Episcopal Medical Missions Foundation

Making A Difference
 

An Important Message from the Executive Director regarding Haiti 

 

The Episcopal Medical Missions Foundation in Haiti.

 

Episcopal Medical Missions Foundation (EMMF) wishes to thank all of those who have visited this website since the earthquake struck Haiti and to acknowledge the many offers of assistance in medical skills, time and money.  While communications from Haiti are limited, we invite you to continue to consult this website for periodic reports.   

 

There were no EMMF missionaries in Haiti on 12 January.  Our primary contact is Raymond  Leger, administrator of Hôpital St. Croix in Leogane.  His report confirms those observations being given in the media.  Hôpital St. Croix was “wrecked.”  The Cathedral and school, the high school, St. Vincent’s, the Bishop’s home and the Sister’s convent were destroyed or have collapsed.  The children of St. Vincent’s were safely evacuated and the sisters have found refuge in an apartment.  While there was no report of injury among the children of St. Vincent’s or the Sisters, the Bishop’s wife suffered undisclosed injuries.   There was no report of injuries to the Bishop or his staff, but the status of the Diocesan office is unknown. 

 

Communication is largely by means of wireless phones.  Some Haitians have satellite phone service from the US on area code 954.  Commercial flights to Port-au-Prince have not been resumed.   Local transportation in Haiti is not available.  Gasoline, for those who have autos, is $20 per gallon.

 

The Episcopal Policy group recommends that individuals pray and advocate for Haiti while the international relief efforts are underway.  The US has pledged $100 million in immediate aid and respite for Haitians scheduled for deportation.  The Episcopal Relief and Development program (formerly the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief) is at work in Haiti now.  Other agencies assisting in the relief effort include the American Red Cross, CARE, Doctors Without Borders, and UNICEF.  EMMF missionaries plan to go to Haiti perhaps as soon as two weeks and will provide a needs assessment to the Board of Trustees of EMMF at its next regularly scheduled meeting on March 19-21.  It is anticipated that EMMF will participate in the long-range planning and rebuilding of the Episcopal hospital and clinics in Haiti and will call on its supporters for financial assistance and medical input as soon as the particulars are developed. For those doctors wishing to go immediately to Haiti, the AMA cautions healthcare providers that they need to be properly trained in disaster response; volunteers should not go to the disaster site independently or without an appropriate support system. EMMF is in communication with the administration at the Hôpital Sainte Croix in Leogane and has not as yet received requests for medical missionaries.

Update (January 26, 2010) - EMMF received a report from The Rev. David McNeeley, MD who inspected the Port-au-Prince to Leogane corridor. Doctor McNeeley is an Episcopal priest and a physician with special expertise in infectious diseases who was the former Director of the Hôpital Sainte Croix. He found that nearly all structures in the corridor have been demolished including St. Vincent’s. He has spoken to the Bishop of Haiti who requests all help possible to rebuild the medical facilities operated by the Diocese.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that “so many doctors are answering Haiti’s call for medical aid that the largest hospital in Port-au-Prince has the problem of organizing and finding good use for them all. He learned that medical teams are “now taking their first steps to organize and see exactly how many of them are needed. . . Those on the ground advise doctors who want to help Haiti to wait and volunteer in a few weeks or months.”

Update (January 19, 2010) - David McNeeley reports that Soeur Marie Margaret, Monseigneur Duracin, Pere et Mme. Oge Beauvoir, Soeur Marie Therese and 4 young pre-postulants are safe at the the soccer field of College St. Pierre.  They plan to leave the untenable conditions at the soccer field and move to a private house soon.

We have also been informed that Dr. Kay Wilkins, a pediatric orthopedist, is going to Haiti this week.  Dr. Wilkins has headed the pediatric orthopedic program at St. Vincent’s for many years.

Update (January 18, 2010) - The Hôpital St. Croix in Leogane is partially working.  We have not received any requests for missionaries from Leogane, presently.

In His service,
Thomas E. Williams, M.D.

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