A Duke medical team will travel to Haiti today to support hospitals swelling with patients in the earthquake’s aftermath.
The team of 14 physicians and nurses will spend 10 to 14 days in two Partners in Health hospitals located outside the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, WRAL reported Thursday. Partners in Health, a global health organization co-founded by University Trustee Dr. Paul Farmer, Trinity ’82, has been operating in Haiti for 20 years.
“We were immediately ready to mobilize a team to provide medical assistance in Haiti,” Dr. Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs and president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System, said in a news release Wednesday. “However, given the chaos on the ground and the need for coordination there, we made a decision to work through a trusted partner in PIH which was already in Haiti and who we know would identify the urgent medical needs and provide the specific logistics support for our relief effort.”
Dr. Ian Greenwald, chief medical officer of Duke Health’s Preparedness and Response Center, led the team mobilization to Haiti, assembling a group of highly specialized physicians.
“They advised us what they needed based on the dynamic needs of their patients, and we assembled a team with exceptional specialized expertise to provide the services and care requested,” Greenwald told Duke Medicine News and Communication.
Although the team will bring some medical supplies, Vascular Surgeon Dr. Richard McCann said the treatments will depend heavily on physical examination and intuition.
“The resources are in very short supply and it is something you have to learn to deal with,” he told WRAL.
According to a Duke news release, Duke Medicine has already shipped medical supplies and medicines to Family Health Ministries, a non-profit medical mission organization in Haiti led by Dr. David Walmer, chief of reproductive endocrinology at Duke University Medical Center and the founder and chair of Family Health Ministries.
Medical administrators could not be reached after repeated attempts last week.