The UMMC community continues to contribute to aid for Haiti after the earthquake that devastated the country in January, while clinical and administrative staff and faculty have shifted the focus to helping the country rebuild its own health care institutions and train additional Haitians in clinical areas.
"Our actions right now are focused not on direct medical aid, so much as on training physicians and nurses as part of strengthening the Haitian infrastructure," says John Spearman, senior vice president for external affairs at UMMC, who has been coordinating the Haiti effort.
"The University of Maryland Medical Center, in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), remains committed to this project," Spearman says. "We still maintain a close relationship with the St. Francois de Sales Hospital, and are providing clinical training and education."
A recent outbreak of cholera has killed hundreds of Haitians and sickened thousands more. Staff from UMMC and the School of Medicine are helping seven CRS-supported hospitals around the country prepare to respond to a possible influx of cholera patients.
Since January of 2010, more than 6,000 Haitians have received medical attention including surgery on more than 700 patients and follow-up care -- from 237 UM physicians, nurses, surgical techs and other essential staff who traveled to Haiti, 20 of whom traveled there multiple times.
The UMMS Foundation has set up an Haiti Support Fund to allow anyone to make a tax-deductible donation to support the clinical staff and equipment as they help the people of Haiti.