Many thanks for your ideas and offers to help with the Haitian relief effort. An email was set up for the purpose of receiving and reviewing your ideas … Haiti.Relief@McLeodHealth.org.
Prior to the devastating earthquake, several physicians in our community – Drs. Mark Reynolds and John Mattheis and Chamaine Brooks – were already scheduled for a February medical missions trip to Haiti. We also know that Dr. Steve Adams is completing two weeks of medical service there. Please pray for their safety. Please give thanks for their willingness and availability to help the people of Haiti at this time.
Unquestionably, there continues to be a critical need in Haiti for a broad range of supplies and medicines. McLeod Health and other member hospitals in the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) are teaming up with the South Carolina-based Haiti Children Project (HCP) to get supplies directly to those in need, bypassing the congestion at the Port-au-Prince airport. You may view the website of this organization (http://www.haitichildrenproject.org) to learn more about their work … pre- and post-earthquake.
The HCP flights are landing on dirt strips in rural areas of the country to place critically needed supplies directly into the hands of caregivers and emergency responders. Earlier this week, two planes filled with approximately two tons of desperately-needed medical supplies and medications — donated by SCHA member hospitals, landed in Jérémie, Haiti. Additional flights are planned to take life-saving supplies directly to earthquake victims and those trying to care for them.
The port city of Jérémie, Haiti, is the capital city of the department of Grand’Anse, in Haiti, with a population of about 31,000 (2003 census). It is almost isolated from the rest of the country. Although Jérémie has been cut-off from food and supplies, it continues to receive a steady influx of severely injured Haitians from surrounding areas.
McLeod Health’s response to the Haitian disaster has been planned and deliberate — carefully coordinated with the help of the South Carolina Hospital Association. We realized that other organizations have responded quickly by moving masses of basic supplies to the disaster areas, which, according to news reports, in many instances has been slow to reach care givers in the field. We also recognized that as response teams were better able to more carefully assess specific needs, there would be significant demand for specific, crucial medical provisions, which were in short supply. Reports indicate that there would be an on-going demand for these materials, particularly in remote areas.
By awaiting the return of the first HCP pilots from Haiti this week, we have identified very specific supplies, which are vitally important but are in short supply in the region. By planning a response to meet the needs of care-givers and emergency responders on the ground, we have been able to specifically match their need for vital medical supplies. In response, McLeod has, at this time, donated $10,000 dollars of critically needed medical supplies: topical antiseptics, orthopedic supplies, wound care supplies, IV fluids, suture material and external staplers for secondary wound closure. These items have been delivered from our warehouse supplies to Columbia, South Carolina and are being flown directly to emergency responders and care givers in Jérémie. Thanks to the team in Procurement Services for preparing and transporting the supplies, as well as others who have been involved in this effort so far.
Thank you for exhibiting the hearts of servants, exemplified by your prayers, acts of support and kindness, and your willingness to serve others. We will continue to work on the ideas that you have for this relief effort.