Mission Of Hope In Haiti – One American Doctor Shares His Passion

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So, you want to do a medical mission trip. You want to make a difference in the lives of people from a third world country. But more often then not, there are many other reasons why one might want to do a medical mission: you are looking for a fun filled vacation and a chance to see a new country! All that is great, but when mission trips are done in the right spirit, there are so much more than a vacation and can truly become a life changing experience.

My story today is about the mission work of Dr. Jonathan Philippe, a fellow medical school alumni. His mission work began several years ago, and has now evolved into the establishment of a non-profit organization, Sante Haiti, committed to providing primary care for the citizens of Haiti.

Dr. Philippe who is originally from Haiti, works treating underserved patients with issues ranging from skin infections, gastroenteritis, acid reflux, diabetes and hypertension when he is on mission. Sante Haiti operates makeshift primary care clinics in and around the capital city of Port au Prince, focusing on local community healthcare that is accessible for all. For more severe medical conditions, medications are prescribed or patients are referred to see specialists in the country.

If you ask Dr. Philippe, he’ll say it is a rewarding experience. The conditions are primitive, there are language and culture barriers that may make your work more difficult.

“It’s in my heart to give back to Haiti,” Dr. Philippe said. “In a sense, this is why I became a doctor.”

Providing access to care is chief among Sante Haiti’s objectives in the country, but it also lends a hand financially. Beginning June 1, 2012, Sante Haiti paid for the prescriptions and doctor’s visits for 20 people and hopes to be able to increase their funding of such care.

“There are a lot of organizations that can help, but they charge, and most people in Haiti cannot afford to pay for medical care. When they do have money they need to use it for food and other basics,” Dr. Philippe said.

“I know people who have never been to a doctor. It’s not because they don’t want to; it’s because they can’t afford it. When they do see a physician and medicine is prescribed, they can’t fill the prescription.”

While the traveling doctors are back in the States, three nurses will continue screening patients on a weekly basis, and a local internist in Haiti with whom Sante Haiti worked throughout its stay, will monitor those who receive serious diagnoses.

The medical mission experience is very humbling. It reminds physicians of why they became doctors. The happiness in the people, when you can treat them and make them feel better – there’s no money we can receive that can match that feeling.

To learn more or to get involved, please visit John’s website at www.santehaiti.org; for financial donation, go to http://www.fundly.com/free-healthcare

 

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Dr. Philippe setting out supplies for the day

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Local community. Still waiting to be seen.

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US doctors. Returning home to Haiti to work as volunteers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DanielleKrolMD
Dr. Danielle Krol, a native of the Philadelphia area, spent the majority of her early life growing up in New Jersey. With over 15 years’ experience in Dance and Theatrical Arts, Dr. Krol was pursuing a career as an actress until her mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. For the 3 years that followed, Dr. Krol placed her life on hold and took the responsibility of Caretaker for her terminally ill mother. Her passion for medicine came about during her mother’s illness, and her determination to become a doctor came about after her passing in 2002.