On January 12, 2010, Haiti endured the worst natural disaster ever when at 4:53 p.m. a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck less than 10 miles southwest of Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince. The massive earthquake killed an estimated 160,000 people, injured over 300,000 and left nearly 1 million homeless. The people and landscape will bear the wounds for generations.
When the earth stopped shaking, images and reports of the deaths, injuries and damage horrified the world. Within a few terrifying minutes, numerous medical facilities and schools turned into rubble. Many international aid organizations and in country assets were severely compromised while others struggled for weeks and months to grasp the tragic realities and respond effectively.
Within hours of the catastrophe, CRUDEM and Hôpital Sacré Coeur swung into action. The 72-bed hospital with 2 operating rooms, in the sleepy village of Milot, suddenly became a functioning 400+ bed facility with 6 operating rooms. In the following months, more than 1,000 victims and their over 2,000 family members were cared for while more than 800 surgical procedures were performed at Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Staffed by 500 Haitian medical workers and volunteers from the surrounding community, another 1,000 American and international volunteers joined Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s efforts to save a broken population traumatized by the shattering effects of this devastating event. Their heroic efforts and effective results were so astonishing, that a journalist dubbed Hôpital Sacré Coeur “the little hospital that could.”
Ten years ago, CRUDEM’s greatest passion met Haiti’s greatest need as the community worked round the clock for months to help Haitians regain their health and their footing after the devastating earthquake. Almost overnight, Hôpital Sacré Coeur changed from a regional hospital to a national medical institution.
CRUDEM and Hôpital Sacré Coeur have been routinely tested to their limit over the last decade. The circumstances thrown at us — natural disasters, epidemics and national challenges — and the rapid speed at which they have arrived on our doorstep seem almost incomprehensible. Through it all, we have stood on a firm foundation: over 30 years of experience, a passion for the health and well-being of the Haitian people, one of the best hospitals in Haiti and the unshakeable belief that no matter what comes, God and a compassion fueled community of staff, volunteers and donors will pave the way. And they have!
Since the earthquake, Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s growth and reputation have soared! Today’s campus includes an impressive Outpatient Clinics facility, a rare-for-Haiti Surgery Suites complex and Emergency Department; one of the first pathology labs in the region, upgraded and expanded pharmacy, radiology and other facilities. Specialty medical programs for pediatric diabetes, vaccine distribution, and women’s and children’s healthcare name only a few of the hospital’s expanded services.
Quite simply: Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s capacity, effectiveness and efficiency have grown exponentially over the past ten years and set the bar for the delivery of quality healthcare in Haiti.
For the past 30 plus years, we have focused on partnering with our Haitian community, seeded self-empowerment not dependency, and created a constancy of hope. As part of our ongoing commitment, Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s plans include renovation and expansion of a new pediatrics center and maternity/OBGyn facilities among other improvements. Our longer-term goal includes the construction of a new medical facility, that augments the existing hospital, to keep pace with increasing patient and community demands, medical advances and emerging technologies.
Now, more than ever, Hôpital Sacré Coeur remains committed to supporting the long-term needs and addressing the current challenges facing our patients and their families. Haitians are a proud, naturally generous and practical people eager to learn, grow and raise their children into a better future. The same love of freedom and independence that drove and sustained the Haitians to defeat Napoleon’s army and become the world’s first black republic in 1804, is the same fierce and determined spirit that drives the Haitians today as they face, with a humbling tenacity, the most incomprehensible and daunting obstacles to survival.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur has moved well beyond “the little hospital that could” and proven itself to be an essential medical facility of critical importance that delivers quality healthcare — no matter the circumstances. Today, as always, we stand with the Haitian people — our sisters and brothers — to meet daily challenges and make way for a more hope filled future — for generations.
During this season of hope and rebirth, we ask you for a special offering:
With our deepest gratitude for you!
Harold Prévil, M.D.
CEO, Hôpital Sacré Coeur
Sister Ann Crawley, C.S.J.P.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur Outreach
David G. Butler, M.D.
Chairman and Medical Volunteer
P.S. YOU can make a tremendous difference! Please, send your tax-deductible donation by December 31st. Remember: 100% of your donation goes directly to patient care programs.