Years after quake, Bergen hospital offers a lifeline to Haiti
When an earthquake devastated Haiti nearly three years ago, Holy Name Medical Center sent a team of nurses and physicians armed with medical supplies to aid in the grueling work of the international relief effort.
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It starts with a passion...a defining activity that shapes the way you look at the world. It taps at your shoulder and whispers in your ear, Who are you? What kind of a person do you want to be? What do you do that really matters?
For some of our staff, that passion was ignited by a single visit to Haiti. Twenty-five years ago, shortly after the Brothers of the Sacred Heart built Hôpital Sacré Coeur to provide desperately needed healthcare services to the Milot region of Haiti, Dr. David Butler, obstetrician/gynecologist and past chairman of the Board of Trustees of Holy Name Medical Center, became impassioned with the cause. He began taking regular trips, caring for women and their babies, treating the sick, serving the insufferably underserved.
Through the subsequent years, Holy Name nurses and allied health staff became engaged. I'll go and see how I can help, they thought. But they didn't just see. They heard, smelled, tasted and felt the palpable need. And then came the realization: I can do more. So they went back again. And again and again. They brought medical supplies, equipment and medicine. Twenty years later, a dedicated core of physicians and nurses continues to return to Haiti not just once but, in some cases, several times a year, often accompanied by employees in skilled non-clinical roles and members of senior management.
Many from Holy Name were already fully committed when the 2010 earthquake brought despair and inspired international support and awareness. Within two weeks of that disaster, Hôpital Sacré Coeur grew from a 73-bed to a 400+ bed hospital. The quality of care was never compromised, but the need for help, on every medical and social level, became amplified. Because of its expertise, Hôpital Sacré Coeur quickly became — and remains today — one of the few principal hospital resources for the people of Haiti.
At Holy Name, one of our guiding tenets is the notion that passion makes everything possible.
We look at Haiti and we envision a better future, an opportunity for altruism and the chance to promote stability and social justice through healing and building. That is our promise: A new tomorrow for Haiti. We vow to use the gifts we have—skills, money, time— to effect change in a place that seems remote to us, a place that few people care about—a place where the most basic human needs go unfulfilled.
But without the act, the wish for good remains hollow...well-meaning, but incomplete. So Holy Name made a pledge, a covenant with our collective conscience. What started with a few individuals has grown into an organized initiative that we invite our community to share. We implore you to take a few minutes to see how you can Help us help Haiti. And perhaps you will hear a whisper...