Haiti Earthquake Relief & Health Services Development

March 19, 2010

Kevin Connell

Pernier Clinic – Real Medicine has completed the initial setup and transition of the Pernier clinic over to local management. Currently, the clinic is in the process of completing the identification and hiring of a core staff of local medical staff, under the direction of Yanick Roseau. To date, the clinic has three full-time nurses (including Yanick), a part-time OB/Gyn physician (on Fridays), an accountant, three translators, a security guard, a cleaning lady and a messenger. Over the next few weeks, Yanick plans to identify 1-2 full time physicians and a pharmacist to complete the process. In the meantime, the Pernier clinic will continue to utilize volunteer physicians on short-term assignments through the Chadasha Foundation.

Sacred Heart Hospital – Real Medicine continues to support efforts at Sacred Heart Hospital through funding, volunteer staffing, fundraising and logistical support. The facility has also become a key part of our long-term strategy for Port-au-Prince, as we look to ways to support its bounce back from the effects of the earthquake and its ongoing integration as a private/public partnership hospital. Real Medicine hopes to make it a “hub” for patient referrals as we expand our network of clinics in Port-au-Prince.

Mobile Clinic Initiative in Haiti – Real Medicine is working to pool funding commitments to expand our new Mobile Clinic Initiative to include Haiti. Given the poor health coverage in the outlying areas of the country and the newfound strain of a large IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) population in-country, we see it as a critical tool to help meet the long-term healthcare need. We have already identified key focus regions of Port-au-Prince, including the Bel Air neighborhood through a connection with Edeyo, and are hoping to roll out our first mobile clinic operation to Port-au-Prince in the next three months.

Fundraising – Real Medicine continues to work to raise money through its network of supporters. We recently made a trip to Washington DC to meet with senior government officials and discuss the potential to integrate our long-term plans for Haiti into the main funding streams.


  • Patient data management advisory & support:

    • RMF has assisted in the creation of a patient file-management system for Pernier Clinic, to enable patient tracking & referral for ongoing follow-up treatment.

    • Real Medicine has also identified a Stanford University-based public health program offering patient tracking modules and inclusion within a global health data network. Data management will play into our longer-term strategy as we continue to work on implementation for improved patient referral capacity, oversight and hospital advocacy.

  • Project Medishare: Real Medicine has met with Dr. Barth Greene, one of the founders of Project Medishare in Haiti. An outgrowth of the University of Miami’s schools of Medicine and Nursing, Medishare has been working to develop healthcare in the country since 1994. RMF hopes to align our expansion in Haiti over the coming months with Medishare’s tremendous local expertise over the past two decades (www.projectmedishare.org).

  • Ushahidi Haiti: Real Medicine has met with the leaders of the Ushahidi project for Haiti with the intention of aligning our program’s expansion in Haiti with their extensive data management resources (http://haiti.ushahidi.com/). Ushahidi, which stands for “testimony” in Swahili, is a website initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya in the post-election troubles in the beginning of 2008. The organization combines the popularity of cell-phones in developing countries with state-of-the-art web 2.0 social networking to organize up to the minute crisis-management summaries of relief efforts on the ground. It has been instrumental to Real Medicine’s work to identify healthcare gaps in-country and we hope to expand our work with Ushahidi over the coming months. See the New York Times’ article on their amazing work here. 

Long-Term Strategy:

Primary Health Clinics: RMF has identified 15 site placements for future primary health clinics, and is working through local partners, including Medishare, PIH and others, to identify supplies & materials sourcing providers, local Haitian staff and local referral facility networks.

  • RMF has completed a comprehensive assessment of primary healthcare clinic placements throughout the country, with stress being placed on over-strained regions of high IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) populations.

  • Real Medicine has identified local medical officers to oversee the establishment of clinics throughout Haiti.

  • RMF is working through the local partner, Acra, and other suppliers to facilitate supplies procurement for new clinics.

  • RMF has formed a standard set of supplies and pharmaceuticals needs per clinic, customized for Haitian primary health needs.

Mobile Clinics: As part of Real Medicine Foundation’s longer term strategy, RMF has submitted proposals for a fleet of 6 mobile clinics to be deployed throughout Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas based upon our own successful model implemented in Mozambique and lessons learned on the ground in Haiti.

  • RMF has completed an assessment of public health needs for major departments in Haiti, concluding with a comprehensive plan for Mobile Clinic deployments throughout the country to support resettlement of Internally Displaced Populations.

  • US Contractor has been identified & is awaiting order placements.

  • Shipping contractor has been identified & priced.

  • Real Medicine has identified potential staffing through local medical schools, Medishare and Sacred Heart’s network of local medical professionals.

Rehabilitation Program: Real Medicine has completed plans to setup at least 4 rehabilitation programs to be based initially out of the Port-au-Prince primary health clinics. These programs will initially be run by US-trained therapists with the intention of training & employing Haitians over the longer-term. It will offer two main components:

  • Physical Therapy provision – the establishment of intensive 2-week programs tailored by a US specialist to fit the specific needs of the individual patient.

  • Training and Internship Program – the Rehabilitation programs will each offer two-part classroom training and work-intensive internships to 2 Haitians per every 3 months to support long-term job creation for locally sourced staffing at the clinics.

Referral Hospital Support: Real Medicine has formulated plans to support equipment replacement and upgrades, local staffing and longer-term hospital expansion efforts for Sacred Heart Hospital, with the potential to expand these services to other referral hospitals in the region. Specific components of support:

  • Imaging Equipment Replacement & Upgrades.

  • Laboratory Equipment Upgrade.

  • Operational Support for Local Haitian Staffing.

  • 30-Bed Public Wing Construction and Staffing (Longer-Term)


Country Page: Haiti Initiative Page: Haiti Earthquake Relief Project