Learn about the Haiti Rehab Project


[MUSIC PLAYING] The goal of a
Haiti Rehab Project is to improve the
lives of people with disabilities in Haiti. We work with other not
for profit organizations that run mobile medical clinics
with physicians, nurses, PAs, dentists. And then we have added
in the rehab piece along with that,
which is relatively new in the country of Haiti. When I heard about the
Haiti rehab project, I really, it hit home
because I value the fact that someone can literally
pick up a newspaper article, find value in what they’re
reading, and act on it. So I got involved with
Haiti by reading an article. It was a newspaper article
by an occupational therapist in New York City about how she
was collecting and donating dermal medical equipment
that was being thrown out. And it really made me think
about all the equipment that we throw out. So I first started by
collecting equipment. And at the time, we
had a nursing home unit that was closing. And we were able to donate
40 beds, bedside tables, tray tables, tons
of canes, walkers, crutches, equipment like that. And we filled a shipping
container for equipment and were able to
send that to Haiti. I searched
volunteering in Haiti. And I came up with the website
for Project Metashare, which is affiliated with the
University of Miami. Called them up. Three weeks later, I was
on a plane going to Haiti. So it was quick and exciting. And it really opened up my
eyes to this whole new world. You’ve got a country
that consistently is in the news for hurricane
damage, earthquake damage. And it’s close to
the United States. And it just deserves a
little more attention. And with all the health care
fields and all the school of Health Professions that
we have here at D’Youville, we’ve got a wonderful little
nest egg of opportunity to be able to share our
knowledge with individuals in Haiti. In Haiti, there are not
enough educational programs available, at this
time, to answer the need of all the
people in the country that have disabilities. Right now, they estimate that
at least 10% of all Haitians have some type of disability. When I first went
to Haiti in 2012, I was told there were only
five physical therapists in the entire country. These people are struggling
with lack of equipment, lack of knowledge,
lack of education. And there are so few that are
able to provide to the need. So one way that we are
making an impact in Haiti is doing mobile medical clinics
through the rural areas, going out to the
rural areas, building a team of professionals
to go together and set up a clinic for the day. And that area has really
been an effective way to initially meet the needs
of the people in these areas. The impact could be greater if
we bring Haitians to do them, train them. They go home to
their home country. They train others. And it just grows from there. And that ripple effect could
have so much more impact. What I’ve been
finding, in Haiti, is that the need for
that interdisciplinary, interprofessional
approach is so important. We have been working side
by side with medical teams, dental teams, rehab teams. And our success is much better
when we all work together. There’s a lot that’s
been happening in a short amount of time. And the Haitian people value it. The Haitian people
are embracing it. And I think that
the Haiti project is one of those
grassroots efforts that has potential for
sustainability and longevity. So the call to action that the
Haiti Rehab Project is looking for is for partnerships
with educational facilities that are willing to help
provide education for people from Haiti to come and learn
skills that they may not be able to obtain in country. And they can bring that back,
educate, and expand the impact. My goal would be to see what
we can do as a partnership and build a relationship
that can become sustaining and really make a true impact
through education of the people on the ground in Haiti, how
they can help their country. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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