Saturday, January 23, 2010

Off we go again ...


We are in urgent need of nurses who are able to come down here and volunteer ASAP. We are specifically looking for people who are able to leave within the next 2 days, and stay for 2 weeks or longer.

Your role could include the following:
  • Wound care (wound debridement, dressings, wound vac placement, etc)
  • Med/surg inpatient care (with shifts being 12 hour days or nights, likely 5-6 shifts per week) with a probable patient load of 10-20 patients per nurse
  • Acute care ER/OR nursing, assisting doctors in the care of injured and ill patients
  • Managing the flow of patients, assisting doctors with completing medical records, gathering medications and supplies, providing discharge instructions, restocking supplies, managing the central administration desk, etc

MUST have the following qualifications:
  • Be able to leave by Monday or Tuesday and stay for at least 1 week (prefer longer)
  • RN certification
  • At least 2 years clinical experience in an inpatient, ER, ICU, or OR setting. WOUND CARE nurses are especially needed, especially if you are also skilled in ER/inpatient care
  • Previous travel to the developing (3rd) world
  • Flexibility (you may be asked to do things that are not officially a part of your job description)
  • Ability to work long hours and function in less than ideal conditions with less than adequate sleep
  • Ability to submit to our medical chain of command that is already in place; we do not want people who are going to come down here and try to do their own thing (in other words...leave your egos at the door)
  • Be able to fund your own travel to Florida, and possibly to Haiti (we are currently bringing in medical professionals free of charge on many flights from various locations in Florida, but this opportunity may not last)
We prefer the following qualifications:
  • Previous medical experience in the developing world
  • Ability to speak Haitian Creole
  • Ability to stay 2 weeks or longer
While you are here, you will be staying in cramped quarters. You will likely eat snack foods most of the time and may not eat a hot meal for several days in a row. It is hot and dusty here. You will get dirty. You may not be able to shower every day. You will need to pack your bags with medical supplies from our needs list, and also bring in food for yourself (things like granola bars, fruit snacks, cereal, etc).

At the same time, you will have an very rewarding experience caring for some special and grateful patients. You will be helping save lives. And you will be working with some incredible people. This work is demanding, but very gratifying.

If you meet these qualifications and are interested, please contact Shelley Stammis ASAP at and please cc me on the e-mail ( In your e-mail, please describe in detail how you meet the above qualifications. If you are interested but do not meet ALL of these qualifications, we are grateful for your interest, but please do not contact Shelley or me at this time, as we simply do not have the time to respond to every inquiry we get.

THANK YOU in advance for your interest and for caring about Haiti! We so appreciate your support and willingness to help.

Jen Halverson, M.D.
Heartline Clinic & Hospital

Photo of Robenson,
4 year old boy that came in very lethargic with a broken arm -
now doing really well.

Kids in Simone Pele, taken on one of the runs to pick-up patients.

It is Saturday morning, we're off and running again. Thank you for all of the words of encouragement yesterday. It was good for all of us to hear that Haiti is still a hot topic in the news. We believe that for many weeks to come there will be a desperate need to treat the wounded and that many more lives could be lost due to infections from injuries. We're blessed by the way things have been working out in spite of chaos - we are doing trade-outs ... we need Morphine, you need Rocephin - let's trade --- those sorts of deals are being made every single day.

This (below) has been our experience and all along we've felt that there is something "unseen" going on - then we received this confirmation of our suspicions:

"from a more or less inside source, the US has left the on ground work to the UN as to not step on any toes. the UN has all kinds of logistical limitations and red tape. for example they are not
permitted to enter certain areas because they are deemed unsafe. "

A US Military person told me (Tara) that he was very upset with the lack of urgency for getting them on the ground and set up. He said they were made to sleep at the Embassy because no one would pull the trigger and give them clearance to go set up. They talked about danger and seemed not to know who had the authority to give them their marching orders. He said it took 9 days from his deployment to get to his post. He said there are politics in play and that it had been frustrating for him and his team. Meanwhile, independent, unarmed, non-military missionaries and aid-workers are running around the country without much trouble at all.

Having shared that, it has been amazing to see the ways little organizations have worked around the red-tape and the ridiculous politics and have found their own supplies and have traded out and rallied together for the greater good. Please continue to pray for order, cooperation, and successful teamwork -- it can only benefit the hurting if we all play well together.

We pray today is another day of miracles and divine appointments and saved lives. God is with us. Thank you for your prayers.