Large Trauma Hospital in Haiti Turns Town into Hospital Village
Hundreds of earthquake survivors head to Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti
Milot, Haiti – January 25, 2010 — Hôpital Sacré Coeur (HSC) in Milot is one of the best full service hospitals and trauma centers in Haiti. Often referred to as the ‘Mayo Clinic of Haiti,” and designated a “referral or reference hospital” by the Haitian Government, this premier trauma center has both the capacity and expertise to treat the most complex medical cases. And now, with the cooperation of the town of Milot, it has turned the entire town into a hospital facility for Haiti earthquake patients and their families.
Since the earthquake hit, U.S. Coast Guard and Navy helicopters have periodically transported the most severely injured patients to this high quality medical center, 25 flight minutes away. Additional patients have found their own way to make the seven hours trek over rough terrain to reach the hospital. As of Thursday night, 200 patients from Port au Prince have found needed medical care and hope in the town of Milot.
“Our volunteers on the ground are doing heroic work, between 25 and 50 cases a day depending on how many patients we receive.” said Dr. Peter Kelly, President of the CRUDEM Foundation, a 501 ( c) 3 non-profit, based in Ludlow, Massachusetts that supports and operates the hospital. “And the best news is we haven’t lost one patient. All the victims have been stabilized.”
Hundreds more patients and their families are headed north to Milot. And the hospital and town are ready for them.
Within hours of the earthquake, the hospital expanded its facilities and augmented its 247 Haitian medical and non-medical staff with large numbers of US orthopedic, general surgery and trauma teams. Currently, the hospital has four ORs, a fully equipped lab, and almost 50 of the world’s top orthopedic, general and trauma surgeons and almost another 50 medical support personnel on-site, including many from Caritas Christi Healthcare System in Boston as well as the regularly scheduled volunteers. Dozens of additional US medical teams are set to arrive by private aircraft over the coming days and weeks. Three hundred new cots are set to arrive over the next few days and week, expanding the hospital’s capacity for both patients and healthcare workers.
The residents of the town of Milot, who have very little themselves, have made housing available for the families of patients. In spite of losing loved ones or not yet knowing their whereabouts, the town residents have been anxious to do what they can to help their wounded brothers and sisters. A volunteer on-site wrote;
“The CRUDEM volunteers, staff at HSC (Hopital Sacre Coeur) and the people of Milot are ALL doing an amazing job in every possible way – from caring for the injured to fixing pot holes in the street to make transport less painful. In spite of the tragedy there is a strong sense of hope in the air.”
The town’s three Mayors agreed to convert the school across the street from the trauma center into a MASH triage area, the local soccer field into a helicopter landing site 200 feet from the hospital and two tour buses, with 50 persons capacity each, have been made available to pick up and transport patients and families from Cap Haitien, 8 miles away. The hospital is self-sufficient in energy needs and has water purification systems in place, thanks to NJ Engineers without Borders.
HSC though well stocked at the moment with medical supplies and food, hospital administrators have put out the call for additional supplies and equipment to meet the ever growing need. Project Hope and AmeriCares, from Stamford, CT, responded immediately. On Saturday morning, January 23, an AmeriCares plane will land at Cap Haitien airport with 29 pallets of critical care medications and supplies. In the days and weeks to come, the hospital hopes more organizations will respond to support this community effort to save lives.
As utterly heartbreaking as it is to watch the images and read the news about Haiti at present, at least in one little corner of the country a big difference is being made and there is a glimmer of hope. Helicopters have been scarce at times to airlift critically injured. Now, that the stream of airlifted patients will increase, Hopital Sacre Coeur and the village of Milot will be stretched to the max and beyond, even to accommodate another 100 patients. No matter, both the hospital and the town will do what is needed, and no patient will be left without care and the families will receive a warm welcome.
Peter J. Kelly, M.D. President
Cell Phone U.S.-working in Haiti: 413 519 5127
Haiti Cell: 781-366-2104
Haiti cell: 50937967933
Tim Traynor, Ground Coordinator
Haiti Cell Phone: 509 36013988
U.S Cell Skype: 413 241 6526
Sat. Phone: 619 531 0686
About Hôpital Sacré Coeur and The CRUDEM Foundation
Hôpital Sacré Coeur (HSC) is the largest private hospital in the north of Haiti. Located in the town of Milot, the 73 bed hospital has provided uninterrupted service for 23 years. This premier Haitian healthcare facility has been a beacon of hope for the people of Haiti as it creates a healthier Haiti, one dignified life at a time.
CRUDEM, an acronym for (Center for the Rural Development of Milot) was founded in 1968 by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of the Montreal Province. In 1993, the CRUDEM Foundation assumed operating control of the hospital and became a 501(c) (3) corporation. In 1999, CRUDEM and Hôpital Sacré Coeur were included as “100 Projects of the Holy Father for the Year of Charity, 1999” by Pope John Paul II. In 2004, the foundation moved their headquarters to Ludlow, Massachusetts.
The media is invited to visit the website www.crudem.org for additional information and to review a video that traces development of this important institution. Or contact spokesperson, Dr. Joni Paterson.
Or Haiti operations coordinator, Tim Traynor.
Haiti cell: 509-36-013-988,
US cell/Skype: 413-241-6526
Hospital prepared to accept 200 patients from Port-au-Prince. First patients arriving and more en route #haiti. Help now http://crudem.org
Volunteer medical personnel are on site treating patients and contractors building temporary shelters #haiti
Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s medical director found safe in Port-au-Prince #haiti
Contact: Joni Paterson
Cell Phone: 362 Sewall Street
Email: [email protected]
Hôpital Sacré Coeur (HSC)
The CRUDEM Foundation
PO Box 804
Ludlow, MA 01050