Howard University Supports Opening of Caracol Health Center in Haiti
Photo provided by Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett, MD
WASHINGTON - Howard University and Howard University Hospital (HUH) are strengthening their medical ties to Haiti by providing support for Caracol Health Center, a newly constructed health clinic in northeastern Haiti. The creation of the center is the result of years of diligent work by the New York chapter of the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH NY) and the Haitian government.
The Caracol Health Center officially opened its doors in October and is expected to serve as an important source of care in a region where medical services are sparse. The center offers maternity care, lab testing, pharmaceuticals and vaccinations. It is located near the Caracol Industrial Park, which is projected to generate thousands of jobs in coming years.
Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick attended the center’s inauguration ceremony on Oct. 12, in Caracol. He served as a keynote speaker alongside Dr. Florence Duperval Guillaume, Haiti’s minister of Public Health and Population, and the First Lady of the Republic, Sophia Martelly. Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett, HUH’s chief medical officer, and Dr. Roxanne Smith -White, interim chief of internal medicine at the hospital, also attended.
Dr. Henry Paul, a nephrologist and chairman and president of NOAH NY, said he hoped to add telemedicine services that could take advantage of the University’s medical expertise. He said he also was working to include services for dialysis patients, most of whom travel long distances for treatment.
Since 2009, Howard has sent medical personnel to aid Haiti in conjunction with NOAH NY. The University significantly increased its support after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Howard University College of Medicine has sent teams of medical personnel, including physicians, health instructors and medical residents, on official rotations.
“We’ve always gone to northeastern areas of Haiti,” said Dr. McDonald-Pinkett. “Having the new health facility in Caracol gives us a greater ability to educate local physicians along with our own medical students and resident physicians.”
Howard University’s medical commitment to Haiti continues to grow. In recent years, participants from the College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Dentistry have traveled with the College of Medicine team. In 2010, Howard University Hospital donated an ambulance to the Fort-Liberté Hospital that was shipped to the island nation by NOAH NY.
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