Haiti in our Hands first sent a Medical Mission to Chauffard, Haiti in 2009. Due to the severe earthquake in 2010, we were not able to visit Haiti that year. We resumed our Medical Mission trips in 2011, and sent one every year through 2018, for a total of nine missions. Security concerns forced us to cancel the planned 2019 trip, then the pandemic cancelled our 2020 visit. In 2021, the President of Haiti was assassinated, and the country has been unstable ever since (see our blog posts for information about the political situation). We hope to be able to send a team of doctors and nurses to Chauffard again someday, but for now we are glad that the new health clinic is up and running and seeing patients.
Sending a Medical Mission expedition involved the work of many people. It started months ahead of time with Kate McMahon in Syracuse organizing the transportation and accommodations. Then she and her team of dedicated volunteers ordered and sorted medications to bring on the trip. We relied upon the kind donations of the Catholic Medical Mission Board and Blessings International for some of the medications, but also needed to purchase some with your generous financial support. As the date grew closer, Kate registered the group with the US Sate Department, and kept a close eye on their web site for new information about security concerns in the country.
Finally, the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical assistants packed their bags and met at JFK airport in New York City for the short flight to Port au Prince. The team spent one night at the Matthew 25 guesthouse, where they picked up the rental cars and met the translators. After a three hour journey up on a bumpy dirt road into the mountains, the team finally arrived in Chauffard to set up for the coming clinic days. During their three long clinic days, the staff often saw over 1,000 patients!
Hear some of our staff from the 2011 team talk about the experience in their own words. (Click on the photos to listen to the accounts of the 2011 Medical Mission team.)