Duke Team to Leave for Haiti Friday, Feb. 5
I'm honored to share with you the news that a team of faculty and healthcare professionals from Duke University Health System will be leaving this Friday for Haiti to provide much-needed medical support to a Partners In Health (PIH) hospital in the city of Cange. This team's mission -- as determined by PIH leadership on the ground -- will be to provide surgical services and to help care for people with HIV/AIDS, and other chronic infectious diseases, and who have had their care interrupted as a result of the necessary focus on the acute traumatic medical demands. The Duke team will be led by Dr. Ian Greenwald, chief medical officer of Duke University Health System's Preparedness and Response Center, and is being supported here by Jessica Thompson, director of emergency preparedness planning.
Reports from PIH indicate that the situation there is currently transitioning from one characterized by the need for round-the-clock acute surgical services, to a sub-acute phase in which there is a critical need for surgical support for patients whose care had to be delayed in light of the overwhelming surgical demands immediately following the earthquake. This is particularly critical right now as exhausted emergency surgical teams will begin transitioning out of the country shortly, and local Haitian physicians are beginning to address the ramifications this disaster has had on their families and loved ones.
Similarly, it is important that the day-to-day care of people with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS resume, and that our expertise in infectious disease can also help monitor and develop strategies for addressing the potential ramifications of emerging infectious diseases such as cholera.
I'm very proud of this team and their willingness to directly reach out to the people of Haiti by going into a situation that remains incredibly difficult -- both professionally and personally. We will hopefully be able to provide updates from this team over the next week-and-a-half as I'm sure many of you would be interested in their work there. At this point, the members of this team include:
Ian Greenwald, M.D. – Team leader
David MacLeod, M.B. - Anesthesiologist
Richard McCann, M.D. – General surgeon
Mark Shapiro, M.D. – Trauma surgeon
Cameron Wolfe, M.D. – Infectious disease physician
Jocelyn Wittstein, M.D. – Orthopaedic surgeon
Henry Ward – Nurse leader
Lee Freeman - Nurse anesthetist
Jan J. Johnson – Nurse practitioner
Edward Lavoie – Clinical nurse
Shawna Neill - Surgical technologist
Nancy Payne – Clinical nurse specialist
Gaye Currier Slaughter – Clinical nurse
Katie Sligh – Clinical nurse
I'll also mention that we have now established a Duke Haiti Medical Relief Fund that will support the costs of providing direct medical services in Haiti, the purchase and transport of specific medical supplies, and logistical support for Duke volunteers. While our first direct care team leaves this week, it is entirely possible that PIH will have additional needs for medical support over coming weeks and months, and we want to be prepared to help them meet those needs. I have designated $25,000 from DUHS to establish this fund and get it started.
If you are interested in supporting our efforts to help in Haiti -- along with donations you might already be making to other organizations for the relief efforts there -- go to the following website that has been created through our development group, and you can make a gift online by clicking on "Duke Medicine Responds to Haiti Disaster."
Thanks for your continued interest and further updates will be forthcoming.