In January, a small team made a trip to the Neighborhood Medical-Surgical Clinic (NMSC) in Port-au-Prince. MATH Board member and RN, Maggie Levasseur, who works in the Emergency Department at St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center, is a veteran of many mission trips to Haiti. Maggie was accompanied by pre-med student Kathleen O’Hara who was eager to volunteer to be part of MATH’s mission. On this trip Kathleen gained an overview of the clinic’s operation and pharmacy protocols. Here is an excerpt of Kathleen’s experience:
“Over the five days I visited four mobile clinic sites and spent the final day at NMSC. The long rides to each site over very rough and bumpy roads in the Karavan Lasante vehicle was a great way to meet and get to know the mobile clinic staff. A camaraderie developed that allowed me to observe how skilled and capable the team is in providing care to some of the poorest villagers.
“Returning to NMSC on Thursday afternoon, I was given the opportunity to observe clinic director Dr. Wilkens Gilbert perform a surgical procedure on a patient under local anesthesia. On the final day, I shadowed Dr. Sherly Pateau, the pediatrician at NMSC, and observed how she cares for younger patients whose maladies range from malnutrition and sickle cell anemia to everyday common colds.
“As a pre-med student with no clinical experience, this unique experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I could not have asked for more from this unexpectedly heart-warming experience.”
Kathleen was so taken by the work we do in Haiti that she joined our recent medical mission to Dame-Marie, led by Dr. Michael Bourque, and observed the surgical work this team provides. “I can’t wait for my next opportunity to visit and observe the amazing work of MATH medical teams!” she said. Thank you, Kathleen! We welcome anyone who has a passion for our work like Kathleen’