Haiti longhorns

After the Haitian earthquake in 2010, I traveled to Leogane, Haiti to help with emergency medical services in a field hospital established by Intervol, a Rochester, NY non-profit dedicated to medical aid to Haiti. Since that time, I have organized medical teams each year to participate in mobile clinics that support local Haitian healthcare facilities, Klinik Lasante and Hospital St. Croix. In 2011, Dr. Bailey joined me on his first trip to Haiti.

This year Dr. Bailey and I returned with a team of 17 volunteers – 4 medical doctors (OB/GYN, internal medicine, family practice and cardiology), 4 midlevel providers (cardiology and GI), 2 pharmacists, 4 nurses, 1 field tech, and two students. Over one week we saw 1281 patients at nine different remote clinical sites. We traveled to Troun, Cormier, Duclo, Petite Riviere, Dufort, Dessources, Destra, Bossan and a parish clinic in Leogane. We treated filariasis, dehydration, hypertension, URI, STI, COPD, diabetes, skin infections, GI complaints, eye infections, pneumonia, and wound abscesses. We distributed over 700 pairs of reading glasses and sunglasses. Additionally, we hired a Haitian dentist to join us providing dental care to many for the very first time.

We also referred critically ill patients to Hospital St. Croix and chronically ill patients to Klinik Lasante. We transferred one gentleman from a remote fishing village who was injured in a diving accident. He makes his living collecting conch from the bottom of the ocean. Luckily, he is alive thanks to the medical care we funded at the hospital. The fee for his care at the hospital was $150 for a two-day hospital stay. We also referred over 25 people to a surgical team that comes to Leogane a week after we leave. They will treat breast cancer, hernias, hydrocele, and other unexplained masses.

We provide care and financial support to an orphanage as well. This year we gave each child a UT Longhorn T-shirt. We are from Austin, after all.

Each volunteer self-funds their personal travel expenses and we raise money as a team to purchase medications and supplies. We hand-carried over 900 pounds of medicine and supplies in suitcases. We plan on returning next year.

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