Help­ing Haiti

U.S. health­care do­nates, cares for pa­tients

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Jes­sica Zig­mond

As fed­eral law­mak­ers ar­gued about the fu­ture of the na­tion’s health­care sys­tem last week, U.S. hos­pi­tals and health­care providers were busy send­ing sup­plies and per­son­nel to aid earth­quake vic­tims in Haiti.

Within days of the Jan. 12 earth­quake, U.S. physi­cians, nurses, air med­i­cal trans­port teams and hospi­tal ex­ec­u­tives trav­eled to the is­land na­tion to pro­vide med­i­cal ser­vices and equip­ment, de­spite con­sid­er­able in­fra­struc­ture and lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems (Jan. 18, p. 7). On Jan. 22, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion re­ported that al­though thou­sands of peo­ple hurt in the Jan. 12 earth­quake are re­ceiv­ing in­ten­sive surgery, “great needs ex­ist for ap­pro­pri­ate post-op­er­a­tive and nurs­ing care,” while pre­vent­ing in­fec­tion and en­sur­ing ac­cess to food and wa­ter for the en­tire pop­u­la­tion are still ma­jor con­cerns in the re­gion.

Last week, Nashville-based hospi­tal chain HCA said it com­mit­ted to match­ing em­ployee con­tri­bu­tions and pro­vid­ing in-kind do­na­tions that to­taled $1 mil­lion, which will be sent to re­lief or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Red Cross and Doc­tors Without Bor­ders. Val­ley Bap­tist Health Sys­tem in Har­lin­gen, Texas, has raised funds to send teams of 10 physi­cians, eight nurses and two op­er­at­ing-room tech­ni­cians by Jan. 30 to work in five groups on weekly shifts in Cap-Hai­tien, which is lo­cated on Haiti’s north coast. In Pa­cific North­west, the Ore­gon As­so­ci­a­tion of Hos­pi­tals and Health Sys­tems and the Wash­ing­ton State Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion have es­tab­lished a part­ner­ship with Med­i­cal Teams In­ter­na­tional to raise do­na­tions and pro­vide med­i­cal care. The group—NW Hospi­tal Part­ner­ship—had hoped to raise $100,000 and has al­ready raised about $150,000, ac­cord­ing to Andy Van Pelt, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the Ore­gon As­so­ci­a­tion of Hos­pi­tals and Health Sys­tems.

“A lot of in­fec­tion, a lot of am­pu­ta­tion, a lot of bone-crush­ing in­juries,” is how Van Pelt de­scribed what clin­i­cians are see­ing on the ground in Haiti. “We worked with Legacy Health Sys­tem here in Port­land to pull to­gether an ur­gent meds list that the doc­tors there are re­quest­ing—Amox­i­cillin, mor­phine eye cleaner—med­i­ca­tions they just don’t have.”

And in Ken­tucky, Owens­boro Med­i­cal Health Sys­tem sent more than $91,000 worth of

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