In 1986, Dr. Theodore Dubuque, Jr. arrived in Milot, Haiti from St. Louis to assess whether it was feasible to perform surgery at the 6-bed clinic which would ultimately become the 200-bed Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Dr. Dubuque thought that it was possible and set about creating The CRUDEM Foundation which built, and now along with Holy Name Medical Center, supports Hôpital Sacré Coeur and the 250,000 people of northern Haiti.
In 2016, 2,690 surgical procedures were done at the hospital. They were carried out in operating rooms which were barely adequate to sustain this volume safely. A forecasted 7% annual rise in surgical procedures, the increasing volume of orthopedic trauma and the inability of neighboring hospitals to accommodate this growth starkly highlighted the need for Hôpital Sacré Coeur to take the lead — once again — in addressing a key concern.
On March 11, 2017, three new operating rooms and supplementary inpatient facilities were dedicated at the hospital. They are unequalled in all of Haiti.
Thanks to your generosity, support and prayers, the people of Haiti now have a facility capable of filling their surgical needs, at least for now.
The Contrast from the Early Days is Astonishing!
While performing the first case to be doane in the new O.R.’s, I thought back to when I first came to Hôpital Sacré Coeur in 1992. Then, cats would roam through the room and a fly swatter was an indispensable piece of surgical equipment to keep the sterile field clear of flying insects. Oxygen was frequently unavailable. It was not unusual to finish cases using only flashlights for illumination because the generators had run out of fuel. Those who think little or no progress has been made in Haiti need only speak to the volunteers of that era.
Now — thanks to your support — we are making substantial inroads in establishing a realistic and sustainable healthcare solution for the people of northern Haiti.
A sense of trust, confidence and enthusiastic dedication to performance excellence imbues the hospital staff. Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s reputation in Haiti for quality care, positive outcomes, and professional development continues to grow. As you know, teaching is a core value of our mission. Today, many young Haitian physicians come to Hôpital Sacré Coeur to polish their skills after finishing residency — and the teachers are not just visiting U.S. medical volunteers, but the Haitian hospital staff.
The Haitian surgical staff of today is the equal of many American hospitals.This teaching process is one of the most valuable gifts we can offer to the people of Haiti.
So, while we can see the polished tiles and sparkling clean stainless steel of the new surgical suites, the appreciation and gratitude we feel from the hospital staff for enabling them to work in these surroundings and improve the medical standards they can offer the people of this desperately poor country, is just as significant.
Our Next Steps Will Leverage Your Investment and Provide an Exciting Future
Our attention now turns to enhancing care delivery models, strengthening operating processes, and improving clinical efficiency to maximize positive patient impacts, quality of care and efficient cost per patient transaction. Thanks to your continuing support, we are in the process of finalizing design and construction of post-surgical wards and a new PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) to provide patients with well-monitored and comfortable support to improve upon their successful recoveries. Plans for a new entrance site optimizes patient safety, cuts down on congestion, provides an expanded waiting area, aids patient flow and makes it easier to navigate the facilities.
A new charting system will ensure patients’ medical records are promptly and accurately detailed and follow the patient throughout their diagnostic and treatment process. The installation of a new kitchen will allow us to keep pace with increased use and provide HSC’s hard-working staff with nutritious meals during their work day.
Given the rise in trauma cases, the Prosthetic Lab and Physical Therapy Department will be relocated and expanded to the hospital proper to ensure better clinical integration. Likewise, the large increase in cardiology cases will be recognized with the establishment of a dedicated Cardiology center.
The health of women and children has always been a high priority and Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s reputation for providing them with quality care has grown throughout the country. Plans are underway to construct new Pediatrics and Obstetrics facilities. When completed, Hôpital Sacré Coeur will have — once again — set the bar for quality Haitian healthcare and reached another national milestone.
The Challenges Ahead Are Also Very Real . . .
Hunger and disease continue to haunt the nation. The gourde has declined in value from 40 to the dollar to 70 to the dollar. Food has become incredibly expensive and starvation is evident everywhere. Because of the suffering, disease and trauma extant in Haiti, we know we must continue to keep pace with the patient volume and the rigors of providing quality care. We never turn anyone away.
Our Intention to Keep Our Promise to the Haitians and YOU is Rock Solid.
Over 30 years ago, Dr. Dubuque and the many of you, who supported and grew The CRUDEM Foundation, vowed to help the Haitian people help themselves and be good stewards of your generous dollars. Holy Name Medical Center joined in that sacred pledge. No matter what lies ahead, we intend to honor and keep that vow, but that is possible only with your commitment.
We need your ongoing support to continue our remarkable progress against daunting odds. We would like nothing better than to use our operating rooms less frequently to stave off death and focus more on improving the quality of life.
Helping Haitians to Help Themselves is Our Goal. Every dollar you share enables them to achieve competency, effectiveness and save lives.
Since 1992, I have volunteered at Hôpital Sacré Coeur for several weeks each year. The progress is steady and astonishing. The significant positive impact in the lives of the Haitians we care for, the staff we greet as colleagues and the community we embrace as family is truly beyond belief.
You Have Made This Success Possible!
Please, continue your support. Every donation — large or small — is cherished and appreciated. 100% of your dollars goes directly to help Hôpital Sacré Coeur — the amazing hospital built and sustained by generous individuals like YOU.
David G. Butler, M.D.
P.S. You have the power to make our world a healthier place. It’s your choice. Please send your tax-deductible donation by June 15th. In one month, we will have treated over 9,000 patients, but only with your support. Thank you.