Friends for Health in Haiti wishes all of our readers a very Happy New Year! We trust you all had a blessed holiday season and that you are now ready to see what challenges this new year has to bring.

In our work in Haiti, we are always interested in expanding our services and programs, both in our outpatient clinic and in the surrounding communities, as long as those services are truly needed by the population we serve. It is an underlying tenet of our work that we seek to use our precious resources to have the greatest impact on the greatest number of people. So, that means that we have to be very discerning and wise about how we use the funds that are entrusted to us by our generous donors.

At our clinic in Gatineau, we provide general medical and pediatric consultations, provide prenatal care, including ultrasounds, do cervical cancer screening by offering Pap smears and breast cancer screening to those women who have breast masses detected on clinical exam. In December 2017 we took another major step forward in our medical services by offering to do minor surgical procedures for patients with things such as lipomas, cysts, hernias and hydroceles. This was possible due to the willingness of Milwaukee surgeon Dr. Joseph Battista and his wife, Pam Schulz, who is a nurse practitioner, to come for a week’s visit with us. Dr. Battista practices at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee and has been a faithful supporter of FHH for many years. We were thrilled to be able to schedule him for a visit along with Pam and internists Dr. Greg VonRoenn and Dr. Dan Tanty. Both Greg and Dan have been here with us many times in the past and they were able to see most of the medical patients so I could be free to keep things running on the surgical side. I had prescreened all the surgical patients and scheduled several cases each day. In the four days they operated, Dr. Battista and Pam did 26 surgical cases. All of the patients did well and were thrilled to be able to get surgery close to their home communities, at a price they could afford.

Some of the patients needed IV sedation, so they were prepared for surgery in our little Emergency Department:

Preparation in ER

Patient in gown with IV in his arm, ready for surgery

Then, they were taken to the Procedure Room, where the surgery was done.

Joe and Pam2

Dr. Battista and wife Pam Schulz made a good operating room team

Pam1

Pam gives a patient IV sedation prior to his hernia surgery

Joe2

Dr. Battista injects local anesthesia prior to operating on a patient

Some of the patients with larger surgeries, such as hernias and hydroceles, needed to rest after their surgery before going home. So, a portable bed in the hallway became our recovery room, where they were able to sleep off the effects of the sedation and get prepared to go back home.

Recovering.jpg

A patient rests on a bed in the hallway after his surgery.

We are very grateful for the assistance of Drs. VonRoenn and Tanty who saw all of the medical patients during the week. This was a huge help to us, especially since they’ve worked with us many times before and knew just how to function in our clinic. It was a great team for a great week.

Staff

Nurse Lourdia Jules, Dr. Battista, pharmacy tech Guy-Johns Chevalier, Pam Schulz, Dr. VonRoenn and Dr. Tanty.

Much thanks to Dr. Battista, Pam Schulz, Dr. Von Roenn, Dr. Tanty and our own staff for a very successful week of doing surgical procedures at our clinic for the first time ever!

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