News

9.16.2010

Haiti Prime Minister Thanks UM/Jackson for Earthquake Aid

On a visit to Miami eight months after a catastrophic earthquake devastated his country, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, was visibly moved Wednesday after touring Ryder Trauma Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

There, he walked through the trauma bay where many critically injured survivors were taken and met some of the doctors and nurses who cared for patients here or in Haiti. He also saw the video conferencing monitors and the mobile Remote Presence RP-7 robot in action, teaming up to bridge the gap of distance and allowing doctors at UM/Jackson to tele-assist doctors working at the hospital in Haiti that UM and Project Medishare began operating just nine days after the earthquake.

“We lost many lives yet you did so much to save so many,” Bellerive told his hosts, who included Miller School Dean and UHealth CEO Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Eneida O.Roldan, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., president and CEO of Jackson Health System; Barth Green, M.D., professor and chair of neurological surgery and co-founder of Project Medishare, and several others. “Again, thanks for all that you do.”

“We are honored,” Dean Goldschmidt replied, explaining that the Miller School and UHealth did not think twice about assisting a neighbor in need. He said the medical aid effort was particularly effective because numerous organizations and businesses jumped on board to join the “great partnership” forged between UM and Jackson long ago.

On the tour, Green shared details of UM and Project Medishare’s historic and current involvement in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation. Project Medishare is still managing the hospital in Haiti as well as myriad medical services. He reminded Bellerive that the needs are still dire and Bellerive promised to do all he could, in Haiti and internationally, to ease the burden.

At the conclusion of the tour, Roldan and Public Health Trust Chairman John H. Copeland III, accompanied Bellerive to a Jackson conference room, where he spoke to the media and met other medical personnel who volunteered in Haiti.

In a closing message, which he delivered in English, Spanish and Creole, Bellerive marveled at the unwavering support that UM and Jackson continue to direct at Haiti – eight months after the quake.

“You are sharing the best of what you have here in Miami,” Bellerive said. “You cannot really know how important you are to the lives of the Haitian people. I cannot thank you enough.”

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