face illness, disease and poverty of staggering proportion. We truly fulfilled our mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. And to continue our ability to do this far into the future, we understand the importance of future planning and training leaders who can continue the work begun by Bishop Dubuis and three Sisters so long ago.
That is why I have transitioned from our work in Haiti to work in Houston this Thursday and Friday. I will be talking with CHRISTUS leaders about the future of our world, the health care industry and our health care ministry at our regular leadership retreat. The world is changing quickly, so it is imperative that we share what we have learned from our strategic planning initiatives to accelerate our Journey to Excellence through integration, focus and ownership.
We will share some of these learnings online in various ways. Join us by:
• Visiting my blog on Thursday and Friday for posts about what we’re sharing at our leadership retreat,
• Following us at the CHRISTUS Health Twitter account, or
• Tracking the hashtag #CHFuture on Twitter.