A history of making a difference
(Open the timeline blocks to the right for year-to-year details)
In 2002, a medical ministry established at the Church of St. Peter Claver (West Hartford, CT) began what would become an organized series of missions to conduct mobile healthcare clinics for underserved communities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
As these first few years unfolded, we recognized the need for a permanent and continuously-operating mobile clinic to bring sustainable primary care to this region. And we knew that this effort needed to be collaboration with Haitian medical professionals who are on the front lines. Thus, in 2009, Medical Aid to Haiti, Inc. (MATH) was formed as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission of “Helping Haitians Heal Haitians”.
In 2010, immediately following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, MATH commenced with funding a Haitian-staffed mobile medical clinic that has since expanded to include pharmacy and basic diagnostic testing services as well as a busy fixed clinic site. We sponsor U.S.-based teams of volunteer medical professionals who work side-by-side with our Haitian medical partners, educating and collaborating with them. Together, we now support approximately 15,000 visits a year to men, women and children who otherwise would not have access to consistent healthcare.
In 2014, MATH welcomed a group of medical professionals from St. Francis Hospital (Hartford, CT), that were operating surgical missions to Dame-Marie, Haiti, an impoverished village on the western tip of the island. Although there is a small hospital in Dame-Marie, there was no surgical capability. In addition to our ongoing missions to Dame-Marie, we are now funding a full-time surgeon, OB/GYN and Anesthesiologist.
Today, our mobile and fixed clinics in Port-au-Prince and surgical hospital in Dame-Marie together provide upwards of 17,000 patients visits annually. Our Haitian medical partners are thriving with this collaborative relationship, and it is gratifying to see the realization of the lofty expectations of MATH’s initial mission.
Where do we go from here?
As MATH’s scope of facilitating sustainable healthcare in these two regions has expanded, the need for additional support is vital. We depend on private donors, foundations and corporate sponsors to cover the salaries of Haitian staff, mobile vehicle maintenance, and medical equipment and supplies. These donor “investments” fuel MATH’s short- and long-range needs as well as our ability to scale up our services in Haiti.
We have an all-volunteer board of directors, and our U.S.-based medical volunteers pay their own way to travel with our medical missions. We are committed to using almost 100% of public donations for our projects.
Corporate sponsorships allow us to partner with companies for matching gift programs, public campaigns, and employee involvement. By expanding corporate gifts and engaging more personally with their employees and customers, we will shine a brighter spotlight on the desperate needs of the beautiful people of Haiti, and find new partners to share in the mission of MATH.
Weekly mobile clinic visits expanded to include village of Lilavois.
Dame-Marie Project – An International Medical Missions surgical team travels to Haiti and identifies Dame-Marie, a fishing village and impoverished community of 40,000 people on the southwestern-most tip of Haiti in need of surgical services. Negotiations with the Antoine Family Foundation and Association and Association d’Entraide de Dame Mariens (AEADMA) restoring surgical services absent since 2009 at Hôpital de la Communaute Dame-Marienne (HCDM), a two-story community hospital, finalized.
Port-au-Prince Project – Weekly mobile clinic visits continue, and US mission teams provide speciality services – optometry, dermatology and midwifery – to villagers.
Dame-Marie Project – Led by Dr. Michael Bourque, a renowned obstetrician and surgeon at St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, CT, the operating room HCDM is restored to working order – with most of the equipment donated by Saint Francis Hospital.
Port-au-Prince Project – Negotiations for partnership with an established neighborhood clinic underway to expand accessibility to more villagers and provide a more sustainable primary health care operation.
Dame-Marie Project – The International Medical Missions surgical team led by Dr. Michael Bourque joins MATH. This addition of Dr. Bourque’s dedicated teams enhances our scope of services, providing key specialty and surgical services to the impoverished, medically-underserved community of Dame-Marie. Specialties include obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, dental, optometry and surgery.
Port-au-Prince Project – A partnership agreement is signed between MATH and Dr. Wilkens Gilbert, a native Haitian and Medical Director of Centre Medico-Chirurgical du Quartier (CMCQ), a neighborhood clinic in the Delmas 60 area of Port-au-Prince, and Karavan Lasante, a mobile clinic operation is established and relocated to villages with more urgent needs – Croix-des-Bouquet, Lilavois, Marlique, and Santo.
This MATH-funded 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.
Dame-Marie Project – Surgical services continue and provided to over 100 people and primary medical care to over 1000 over 4 one-week mission trips.
Port-au-Prince Project – Annual patient visits reach 10,000.
Hurricane Matthew decimates Grand Anse region of Haiti with Dame-Marie experiencing 30-foot sea surges through the center of the village, resulting in loss of lives and elimination of clean water, vegetation and livestock. Port-au-Prince is inundated with survivors looking for food and shelter but has lost suppliers of produce.
MATH holds the first Autumn’s Palette event to raise funds for relief efforts.
Dame-Marie Project – Surgical mission team continue to provide much-needed surgical services and primary health care.
Port-au-Prince Project – Neighborhood and mobile clinic continue to provide healthcare to those most in need.
Dame-Marie Project – A Haitian OB / GYN and anesthesiologist are funded by Bouvier Insurance and through a GoFundMe fundraiser to provide Maternal Health Care (MHC) on-site 24 / 7 at HCDM. A total of 43 emergency Cesarean sections were performed, 241 natural births attended, and 1,910 pre-natal examinations provided during the first year.
Port-au-Prince Project – Annual patient visits increase to 12,000 with addition of Grand Boulage to the mobile clinic operation. Dr. Wilkens initiates construction of Hôpital Bellevue-La-Montagne (HBLM) in Marlique, which will bring surgical services and life-saving options to mothers and babies who die in childbirth due to lack of facilities for an emergency C-section.
Dame-Marie Project – Haitian anesthesiologists and surgeons become an integral part of the mission teams providing general surgical services. A second operating room is constructed and opens for surgery during mission trips. Maternal health care continues to be available 24 / 7 with 43 emergency Cesarean section, 269 natural child births. And 2,014 pre-natal consultations provided.
Port-au-Prince Project – Annual patient visits increase to 15,000. Foundations for Level 4 and 5 constructed with support of the Farrell Family Foundation, Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Gorin, Wilkens Family and local support.
Dame-Marie Project – Surgical teams continue to save lives with much needed surgical care during each and every visit to the Dame-Marie community. Efforts are now underway to develop resources for additional surgical services when the mission teams cannot travel due to local unrest or hurricanes. Maternal health care continues to be available 24 / 7 with 50 emergency Cesarean section, 349 natural child births. And 2,141 pre-natal consultations provided.
Port-au-Prince Project – CMCQ continues to operate full-time, six days per week. Level 4 at HBLM is opened for care as the KL new mobile clinic site in Marlique, but travel to other sites is hampered by local unrest and efforts to keep medical team safe while continuing to provide medical care are developed. Construction of Levels 4 and 5 continues with opening of operating rooms expected in 2020.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic impacts medical and surgical mission trips, HCDM and CMCQ / HBLM remain open, working with Ministére de la Santé Publique et de la Population(MSPP – Haiti Ministry of Public Health and Population) to implement triage treatment and infection controls while serving those most in need.
Dame-Marie Project – Maternal Health Care continues with the rotational services of OB / GYN and anesthesia professionals providing consultations and life-saving medical interventions. Construction of the new residence area on the 3rd floor of HCDM is completed, providing a benefit for maintaining services by the medical staff in this remote area.
Port-au-Prince Project – The mobile clinic sites of Croix-des-Bouquets, Lilavois and Sante are now served by a neighborhood clinic, open 5 days a week, in an effort to minimize unsafe travel to sites while serving the same communities. The Kathy Aries Operating Room #2 opens at HBLM for general surgery in July. And the first emergency Cesarean Section is performed in August, bringing much-needed hope to the mothers living in an area where this life-saving intervention was not previously available.
Although gang violence, particularly in the Port-au-Prince area, and August earthquake impacts the economic and social conditions in Haiti and prevents mission trips by US team members, MATH mission of helping Haitian heal Haitians continues.
Dame-Marie Project – Maternal health care continues with addition of two operating room nurses and cervical cancer screening and treatment. Facility improvements continues with USAID grant funnding upgrade of electrical system, windows and painting.
Port-au-Prince Project – Two major milestones achieved — opening of ophthalmology department and MSPP certification of facility, Hopital Bellevue-La-Montagne, to highest level. Facility improvements with addition of third reservoir and continued construction of level 5.
Gang violence, particularly in the Port-au-Prince area, intensifies and increases the economic and social conditions in Haiti, but MATH-supported funding continue to help Haitian heal Haitians.
Dame-Marie Project – Sadly, project was closed in July due to inability to vet new management and insure transparency of funding use.
Port-au-Prince Project – Patient visits affected by civil unrest but stable with Dr Wilkens and staff continuing to keep doors of Hopital Bellevue-La-Montagne open and provide services 24 / 7. Major milestone achieved with opening of dental department 2 days a week.