Mission accomplished!

The DISH team (20 in total) returned from Haiti on Monday May 28th after wrapping up the first medical service which included 2 days of hands-on hospital work, and a medical seminar offered to the medical community in Port-au-Prince in partnership with VDH. The success of both initiatives represented an important milestone for DISH, setting new goals for future missions and new partnerships.

Some of the mission highlights included:
  • 300 patient consultations.
  • Hundreds of prescriptions filled for patients at no cost to them.
  • Average patient wait time lowered from 4-8 hours to 30-40 minutes after triage.
  • Most cases encountered included hypertension, diabetes, respiratory tract infection, malnutrition, gastritis, infected wounds. Patients were diagnosed, treated and provided with a plan of care with follow up.
  • Adequate documentation in patients’ files written in French for proper follow up and continuation of care by hospital doctors and other providers.
  • Remaining stocks of medications and supplies were donated to the hospital pharmacy. Returning patients (and new ones) will be given the medication at no cost.
Medical seminar highlights:
  •  6 presentations covering latest updates on topics such as hypertension, diabetes, heart attack, asthma, HIV and wound care.
  • 110 attendants from the medical community in Haiti, mostly physicians.
Please support future missions like these by making your own contribution to DISH, whether in time, supplies, equipment, or financial aid, your help is urgently needed. You can contact us via email (contact-us section above) and encourage you to use our DONATE NOW button on our site to help fund these projects.Clicking on the image below will take you to our trip’s photo album published in our Facebook page. Video clips will be published soon so make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on Facebook for our updates.

DISH medical service team


The medical mission

Its purpose was to provide free primary care in a public health center setting in Haiti and to do a need assessment 2 years after the earthquake.

 Host Hospital

The medical mission was conducted at Hopital de la paix, a public hospital in a popular neighborhood near the Haitian capital in Delmas.

20 mission volunteered participants

Each one of them paid his or her own way including air fares, hotels, food and beverages during the mission.  We did not have any grant money and we did not use any money from DISH prior fundraising events for this mission. 

Multiple medical subspecialists were part of the mission

Patients were triaged and referred to proper medical subspecialties.

A diverse medical group with 7 physicians from subspecialties such as internal medicine, cardiology, plastic surgery, endocrinology, pulmonology. One pharmacist.  7 nurses.

7 Physicians

  • Salah Amer, MD (Cardiology, University of Miami, Mercy and North Shore Hospitals)
  • Jose J Centurion, MD (Cardiology, Mercy, Doctors Hospital, North Shore Hospital)
  • Marcos Chertman, MD (Endocrinology, University of Miami Hospital)
  • Kansky DeLisma, MD (Internal Medicine & Public Health, Univ. of Miami Hospital, Mount Sinai & Mercy Hospital)
  • Fred Grynberg, MD (Pulmonology, University of Miami , Mercy, North Shore Hospitals)
  • Ronald Reyna, MD ( Plastic Surgery, Mercy, Sister Emmanuel, University of Miami Hospitals)
  • Patrick Romeus, MD (Internal Medicine, Tenet Health System)

One pharmacist: Clarens Bivens, PharmD ( University of Miami Hospital)

One Hospital CEO: Shed Boren, PhD ( CEO for Sister Emmanuel Hospital)

One PhD/ Chief of Nursing: Beverlin Allen, RN, PhD (Chief Nursing Officer, Sister Emmanuel Hospital)

Seven nurses

  • Amy Anderson, RN
  • Rosemarie Barnett, RN
  • Mitchell Chancy, RN, DON
  • Marie DeLisma, RN
  • Claire Larsen, RN
  • Marjorie Mompoint, RN
  • Jidlyne Remy, RN

Two mission Logistic Coordinators and a documentarian.

  • Gertrude Beauboeuf. Consul for Haiti in Chicago
  • Agnes Bonduel. Anthropologist. DISH  mission coordinator and videographer.
  • Jean Pierre Dodel, DISH Technology & Creative Director, Photographer/videographer.

A needed action

The need for medical services and supplies continues to be overwhelming since the earthquake of January 2010. The hospital lacks a very wide range of supplies, medicines, equipment, and personnel. Basic hygiene materials such as hand sanitizers, paper towels, trash cans are lacking in the crowded waiting area.

Patients were seen and given medications & supplies free of charge for 2 days

Dr. Kansky DeLisma examining a patient

  • The waiting room area was packed when we arrived Friday morning May 25, 2012 at 8am.
  • 300 patients were seen in consultation and served with medicines/supplies over 2 days by the DISH mission team.

An organized setting: Patients were triaged and assigned to different providers, sub-specialists in an organized fashion.

A reduction of wait time: Wait time reduced from 6-8 h to less than one hour because DISH mission had many providers.

Continuity of care consideration: Most patients seen are patients of the hospital.  Clinical encounters’ reports and recommendations written in French in the patients’ files.  The patients we saw will be followed by the hospital staff.

Lessons learned/accomplishments. We were able to:

  • Meet the patients
  • Do a need assessment of the hospital
  • Have a better knowledge of needed medications and supplies
  • Determine most common clinical complaints

Highlight case #1.  Trauma case

Dr. Reyna treating multiple lacerations from a woman hit by a bus

A young lady was hit by a bus. She sustained head/neck trauma and multiple lacerations involving upper extremities and pelvis. DISH mission plastic surgeon Dr. Reyna assisted with Nurse Claire Larsen was able to provide state of the art care. After clearing the spine, Dr Reyna performed multiple wound closure using sterile surgical measures on complex lacerations. Dr DeLisma provided medical consultation including aggressive IVF hydration and prophylactic antibiotics. Patient was observed overnight and next day was discharged safe. Without this mission, this patient would need to be transferred and would spend hours or days before receiving proper treatment.

Highlight case # 2. Newly diagnosed diabetes

We diagnosed many patients with diabetes. They were provided with diabetic education and supply of medications for up to one month. They were instructed to follow up at the hospital. A nurse told Dr DeLisma:  “the glucometers that DISH team brought to the hospital are gold mine because we had none today to check patients’ blood sugar during a clinic visit. Patients had to be sent to the lab and had to pay for the lab. Sometime, they do not come back for result or do not go for lab which often prohibits timely diagnosis and intervention”.

Medications and Supplies Donations

DISH mission team with suitcases filled with donated medication

We traveled to Haiti with 30 suitcases filled of medicines and supplies.

Mission Pharmacist, Dr Clarens Bivens, Pharm D was in charge of a pharmacy set up with medicines & supplies brought by our mission. He was assisted by many nurses.

Dr. Clarence Bivens and DISH team nurses managing medication.

At the end of the second day of the medical mission, we handed the remaining stock of medicines and supplies to the hospital administration. The donations account for hundreds of different medicines and supplies handed to the hospital. They were purchased from whole sale pharmacy through donations from some mission participants. The unexpired medications were also collected from doctors’ office in Miami prior to departure.

The Seminar

 The Continuing Medical Education Seminar is a partnership between Direct Initiatives to Support Haiti (DISH) and Volontariat pour le development d’Haiti (VDH), a youth empowerment nonprofit organization in Haiti.

 The purpose of the seminar was to share knowledge and update in management focusing on some key medical topics most encountered in medical practice in Haiti.  Through the seminar, DISH also aims at meeting Haitian healthcare professionals and identifying work partners.

Dr. Marcos Chertman giving his presentation during the DISH/VDH seminar

The medical education seminar was conducted on May 26, 2012 at Karibe Hotel from 8am to 1pm. The seminar targeted Haitian doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

  • Six (6) presentations covered Hypertension, Diabetes, Asthma, Heart Attack, HIV/AIdS and Surgical Wound Care.
  • We had up to 110 participants  including 70 Haitian doctors
  • 90 certificates of completion of seminar were distributed to participants.
  • The evaluation forms and feedback from seminar attendants revealed great satisfaction
  •  They would like to see the seminar being reproduced.
  • DISH envisions making the seminar in partnership with VDH an annual event. We are also planning to develop the seminar into a symposium over 2 to 3 days to cover other educational topics important for Haiti to include education, agriculture, infrastructure development, job creation. etc.

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