Sunday, April 25, 2010

Facility Improvements

Volunteers donated US $1 bills to each of the young boys who filled a trash bag with the loose trash that was strewn around the campus. As the donations begin to run out before all the trash was collected the participants were glad to pick up 2 bags per dollar. Our campus is now clean.

Rooms in the SW wing were never finished after the initial construction phase 5 years ago.

Plumbing fixtures and painting was completed by Dr. Peter Nelson and Arpad Soo from San Luis Obispo, CA. The rooms are now ready for patients. We thank the generous donors of Amistad International for the plumbing hardware that was purchased locally as well as in the US.

One of the biggest challenges in preparing these rooms was fixing the sewer system which had been plumbed to drain the toilets onto the front lawn. Arpad, Jerry and crew worked day and night digging trenches around the raw sewage and placing the appropriate drain pipes. Another peculiarity is why the toilet inflow was plumbed into the hot water pipes. Thank you to the expertise of our plumbing crew and their hard work most of these problems are now resolved.

Arpad worked most nights until after midnight repairing leaks and faucets around the hospital. This very important sink in which we scrub our hands before surgery now has new foot pedals thanks to a donation from Ferguson Enterprises in Santa Maria, CA. It is important to use high quality materials as the elements are intense and these sinks sustain a high volume of use.

Scrubbing with the new foot pedals.

Liz Dickinson RN Vice President of Nursing at Loma Linda University Medical Center transformed our operating room with her friend Sylvia. We thank LLUMC and Liz for her hard work and the amazing improvements that were made.

Before this past week there were still cupboards stuffed with instruments from years past. Liz, Sylvia and the Haitian nurses sorted through all of them.

Some sterile packaging of unused instruments dated back to 1952.

The "before" shot of the central sterilization area.

The "after" shot. The newly painted cupboards are awaiting placement of well organized instruments.

New shelving was placed in the sterilization area after relocating the decontamination sink to a separate room.

In spite of our very low infection rate, measures are being taken to continue to make safety improvements for our OR. This decontamination sink had its faucets and drains replaced this week and it was placed in the decontamination room where instruments will be scrubbed prior to bringing them into the sterilization area for final wrapping.

Peter Nelson DDS (R) poses with Kyle Fiess of Maranatha. He used this hammer drill to make approximately 60 holes in the 10 inch walls of the SE wing through which the entire plumbing system will be replaced. Prior to the earthquake the low pressure partially functioning water system delivered water to various plumbing fixtures, many of which were in disrepair. With the installation of a high volume inflow system and increased water pressure many leaks became apparent. This was causing a loss of approximately 7000 gallons of water per day into the walls, foundation, and electrical system of the hospital.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Visit from Adventist World Church President

We were privileged to host a visit from Dr. Jan Paulsen president of the Seventh Day Adventist world church on Sabbath April 17th.

Dr. Jan Paulsen flanked by Dr. Archer - Medical Director and Madame Emily Clotaire - Executive Director HAH, along with national leaders of the Adventist Church in Haiti and others.

From its inception, the Adventist church has been intentional to articulate and practice its mission by communicating the message of the gospel throughout the world. The 15 million member world church continues to support one of the largest systems of mission hospitals and educational institutions in the world.

Pathfinders in front of Haitian police vehicle provide secret service security for the president. The Pathfinders are a worldwide club of Adventist young people involved in service and achievement with some similarities to the Boy Scouts.

The "MASH" vehicle provides transport for the Elder Paulsen's motorcade.

Today, the church operates approximately 175 Adventist hospitals of which about 95 are in developing countries. Loma Linda University in southern California, once called the College of Medical Evangelists, is one of 3 medical schools operated by the Adventist church and was established for the purpose of training physicians to serve in medical ministry around the world. Adventists believe that Christian life includes both spiritual and physical health, thus their involvement in promotion of health and wholeness. Seventh-day Adventists are involved in providing betterment for all human beings and especially reaching out to provide practical help to those affected by disaster as well as others that are underserved and underprivileged.

Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda CA. "To Make Man Whole"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

More "Junk For Jesus"

A truckload of broken wheelchairs and rusty beds without mattresses arrived at Hopital Adventiste today and workers commenced unloading "the gift." In the image below you can see the look of gratitude on Jerry’s face.
An attempt was made to tell the chauffeur that he had arrived at the wrong location but he assured the staff that there was no mistake.
This incident and post hopefully serves as a gentle reminder that we all need to be careful before donating unclaimed treasures to a third world mission project. Although the needs are great, please examine the practicality of your intent before money and energy for transport then possible disposal is expended.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Day

The Supreme Master send off: Last evening Franz expressed gratitude on SUPREME MASTER TV.COM for the send off of the members of the Supreme Master of Ching Hai International Association. They have been providing over 3000 vegan meals everyday for the last 3 months at our hospital. This was followed by an educational session about the Supreme Master. See for more information. Aside from the avoidance of killing cockroaches and a daily 2 and a half hour meditation most Seventh Day Adventists could meet the master's criteria for healthy living, ecological awareness, and avoidance of harmful substances without undue difficulty.

New wheelchairs: Haiti is mobilized by Fundacion HHS ( who delivered more than 50 wheelchairs to our patients and injured residents living in tents. Thank you.

Nurses Training Session: The new Haitian ortho team learns how to assemble the Synthes cordless drill and load drill bits (L to R is Lilian, Bonhomme, Julie, and Cyril)

A patient waiting outside ortho clinic

Water filtration system: Two motorcycles power the 12v power supply needed for the drinking water filtration system donated by Global Medic. They produce more that 20 bottles (5 gallons ea) of drinking water for the staff and patients

11pm in the kitchen: With the exit of the Supreme Masters the deficiencies of our kitchen, crew and food budget became more evident. Brooke our director of nursing along with 3 physical therapists and some Haitian volunteers finished off their night scrubbing the kitchen.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Situation Update

CURE volunteer Dr. Jack Frankeny (Harrisburg, PA) comforts an earthquake victim prior to surgery

Two recovering earthquake victims share experiences

Another week of challenge and accomplishment has come to an end. Again a big thank you to all of our supporters in the homeland that make these accomplishments possible and the challenges surmountable. I would like to share a few statistics from the last week to give our supporters a more accurate picture of the great things they are helping to accomplish and help to focus the efforts of incoming volunteers.

4-10 April 2010
  • 71 total patients operated at HAH
  • 34 Ortho/plastics reconstructive cases
  • 26/34 ortho/plastics cases were for earthquake related trauma
  • 8/34 cases were non quake related deformity and tumor cases
  • 8/34 cases were children
  • 165 outpatient ortho patients seen
Volunteer stats
  • We had approximately 15 foreign volunteers last week on site
  • We now have 56 volunteers
  • This time next week we are expected to have 87 volunteers
  • Our current volunteers hail from more than 11 states and 5 countries
  • Current volunteer staff includes 5 medical students, 17 physicians/surgeons, 13 nurses, 4 physical therapists, amongst others

  • Weather - 81 degrees F heavy rains
  • 1 aftershock
  • 5 power failures
  • 8 urgent orthopaedic cases, C-section, and laparotomy

13 y/0 girl with a Taylor Spatial Frame placed for the treatment of a bowed leg

A new birth 9 April 2010

The rooms and halls are filled with patients. More and more patients continue to be referred to our center for reconstructive surgery. Most are suffering the sequelae of severe earthquake related trauma and complications of early surgery performed under less than ideal circumstances.

Reintegration with Haitian staff continues. Those that visit our hospital from other organizations are always impressed by our combined staffing of Haitians and foreigners as many other institutions are completely operated either by one or the other. At times communication barriers and differences in work styles create challenges, however our common goal of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to our patients supersedes our differences. This creates a synergy, educational exchange, and sustainability that benefits our staff and patients.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Liala (Italy) and Sherry (Texas) program the VAC machine, an advanced wound healing device for difficult open injuries. Working with Handicap International and CBM they have been providing excellent physical therapy for our patients. According to their report we are operating the largest orthopaedic reconstructive surgery service of all the major hospitals in Port au Prince. They are currently seeing 58 patients per day who are admitted or reside in tents on our property. Although our surgical numbers have continued to rise, the onsite therapy census has decreased from over 150 patients several weeks ago. This is due to the relocation of many patients who were living in tents in front of the hospital. We also have 35 amputees on site, many of whom have already received prosthesis thanks to our partnership with HI/CBM.

Our Haitian nurses check out medications from our newly relocated pharmacy. Reintegration is a high priority for all of us as we work towards a sustainable future.

Grigoriy (Loma Linda University MS3) transports patient for surgery with Haitian translator

Dan and Marilyn Patchin (Portland, OR) stand amongst supply boxes that they organized over the last 6 weeks. Dan is a retired OB/Gyn and they did an amazing job of organizing, distributing, and training local personnel to help us use our donations more efficiently.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The challenges of rebuilding in Haiti and specifically at the Adventist Hospital are great.

We must remember that Nehemiah also faced a daunting and seemingly impossible task. With God's help he succeeded. The walls of Jerusalem needed to be rebuilt after years of lying in ruins, but the obstacles seemed insurmountable. “Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands,” he cried out. Nehemiah was a man of prayer and he was a man of action. How long did it take to accomplish this great work that some had said was impossible? Just fifty-two days.

Then the people came to the dedication of the wall and they sang together:
“O give thanks unto the Lord,
For He is good:
For His mercy endureth for ever!”

God is indeed good and He is still with us. As He said to those who were laboring to re-build the temple “Be strong, O Zerubbabel,… and be strong O Joshua…; and be strong, all ye people of the land,… and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:4

With prayer and action there are still great things to be accomplished.

The "Rebuilders" - Dan Patchin MD - Supplies Chief (L), Bob the Builder (C), and Jerry Northrop - Facilities chief(R). These are some of the silent heroes of HAH, and even if it is taking them more than 52 days to rebuild the infrastructure of Haiti there is no doubt that God is their leader and that great things are being accomplished.