In response to the recent devastation in Port-Au-Prince Haiti, physicians from Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center departed last night for a disaster relief mission sponsored by the National Organization for the Advancement of Haiti (NOAH). The relief team includes: Kingsbrook’s Director of Surgical Services, Dr. William Lois, Dr. Henry Paul, Dr. Wilfred Herard, Dr. Edward Smith, Dr. Peter Mollica, Dr. Seth Finkelstein, Nadege Jean Baptiste, RN, Sueann Dickson, RN, Marlene Mayard, RN and Losia Arguelles, RN. The team’s mission is to set up an emergency clinic to treat fractures, lacerations and minor traumas.
Kingsbrook is located in Central Brooklyn, home to over 88,000 Haitian immigrants, and many of its staff and patients hail from the Caribbean nation. As such, reaching out to help in this disaster situation was a major priority. Dr. Lois and Dr. Paul had been planning a medical mission to Fort Liberte, located near Haiti's borer but quickly shifted gears to meet the devastating needs in Port-Au-Prince.
“When you hear news channels saying that they need physicians, surgeons and supplies, you see that this is just a nightmare,” says Dr. William Lois, “We have masks and gloves that stack 8ft high. We have a warehouse with antibiotics, antiseptics, gauze, medications, surgical equipment as well.”
Last June Dr. Lois, Dr. Paul and a team of nurses, traveled to Haiti on a medical mission supported by the United Nations, to provide medical care to those located in the remote, rural region of For Liberte. In one week the small team of surgeons saw more than 5,000 patients and performed 62 surgical procedures including hernia repairs, beast tumor excisions, c-sections and hysterectomies.
“A colleague of mine, a Podiatrist, angrily told me about a boy whose foot was amputated without anesthesia, Dr. Lois stated, “I have cases of anesthesia. This was a case where we could have set his foot and put it in a cast.”
The team has plans of staying for one week before returning to Brooklyn. Plans are currently underway for additional Kingsbook medical staff to return in February, in anticipation of the growing medical needs of the Port-Au-Prince residents.
Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, celebrating its 85th year, is an 864-bed teaching Medical Center, dedicated to meeting the health needs of one of Brooklyn’s most culturally diverse communities. Kingsbrook continues to implement programs and services that respond to the vital health needs and concerns of the community at large. Centers of Excellence Include: Kingsbrook Rehabilitation Institute offering Physical & Rehabilitative Medicine, including Brooklyn’s only New York State approved Traumatic Brain Injury & Coma Recovery Unit, an inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry Program, Pharmacy, Radiology, the Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center, Orthopedic Surgery, a Women’s Wellness Center featuring Minimally-Invasive Gynecological Surgery and state of the art Digital Mammography. Other specialty areas include: Emergency Services, Ambulatory Surgery and a Certified Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory, as well as a 538-bed Adult and Pediatric long term care facility. Kingsbrook and Rutland Nursing Home are JCAHO certified and not-for-profit members of the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State.