American Red Cross Funds Critical Medical Care in Haiti

Oct 06, 2010, 10:08 ET from American Red Cross

Country's Only Critical Care and Trauma Center Now Open until June 2011

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross has committed $2.76 million to underwrite operating expenses at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare Critical Care Trauma and Rehabilitation Program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, allowing the facility to remain open until the middle of next year.

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The hospital operates 24/7 for the general public, providing the only critical care and trauma services for all of Haiti. Funding from this agreement will support essential medical services, including operating expenses, payroll and administrative fees.

"After the catastrophic earthquake in January, we treated tens of thousands of Haitians; and continue today to treat as many critically ill and injured patients as any major metropolitan medical center in the United States," said Dr. Barth Green, the Co-Founder and President of Project Medishare. "Thanks to the American Red Cross and their generous support, we are now able to continue to provide this crucial medical safety net for the people of Haiti."

The Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare employs 160 Haitian staff members of which approximately 147 are healthcare professionals. They are joined by more than a dozen full time international staff providing specialized services, including an on-the-job mentoring program.

This one-of-a-kind facility in Haiti offers critical care treatment for adults and children in well-equipped intensive care units and operating rooms supported by a modern medical laboratory and a well-supplied pharmacy as well as advanced imaging technology.

"To meet the greatest needs after the Haiti devastating earthquake, we have done our best to support meaningful projects and programs, some of which are outside the scope of our traditional response and recovery work," said David Meltzer, Senior Vice President of International Services for the American Red Cross. "Through our partnership with Project Medishare, we expect to provide treatment to an estimated 27,600 critically ill and injured patients over the course of the next year."

"Had it not been for extremely decisive action by the American Red Cross, this significant trauma hospital in Port au Prince would have closed," said actor Sean Penn, the founder of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. "I applaud them."

While Project Medishare continues its life-saving work, the Haitian Ministry of Health and the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission are working to develop a sustainable national critical care, trauma and rehabilitation plan and facilities to serve the long-term needs of the people of Haiti.

The American Red Cross is supporting a number of other health initiatives in Haiti. It has already provided $3.8 million to Partners in Health in order to support expenses at Haiti's University hospital in Port-au-Prince. The American Red Cross is also helping to fund the Red Cross field hospital in Carrefour with a grant of $1.8 million, as well as supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross with $1.4 million to help build a prosthetics and rehab center for Haitians injured in the quake.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

SOURCE American Red Cross



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