The Birth of a Calling

1986 marks the official collaboration of CRUDEM/Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Ted Dubuque, Brother Yves Beausejour and first hospital administrator Annie Thelusmond ushered the small clinic into a new era of healthcare delivery. The nascent medical facility featured twenty beds, X-ray, a pharmacy, laboratory, delivery and operating rooms. A strong commitment to collaboration with the residents of Milot, a firm faith in the limitless sustenance of a loving God, and a spirit of pro-active Christian compassion undergird the transition of this jungle outpost. The tiny hospital, nestled in a crib of possibilities and fed with the best dreams of its international mix of parents, challenged the daunting tempest of environmental, political and social threats that hovered about with an audacity reminiscent of David’s fight against Goliath.

When CRUDEM began, Brother Yves designed a logo that featured a rooster crowing, “Wake Up Milot!” Brother Yves’ design retains a prophetic and enduring quality as every visitor to the hospital, roosted from early morning slumber by a persistent rooster, will readily attest.
The inconvenient wakeup call threads through CRUDEM/Hôpital Sacré Coeur’s history.
Over the course of twenty-five years, the hospital has faced a daunting array of challenges: hurricanes, earthquake, floods, political strife, civil unrest, oil embargo, transportation strikes, a cholera epidemic, and leadership transitions; all set against a constant background of suffocating poverty, rampant disease, and a country devoid of basic and reliable infrastructures. Any one of these obstacles could fell a strong person and send an entire community packing.

Not so, CRUDEM/Hôpital Sacré Coeur.

Each wakeup call signaled the time to respond with creativity, faith-filled conviction and hopeful expectation. And that is why, in twenty-five years, unlike other Haitian hospitals and institutions, Hôpital Sacré Coeur never closed its doors, never scaled back on progress and never compromised quality of care.

Throughout the world, the daily news reads like a compendium of shocking disasters: old political structures fall, economies tailspin, natural forces turn monstrous, corporate and social icons tumble from their pedestals, and whole communities disappear in a matter of seconds. Is it any wonder otherwise reasonable people line up behind doomsday proclamations and prepare survival plans?

At CRUDEM/Hôpital Sacré Coeur, we take a different perspective: disaster occurs not in the face of the destructive event, but in the defeated response of the participants. When your world seems to have turned upside down, maybe, just maybe, it is really turning right side up. And the extreme discomfort you feel is a genuine calling to respond, not with defeat and hopelessness, but with a heartfelt desire to make a positive change in the world and infuse your life and the lives of others with love-in-action.

In 1986, when Dr. Ted Dubuque committed to return to Milot to outfit a small operating room, little did he realize he was taking a first step towards positively impacting the present and future of an entire nation. Then again, that is the way of the Christian faith Dr. Dubuque drew strength from and acted on; where the most powerful, life-changing events come hidden and protected in seemingly small packages, like a baby in a manager.

Dr. Ted Dubuque’s son, Charles, summed up his father’s lifelong work and the vow of the CRUDEM/Hôpital Sacré Coeur community. “There is a sense of forward movement in the air at Hôpital Sacré Coeur. The construction activity and all of the local jobs have stimulated the population into action,” he said, while on campus for the March, 2011 board meeting. “This is in stark contrast to the balance of Haiti, where rubble and broken promises are the expectation, as governance and lack of funding dissipates the spirit. We are making a difference, one person at a time.”

We’d be honored and blessed if you would join us.