Catholic health care organizations in the United States contribute to rebuilding health care in Haiti

News and Press Release
Originally published

Catholic Health Association members join with Catholic Relief Services to Rebuild Hospital St. Francois de Sales in Port-au-Prince

WASHINGTON, DC (April 15, 2011) – Catholic health care organizations in the U.S. are joining with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to rebuild and strengthen Catholic hospitals in Haiti in order to provide the Haitian people with modern, quality care.

“This collaboration of CRS, Catholic hospitals in Haiti and the Catholic health care organizations here at home is a striking example of church ministries working together to care for our brothers and sisters in need,” said Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). “It’s a faithful expression of our church, living out the healing mission of Jesus.”

Working through CHA, Catholic health systems are making generous pledges to CRS to support the rebuilding of St. Francois de Sales Hospital for the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince. The hospital, established in 1881, was long the primary health care provider for the poor of the Haitian capital. The hospital compound, located in the heart of the downtown area, was almost totally demolished in the quake.

“There is a great sense of joy to see something rising that will do so much good for people,” said Bishop Gerald Kicanas, chair of the CRS board and bishop of Tucson, Ariz.

“Our fund-raising goal is $9.55 million, and already, our Catholic health systems have responded so generously that we are within reach of that goal,” said Robert V. Stanek, retired president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health East of Newtown Square, Pa. Stanek is leading the “Campaign for Rebirth and Renewal” fund drive.

“CRS has been a partner with St. Francois de Sales Hospital for many years in HIV and AIDS programs,” said Ken Hackett, president of CRS. “Now our partnership is creating a modern facility for the hospital, one that will be a much needed resource for the people of Haiti.”

The rubble of the demolished hospital has been removed and the site prepared for the construction of a new 200-bed, 126,702-square-foot facility that will serve as a teaching hospital, a center of excellence for infectious disease care, and the primary referral hospital for the faith-based health care network in Haiti. Construction of the new facility is expected to start later this year and take two years to complete.

MSAADA Architects of Minneapolis designed a complex of two-story buildings housing inpatient wards and private patient rooms, operating rooms, intensive care and maternity units, an emergency room and outpatient facilities. The new structure also will include a chapel, administrative offices, laundry and a residence for religious sisters who will work at the hospital. (An architectural rendering of the new hospital can be viewed online at, and downloaded from, www.flickr.com/photos/47232096@N06/5531505497/sizes/l/in/set-72157623352055526/. If reposted or published, credit MSAADA Architects.)

Along with supporting the construction of a replacement hospital, CHA’s Campaign for Rebirth and Renewal also will support CRS efforts to build and strengthen a network of seven faith-based hospitals in Haiti. The first action for this network — a priority identified by the hospitals — will be the creation of a joint supply chain system. This will allow the hospitals to achieve economies of scale in medicine and supply procurement and distribution, as well as improved efficiency in the management of in-kind donations.


NOTE: In addition to making available the architectural rendering of the new Hospital St. Francis de Sales as an accompanying visual, a hi-res photo file of the leaders in the “Campaign for Rebirth and Renewal” is available online at http://www.chausa.org/currentphotos/. Pictured in that photo are: (left to right) Ken Hackett, CRS president; Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, CHA’s president and chief executive officer; Robert Stanek, retired president and chief executive of Catholic Health East and head of the health ministry’s fund-raising campaign; Annemarie Reilly, CRS vice president of overseas operations; and Bishop Gerald Kicanas, chairman of the CRS board and bishop of Tucson, Ariz.

The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry’s commitment to improve the health status of communities and create quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. The Catholic health ministry is the nation's largest group of not-for-profit health systems and facilities that, along with their sponsoring organizations, employ more than 750,000 women and men who deliver services combining advanced technology with the Catholic caring tradition. For more information, visit the CHA website at www.chausa.org.