Our History

MATHMATH and IMM:

Two organizations establishing their own roots for giving

Medical Aid to Haiti, Inc. (MATH) is an outgrowth of a Medical Ministry established at St. Peter Claver Church in West Hartford, Connecticut, in 2002.  From 2002-2009, a total of nine medical teams traveled to Haiti to conduct multi-day mobile clinics at medically under-served locations in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

MATH PAPWhile these missions provided desperately needed primary medical care, it was recognized that what was needed most was a sustainable continuum of care which could be delivered by a permanently operating mobile medical clinic.

As a result, MATH was formed as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization to provide weekly primary medical care via a mobile clinic to impoverished villages in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  After an inaugural fundraising effort, which occurred just prior to the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, MATH commenced the funding of a Haitian-staffed mobile medical clinic, which has grown to include basic pharmacy and diagnostic test services.  In addition, MATH sponsors U.S.-based medical teams that travel to Haiti each year to work side-by-side, educate and collaborate with the staff of the mobile medical clinics.  MATH and its Haitian team have provided over 10,000 patient visits a year to men, women and children who otherwise would not have access to consistent healthcare.

Dame Marie projectSaint Francis Hospital and Medical Center International Medical Missions (IMM) in Hartford, Connecticut, was established in November 2006. IMM’s beginnings originated with a small surgical team led by Dr. Abe Daoud in the early 2000s and grew into a full field hospital of services over the next several years.  By 2006, a second missionary team was added, and along with it, came other critically needed specialties.  In February 2012, a mission team went to Dame-Marie, Haiti, a village of 40,000 people, to deliver surgical services at a two-story community hospital that had not provided surgical services for over 3 years.

In October 2012, a small IMM group met with the Health Ministry officials in Port-au-Prince, Jeremie and Dame-Marie, Haiti, and a long-term partnership and commitment was forged to provide surgical, medical, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, dental, optometry and other key specialties skills for the community of Dame-Marie.  The facilities and services would be run, staffed and managed by the Haitian Health System and the IMM mission team would maintain a presence with trips of various specialists to help effectively and safely accomplish their goals.

In 2013, the IMM team restored the operating room of the hospital to working order with most of the equipment brought from Saint Francis Hospital. Since then, IMM surgical teams, headed by Dr. Michael Bourque, a renowned obstetrician and surgeon at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, have grown with medical personnel from other parts of the U.S. joining the teams, and have traveled to Dame-Marie four times a year working with the Haitian doctors, nurses, anesthetists and medical personnel on each trip and receiving training from the IMM staff.

In July 2014, International Medical Missions (IMM) joined with MATH, creating a partnership that enables the Medical Mission teams to grow and develop, and enhance the collaboration of both teams in achieving the mission of creating sustainable healthcare for the Haitian people staffed by Haitian doctors and nurses through training and support.

In October 2014, a permanent clinic was opened in Port-au-Prince, staffed by Haitian medical personnel, and the mobile clinics have been relocated to villages with more urgent needs. Dr. Wilkens Gilbert, a native Haitian, is leading this effort, as well as serving the surgical teams in Dame-Marie. This expansion will provide healthcare to over 15,000 patients per year in the area with care ranging from general health exams to diagnosing and initiating treatment for illnesses and chronic diseases.

What we are now

MATH Board of Directors and the mission teams that travel to Dame-Marie and Port-au-Prince are all volunteers and, at their own expense, are dedicated to providing support for health care to the people of Haiti.  The ultimate goal for both projects is to serve the poor in Haiti and create reliable, consistent and sustainable healthcare for the Haitian people…provided by Haitian doctors, nurses and other medical personnel that we will help train.  

Port au Prince Project

The Port au Prince Project began with the funding of a Haitian-staffed mobile medical clinic, which has grown to include basic pharmacy and diagnostic test services.  In addition, MATH sponsors US-based medical teams that travel to Haiti each year to work side-by-side, educate and collaborate with the staff of the mobile medical clinics.  MATH and its Haitian team have provided over 10,000 patient visits in a year to men, women and children who otherwise would not have access to consistent healthcare.

In October 2014, a permanent clinic was opened in Port-au-Prince, staffed by Haitian medical personnel, and the mobile clinics have been relocated to villages with more urgent needs.  Dr. Wilkens Gilbert, a native Haitian, is leading this effort, as well as serving the surgical teams in Dame-Marie.  This expansion will provide healthcare to over 15,000 patients per year in the area with care ranging from general health exams to diagnosing and initiating treatment for illnesses and chronic diseases.

The Port-au-Prince initiative is focused on (upgrading and enhancing) the permanent and mobile clinics to allow for continued outreach to Haitians who cannot otherwise afford or access the right care, maintenance of the mobile clinic vehicle to assure our team’s safe and efficient travel from location to location and funding for procedures diagnosed as medically necessary.  The permanent and mobile clinics in Port-au-Prince provide a desperately needed continuum of care to Haitians in the medically under-served areas.

Dame Marie Project

Since February 2013 trip, the IMM team has restored the operating room to working order with most of the equipment brought from Saint Francis Hospital.  Since then, IMM surgical teams, headed by Dr. Michael Bourque, a renowned obstetrician and surgeon at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, have grown with medical personnel from other parts of the US joining the teams, and have traveled to Dame-Marie four (4) times a year working with the Haitian doctors, nurses, anesthetists and medical personnel on each trip and receiving training from the IMM staff.

The Dame Marie Project is focused on continuing its surgical services while trying to engage other hospitals and surgeons to consider service in Dame Marie.  Expanding the frequency of surgical trips is needed and will be welcomed by the residents of Dame Marie to meet their surgical needs. 

In order to accommodate more trips and services, the Dame-Marie Project aims to firmly establish a much-needed home base for our surgical mission team members by building a simple mission dorm in Dame-Marie.  The teams are currently housed in the boyhood home of the hospital administrator which limits the number of missioners per visit. 

The medical teams that travel to Dame-Marie provide much needed specialty surgeries, as well as training and collaboration with the Dame–Marie medical staff.