Penn Medicine Team One Heads to Haiti

Jan 29, 2010, 09:30 ET from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At approximately 2:30 pm on Monday, January 25th "Penn Medicine Team One" -- the first medical team from Penn Medicine to fly to Haiti to provide expert medical care -- departed from the Philadelphia International Airport. The nine-member team was bid farewell by fellow colleagues shortly before boarding a bus for the airport and consisted of orthopaedic and trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists, critical medical and surgical care nurses, OR and peri-operative nurses, and OR technical specialists. The team expects to be in Haiti for approximately two weeks. Over 150 Penn Medicine faculty and staff have volunteered for the relief effort to date. Given the challenging situation in Haiti, the first team members were chosen because, in addition to their medical expertise, they had previous military, Foreign Service, or missionary work experience.

Penn Medicine Team One is going to a 200-bed hospital an hour outside of Port-au-Prince in Cange. In addition, faculty and staff across Penn Medicine worked hard throughout the weekend to identify and obtain critical equipment for this mission. Due to their dedication and diligence, 1,200 lbs of medical supplies were sent with the medical team Monday.

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) was the first institution in the US to treat Haitian citizens when three critical patients were evacuated from Haiti and brought into Penn's Trauma Center on Sunday, January 17th.

The patients were flown to HUP as a result of the extraordinary efforts of Naomi Rosenberg, a second year Penn medical student and member of Partners in Health, a non-profit organization committed to helping Haiti during this time of extreme crisis. Since the day of the earthquake, Naomi spearheaded a coordinated effort to get Haitian earthquake victims to HUP for life saving treatment. With the help of Richard Shannon, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, her efforts were made a reality as four patients were flown to Philadelphia for emergency treatment and surgery. All three patients currently in HUP are in good condition.

In this photo:

Front row, left to right:

Azura Ahmad, RN,

OR Nursing and Peri-Operative Care

Babak Sarani, MD

Trauma and Surgical Critical Care


Amy Kim, RN

Surgical Critical Care

Erica Domingo, RN

Critical Care Nurse

Back row, left to right:

Derek Dombrowski, MD,


Malcolm Waddell

OR Technical Specialist

Samir Mehta, MD

Orthopaedic Trauma

Michael Ashburn, MD

Anesthesiology and Critical Care; Pain Medicine and Palliative Care


Thomas Floyd, MD

Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $3.6 billion enterprise.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools, and is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $367.2 million awarded in the 2008 fiscal year.

Penn Medicine's patient care facilities include:

  • The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- the nation's first teaching hospital, recognized as one of the nation's top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- named one of the top 100 hospitals for cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters for six years.
  • Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751, nationally recognized for excellence in orthopaedics, obstetrics & gynecology, and behavioral health.

Additional patient care facilities and services include Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse, a Philadelphia campus offering inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient care in many specialties; as well as a primary care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care and hospice services; and several multi-specialty outpatient facilities across the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2009, Penn Medicine provided $733.5 million to benefit our community.

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SOURCE University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine