Our day was primarily focused on visiting two Hospitals – one that was recently constructed following the January 2010 earthquake – the other – constructed in 1854 and in need of significant repairs. The first Hospital – The University Hospital Mirebalais is a project that Partners in Health (PIH) championed and is the culmination of a dream dating back a quarter of a century. The 205,000 square foot – 300 bed facility – is filling a huge void, locally and nationally, for people who previously had limited access to quality health care. The Hospital provides primary care services to about 185,000 people in Mirebalais and two nearby communities. They see on average more than 700 patients every day. While the new brick and mortar has brought much comfort to the community, the more than 300 nurses who staff the hospital are still faced with an overwhelming workload yet they understand the value of technology and how it can help them to provide health care to people everywhere – especially to people living on the margin of extreme poverty. However and for whatever reason, this state of the art hospital has left out mobile technology as an important tool to help Nurses manage their case load. I listen with keen attentiveness to the Chief Nursing Officer who described to me how a young child, endured the excruciating pain of a deliberate breakage of his leg by a medical personnel, the procedure of which was done without any pain medication. Why no pain medication? The answer is astonishing – the medical staff are not trained on which protocols are to be employed for Pain Management. And then my mind wonders off to thinking how fortunate we are to live in a country where regardless of your status, we enjoy one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world. Just because you are poor does not mean you do not deserve to be cared for with dignity and respect. My Answer:The immediate approval to deploy of 11 Health eVillages devices in every department in the hospital with a focus on Pain Management! The Chief Nursing Officer is overcome with emotions for she sees in this small gesture the opportunity to do for the poor what fate has not done for them.Today, PI and Health eVillages made a difference!
Following our 3 hour visit at the University Hospital, we travel 90 minutes arriving midafternoon at the St. Therese Hospital in Hinche. In 2013, Health eVillages, in collaboration with the Regis College, launched a 3 year program creating what is known today as the HERO program. Our funding employs a Nurse Coordinator who provides support to the St. Therese Clinical Nurse Educator empowering her to identify nursing challenges faced by a resource poor institution, as well as to find possible solutions with a significant emphasis on education for the staff at St. Therese. The use of technology as part of the education, coupled with on-site training as well as mentoring, facilitates growth and sharing. As I tour the Hospital, I am simply overwhelmed with disbelief as I observe first-hand the deteriorating infrastructure, significant lack of beds forcing mothers to sleep on the tiled floor next to their sick children, integration of young children with adults in rooms that lack air conditioners on a day where the temperature is tallying 90 degrees, and pregnant mothers about to give birth crowded in rooms where all privacy has been forfeited. For a Hospital with limited resources that serves 4,000 – 5,000 patients per month, developing the skills of the health care staff is imperative. This particular hospital treats patients with HIV/AIDS, with hypertension, with diabetes and cardiac disease, and children who suffer from malnutrition. This is not a University Hospital setting and it is crystal clear that the Health e Villages/Regis HERO program is working! I witnessed the success of Collaborative IQ during one of the Nursing Teaching sessions where 17 of the 27 HERO Nurses were in attendance. During the Pain Management Curriculum, the instructor asked the students if the OMNIO app would be helpful to implementing the guidelines they had just learned about in the class. Most of them reply in French – “OUI” – One replies – “Thank you in advance for helping us” – And so…..Health eVillages has approved each of the 27 HERO Nurses to receive a device preloaded with medical content! As we leave, we immediately present 3 tablets to the visiting Regis Nurse who openly weeps in joy that today we will have empowered 3 Nurses to provide quality care for Haitians.
In closing, it has been an exhausting 36 hours and my many thanks to Katie Eaton and Dom Portalla for accompany me on this journey. All of you should be very proud to know that PI and Health eVillages continues to make a significant difference whether it be in a University Teaching Hospital or in a small Community Hospital – a century old and for most people the only place where they can access care. As we complete our latest Health eVillages mission, the Chief Nursing Officer reminds us that her goal is to “not to delay death, but rather to improve life”. This is indeed a noble cause and one that we should together help advance.
Let’s continue to build a strong and successful company for it is the only way we can continue to expand our voice in areas across the world where many people still have hope and belief in our good intentions.
Donato J. Tramuto
CEO & Chairman
Physicians Interactive Holdings