American Red Cross Extends Funding of Critical Medical Care in Haiti

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Additional $3.6 million given to support Project Medishare program in Port-au-Prince

WASHINGTON, Friday, January 06, 2012 — The American Red Cross has committed an additional $3.6 million to underwrite operating expenses at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare Critical Care Trauma and Rehabilitation Program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This increases the total funding of the hospital to $8.6 million since the earthquake struck. The funding will support services until December 2012.

The hospital operates 24/7 for the general public, providing the only critical care and trauma services for all of Haiti. The hospital is responsible for providing lifesaving care to Haiti’s sickest adults, children and premature infants treating more than 300 patients daily in the outpatient clinic and 50 inpatients daily. Red Cross funding will support essential medical services, including operating expenses, payroll and administrative fees.

“Without the American Red Cross, there is no hospital to treat patients or provide lifesaving medical care,” says Dr. Gillian Hotz, an American who is the hospital’s International Medical Co-Director and works with Project Medishare. "In addition to funding the staff, the American Red Cross grant covers supplies like medications and equipment that are necessary to operate this unique facility. Special programs including pediatric and newborn Intensive Care Units were non-existent prior to the earthquake and prior to the invaluable support from the American Red Cross."

Dr. Barth Green, Co-Founder and President of Project Medishare, said that the Red Cross support means that the facility can continue to provide much-needed care to Haitians.

“What is important to recognize, aside from the countless lives that are being saved, is that because of the American Red Cross support, a capacity building program has been created that offers hope, education and survival for future generations of Haitians” Green said.

“Our goal is to turn Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare into a self-sustaining healthcare facility by the end of this grant period, which by itself will be a historic first in Haiti,” he said. “None of this would be possible without the vision, extraordinary commitment and support from the American Red Cross.”

This one-of-a-kind facility in Haiti offers critical care treatment for adults and children in well-equipped intensive care units and operating rooms supported by a modern medical laboratory and a well-supplied pharmacy as well as advanced imaging technology.

“The American Red Cross recognizes the expertise and abilities our partners like Project Medishare bring to the lives of vulnerable Haitians,” said David Meltzer, Senior Vice President of International Services for the American Red Cross. “We are very happy that we are able to continue funding to ensure these vital services are available to the Port-Au-Prince community in 2012.”

Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare employs 150 Haitian staff. They are joined by a dozen full time international staff providing specialized services, including an on-the-job mentoring program.

The program is making a difference in the lives of people such as Haitian nurse Judith Catulle, who benefitted from the mentoring program and this summer became the Nursing Director of the Critical Care Unit.

“It’s a big responsibility, but I know I’m capable,” said Catulle. “I’ll help the other nurses as well as the patients.”

The American Red Cross is supporting a number of other health initiatives in Haiti. It has provided over $28 million dollars in funding to partner organizations focusing on health care in the two years since the earthquake to help sustain existing hospitals and programs, provide funding for construction of new facilities, and treat emergency events like the cholera outbreak.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

American Red Cross
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. The Red Cross also supplies nearly half of the nation's lifesaving blood. This, too, is made possible by generous voluntary donations. To help the victims of disaster, you may make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Or you may send your donation to your local Red Cross or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. To donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or contact your local Red Cross to find out about upcoming blood drives. © Copyright, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.