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MedMissions Haiti: Training Clinicians Post Earthquake Environment

May 14, 2018
MedMissions Haiti: Training Clinicians Post Earthquake Environment

A critical assignment, a vocation, or calling for an individual or organization. A decision to commit a focused length of time to the cause that leads people, communities, and society to a greater end. A mission, a purpose instilled in all of us and embedded in every organization.

The Point-of Care-Ultrasound (POCUS) Certification Academy has found its calling in its Mission POCUS. A movement the organization seeks to see touch underserved areas nationally and abroad to support these populations in receiving better healthcare. Through this undertaking, Mission POCUS provides assessment-based learning programs to resource-limited regions.

November 5, 2018, began a week journey that would impact and change the lives of all who were involved. The POCUS Certification Academy set off on an mission to provide care for a people who need it and support learning for those that willing to work for it.

Rubens Pessanha, Global Director of Certificate Assessment and Dr. Victor Rao and Mr. James Day, clinicians on staff, joined Dr. James Dellavalle, chairman of the POCUS Assessment Committee, on Mission POCUS Haiti. They began the trip in Pernier, Haiti.

This trip was a response to a call for help from a POCUS community member. Dr. Gédéon Gelin recently opened an ultrasound school, Polyclinique Universitaire St Jean Baptiste in Haiti and needed support in carrying out its mission. Dr. Gelin, a local physician who dreams of empowering local clinicians to use POCUS, needed help from POCUS experts, “Since he is a member of our POCUS community, we found a way to be there,” Dr. Pessanaha explained.

Mission POCUS Haiti embodied many components that accomplished one vital goal for this country. Access to clinicians who can provide excellent healthcare and have the technology to do so is limited in Haiti. Polyclinique Universitaire St Jean Baptiste was put in place to eliminate this current status quo. The Mission POCUS team trained 15 local clinicians interested in better serving patients through POCUS. This included 24 hours of completed program training, almost 100 patients assessed at no cost to them, and all participating students receiving a certificate of participation.

The “why” of the POCUS Certification Academy is to advance global health and to support and build a global POCUS community. By empowering clinicians in Haiti, the organization wholeheartedly believes it is one step closer to seeing its mission lived out. Having the staff’s feet on the ground casts a wider net for creating an impact that not only could be seen but also felt.

The team is aware that this is only the beginning of more significant work ahead. “The team worked tirelessly, and no patient was left behind. You need to do good for the right reasons. If we can make POCUS, this kind of good, work for Haiti we can make it work anywhere in the world,” Dr. Pessanha says.

Doing good for all the right reasons indeed yields results that not only changes lives but transforms our world. This kind of change does not happen alone. Dr. Pessanha reminds us of an important fact about Haiti, “There is a tremendous need as only a few clinicians can do POCUS in a country of almost 11 million people. There are problems we can’t solve ourselves, and a silo-based approach might not be helpful. We need multi-disciplinary and a coalition to tackle it.”

The POCUS Certification Academy team believes progress was made on this trip. This experience changed every traveling member, every patient, and every student. POCUS Haiti was the first of many more mission trips to come. They invite you to learn more about how you can get involved and participate in making footprints on a global scale all in the name of better healthcare.

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