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For the third consecutive year, a team of medical professionals from Hollywood-based Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) has positively impacted the lives of people living in extreme poverty in rural Haiti.
A team of primary care specialists and support staff from South Broward Community Health Services and emergency medicine specialists from Memorial Hospital West recently returned from a five-day mission in the village of Pignon, a remote community near the center of the country. They provided training to nearly 100 Haitian doctors and nurses on preventative healthcare, basic life support, and advanced cardiac life support. They also provided much needed healthcare to the resident population, including testing for diabetes, high blood pressure and cervical cancer, the most common type of cancer among Haitian women.
Some of those cared for had never been physically examined by a doctor before, and the humanitarian effort drew patients from many miles away, some walking or riding donkeys to be seen. The Memorial team set up the region’s first intensive care and neonatal intensive care units, established a computerized program to record patient information, and worked to change the
village’s care paradigm from episodic to preventative. Perhaps most importantly, they provided medical training and donated equipment so local doctors and nurses could continue to aid those in need.
“We saw more than 600 patients over the five days we were in Haiti,” said Dr. Jennifer Goldman, who led the relief effort. “It was the practice of medicine in its truest form and nothing I’ve done in my career has been more rewarding than caring for and educating those who would otherwise be forgotten.”
Memorial donated more than 12 palettes of medical equipment and supplies to the effort. Other partners included Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and the American Heart Association and DHL, which shipped everything to the remote location.