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.
Through St. Peter Claver Church in West Hartford, CT, the first medical mission to Port-au-Prince departs. This is the first of nine total mission teams that visit Haiti from 2002-2009. Medical Aid To Haiti is born.
MATH is officially established 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.
A devastating earthquake hits Haiti, decimating an already tattered country and further exacerbating a tenuous healthcare situation. With the loss of life and livable buildings, tent cities spring up, cholera breaks out and clean water becomes even more scarce. MATH steps up our efforts to reach those in need, expanding our visits and enhancing the mobile clinic capabilities with pharmacy and diagnostic testing services.
A mission team travels to Dame-Marie, Haiti, a village of 40,000 people, to deliver surgical services at a two-story community hospital that had not provided services for over 3 years.
Led by Dr. Michael Bourque, a renowned obstetrician and surgeon at St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, the operating room of the hospital in Dame-Marie is restored to working order – with most of the equipment brought from Saint Francis Hospital.
An International Medical Missions surgical mission 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.
Neighborhood Medical-Surgical Clinic, the permanent facility, also opened in Port-au-Prince, staffed by Haitian medical personnel, and Karavan Lasante, the mobile clinic, 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 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.
Annual patient visits per year reaches 10,000 for the Port-au-Prince Karavan Lasante (the mobile clinic).
Following Hurricane Matthew, MATH funded relief effort trips to the regions we serve. Funding for these trips was donated through MATH’s Autumn’s Palette fundraising event in October 2016. Due to the success of our inaugural Autumn’s Palette fundraiser – which includes a wine tasting and live and silent auctions – it has now been established as our largest and most important annual fundraising event.
In addition to these specialized trips, our patient visits for the Karavan Lasante (mobile clinic), and Neighborhood Medical-Surgical Clinic in Port-au-Prince and the surgical hospital in Dame-Marie reaches 15,000.
Our reach in Haiti continues to grow. The MATH-sponsored Karavan Lasante (mobile clinic) and Neighborhood Medical-Surgical Clinic in Port-au-Prince, as well as the surgical services in Dame-Marie, we are now serving approximately 17,000 total patient visits annually.
The Neighborhood Medical-Surgical Clinic operates full-time, six days per week, while the Karavan Lasante now operates five days per week. And our surgical teams continue to save lives with much needed critical care provided during each and every visit to the Dame-Marie community.
An OB-GYN and anesthesiologist is on-site, 24-7, in Dame-Marie providing much-needed support for maternal health care. A total of 20 emergency Cesarean sections were conducted during the 48 weeks in 2017 when our US mission teams are not there.