From Vision to Reality: Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais

From Vision to Reality: Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais

Monday, May 6, 2013 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

May 6, 2013 /3BL Media/ - “Men anpil, chay pa lou,” a Haitian proverb meaning “many hands make the load light,” embodies the spirit that helped build Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM), just 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The vision for HUM grew after the country’s 2010 earthquake, when the Haitian Ministry of Health asked Partners In Heath (PIH) and its sister organization, Zanmi Lasante, to revamp existing plans for a small community-based hospital. PIH looked to hundreds of people and organizations in Haiti, the United States, and around the world to make this hospital a reality.

“This hospital underlines our commitment to the country and people of Haiti, which is stronger than ever after the earthquake,” said Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of PIH.

Now the largest reconstruction project completed in Haiti’s public health sector, HUM is the result of countless supporters sharing one goal: to build a top-tier teaching hospital in Haiti’s Central Plateau.

On Sunday, April 28, individual, corporate, and foundation donors will gather in Mirebalais, Haiti, to celebrate the hospital and see the impact of their contributions on those already receiving outpatient care at HUM.

“Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais will not only provide world-class health care to the people of Haiti, but will contribute to the country’s sustainable future with significant employment opportunities,” said Ben Stiller, co-founder with David Zwirner of Artists for Haiti, which contributed $2.7 million to cover HUM’s start-up costs.

“Paul Farmer has been a huge source of inspiration behind Artists for Haiti, and we are excited to support Partners In Health in its continued efforts to bring quality health care to the country,” Zwirner said.

HUM is a public Ministry of Health facility, built in partnership with Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante.

“This state-of-the-art ‘green’ facility represents a significant investment in the quality of health services for the Haitian people,” said David Meltzer, chief international officer and general counsel for the American Red Cross, which contributed $5.5 million to help fund construction. "We recognize that there is an immediate need to repair the pipeline of medical professionals in Haiti, and this hospital addresses the crucial demand for state-of-the-art in-country training."

In addition to making high-quality medical care accessible to Haitians in the Central Plateau, HUM will continue strengthening Haiti’s public health infrastructure through medical education for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

“This hospital is proof that through public-private partnerships, we can provide sustainable, quality healthcare to a region that needs it most,” said Bob Corcoran, president and chairman of the GE Foundation. GE Foundation provided training and medical equipment for maternity cases, trauma, and acute illnesses, as well as a cutting-edge teaching environment to train practitioners.

Several classrooms on the hospital’s second floor are equipped with high-speed Internet and video-conferencing capabilities that will enable Haitian nursing and medical students to participate in lectures at U.S. medical schools.

“The best medical advice from healthcare experts around the world will be available at the click of a mouse,” said Gabi Zedlmayer, vice president Sustainability and Social Innovation at HP. Funding from HP allowed PIH to outfit the hospital with a high-capacity server rack that provides connectivity across the campus via thin clients, wireless access points, and VoIP phones. Twelve HP workstations are situated throughout the hospital, equipped with 27-inch monitors to enable teaching opportunities in the operating rooms and optimum radiology image viewing.

HUM’s high-tech infrastructure and communications systems will not only improve medical care and education, but will ensure that future generations of Haitian doctors and nurses are highly trained.

Read more about this hospital on the Partners in Health website.