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Healing Hands For Haiti

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Friday, July 25, 2014

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Haiti Earthquake Response

June 2010 - We are Rebuilding     

An emergency response team (nurses, doctors, rehabilitation specialists and support personnel) led by Board director and founding member of Healing Hands for Haiti International, Lisa Bagley, RN (above), recently returned from a one month tour of duty at our outdoor headquarters clinic in Port au Prince. The team erected the 20 x 50’ army tent for clinic work and treated about 1400 patients in 3-weeks. Their work included wound care management, counselling, physical therapy, referring and transporting several acute patients to the CDTI and Medishare field hospitals, as well as assessment visits to orphanages. 

Staff and medical volunteers will continue to expand facilities and services of the outdoor clinic while demolition of damaged structures and site clean-up proceed.

Electricity, water and internet service have been restored to our volunteer guesthouse, the only building left standing after the January 12 earthquake. It has been declared safe and sound by engineers and now accommodates specialized medical teams rotating into service on a weekly basis for many months to come.

Healing Hands for Haiti is collaborating with Project Medishare to provide physical medicine and rehabilitation services and with Handicap International to set up prosthetic fabrication to assist the estimated 1500 new amputees and other Haitians disabled in the earthquake.

We are proceeding with plans to invest a generous grant from the Newman’s Own Foundation to build semi-permanent, moveable prosthetic fabrication, fitting and clinic facilities on our property, and with our intentions to build Haiti’s first comprehensive Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute.

Your generous donations, offers to volunteer and to give materials for the herculean rebuilding task, mirror the response of the global community - absolutely overwhelming. Unfortunately, at the moment, we are not able to collect and distribute prostheses, rehabilitation equipment and other medical materials. Please go to Physicians For Peace for assistance. On behalf of all Haitians and our courageous staff and volunteers, we sincerely thank you for your continued support.  


March 2010 Our strategic post earthquake priorities

The leadership of HHHI has identified priorities for action to assist newly disabled persons in Haiti and the Haitian health/community workers who need training and support to help manage their injured, and for our longer term rebuilding and training initiatives.

  1. Reconstruct our Prosthetics and Orthotics facility with a focus on both providing definitive prostheses and amputation rehabilitation, and continue the training of Haitian technicians. Limbs cost an average of $300 and can be fabricated in a day. Local workers can be trained to fabricate and manage such a center.

  2. Train Haitian Prosthetics and Orthotics Technicians. Resume the planned expansion of our P&O/Rehab clinics and training centre, through an island-wide initiative - Hispaniola Prosthetics and Orthotics Education (HiPOE), in partnership with Physicians for Peace (Link) and Don Bosco University, El Salvador, with support from International Committee of the Red Cross ( 

  3. Rehabilitation training in Haiti.  We will pursue opportunities for accredited training programs for PT, OT, SLP, Audiology, rehab aide worker, rehab nursing or PM&R residency, to be delivered in Haiti, while providing teaching facilities and internships/mentorships.

  4. Rebuild our headquarters, with focus on a rehabilitation training facility, vocational rehab opportunities/training and an outpatient rehabilitation clinic, supported by an existing guesthouse for 30 medical volunteers who will service our clinic and outreach programs along with our current and future national staff.

  5. Continue ours plans for a rehabilitation Institute, Haiti’s first.


HHHI Emergency and Immediate Actions:  These are the current actions as part of the disaster response, in addition to the above:

  1. Our Canadian partner, Team Canada Healing Hands Inc. (TCHH), is active also in assisting/advising on the building of temporary and permanent rehabilitation facilities in Jacmel, including training opportunities for Haitian health and community workers.

  2. Deploy volunteers in rehabilitation (PT, OT, PMR, rehab and wound nursing, P&O) to Haiti to assist in the human resource needs of the rehabilitation/post-operative tents and hospitals with patients with SCI, TBI, amputations.  Requests from Project Medishare/University of Miami, Cap Haitian, St. Boniface Hospital, HHH P&O tent, and Jacmel are all being filled.  All volunteers are to work with Haitian health workers in a mentoring/support/training capacity where possible. An Emergency Response Coordinator has been hired to facilitate.

  3. HHH has established a temporary outpatient rehabilitation tent on the current campus, open to patients for assessments and rehabilitation care.

  4. HHH and TCHH experienced volunteers have joined Handicap International-France as part of the early response and rehabilitation teams for 2-6 week missions, to aid in the emergency response. Recently the partnership has been expanded to 6 month MOU to develop an enclosed prosthetic fabrication facility in Port au Prince. This facility is now in full operation.


Emerging from the immediate crises following the earthquake of January 12 has been very challenging. In addition to establishing and acting on the strategic priorities outlined above, our organization has had to manage:

  • The emergency and ongoing needs of our 45 Haitian employees many of whom lost family members and almost all lost their homes. We have responded by establishing an Emergency Relief Program for the staff that includes providing shelter, medical care, financial aid, continuing employment and rehabilitation programs.

  • Ensuring the safety and security on our property by hiring engineers to assess liability of damaged buildings, the potential of buildings still standing; doing emergency repairs, re-establishing clean water, communications and power; initiating safe demolition; securing our perimeters; increasing security personnel.

  • Rehabilitation of our volunteer guesthouse to permit immediate cycling of volunteer rehab teams.

  • Exploring and firming up partnerships with fellow NGOs.

  • Re-establishing the foundations of our specialized programs beginning with the Hydrocephalus Program at our Sonia B. Green facility.


February 3, 2010

Healing Hands for Haiti Must Rebuild after Earthquake

It has been more than two weeks since the devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti and damaged our medical, rehabilitation and prosthetic fabrication facilities in Port-au-Prince. We are very relieved to report that all of our 45 local staff have been accounted for, although many lost family members and most lost their homes. Healing Hands for Haiti International has established an emergency relief fund to support them. Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that 80% of our facilities have been destroyed or damaged. Only the guesthouse, which needs structural repairs, remains as a hopeful starting point for a temporary headquarters. Our plans to build Haiti’s first Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute in line with national strategic priorities, have been accelerated.

For full details click here


January 18, 2010

Healing Hands for Haiti deploys first response team with Handicap International

Five volunteers from Healing Hands for Haiti International from Canada and USA will be forming an early response team to join Handicap International and deploy to Haiti.  Handicap International (US)   Handicap International (CAN)  Dr. Colleen O’Connell (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation specialist, Fredericton), Al Ingersoll (Prosthetics, Minneapolis), Frank Shirley (Orthotics, Boston), Carly Gray (Physical Therapist, Ottawa), Ruth Duggan (Occupational Therapist, Halifax) will fly Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan. 19, 20) to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and will then take an air shuttle to Port au Prince. 
For full details click here


January 15, 2010

Our greatest need is for immediate cash for basic needs and assistance for our rehab community, including: fuel, food, shelter and water... and funds to begin the process of getting operational as soon as possible to provide care to those injured and disabled. Our goal is to rebuild the rehabilitation clinic and start the planned construction of Haiti’s first physical medicine and rehabilitation institution.


January 13, 2010 – Port-au-Prince Headquarters

Facilities of Healing Hands for Haiti International severely damaged by quake.

An Emergency Response and Reconnaissance team of specialists will head from North America as soon as our flight is allowed in.

Copyright 2013 by Healing Hands for Haiti
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