The Challenges of Success.
There has been significant activity and progress made in Milot over the last several years. As a refresher, our long-term goal is to relocate and build a new hospital that is more functional and efficient in design to accommodate an ever-growing demand of the people we serve.
A subset of this plan is to also rebuild the entire CRUDEM compound with a new Chapel, and a combination of single family and multi-family housing. The housing will be used for key Haitian personnel and volunteers in the short term and eventually be turned over to 100% retention housing for the medical staff and leadership personnel we recruit to Hôpital Sacré Coeur.
As you can see both these projects have conceptual plans completed. Soon we will enter a more formal stage of fund raising to acquire the necessary money to make these two transformational projects a reality.
In the interim and as part of our preparedness for these two major projects we continue to build on the existing hospital campus. Why?
First and foremost there are immediate needs that have to be addressed and cannot wait until the new hospital is completed. Secondly, we need to test building materials, contractors and architects so we have a better handle on cost efficient and durable buildings. Thirdly, we want to introduce new concepts of patient management; testing and training these concepts while in the current location.
When we started down this path it was unclear as to what would happen with the existing hospital campus. What we have experienced with the new clinic building is that demand will outstrip our facilities no matter how big we build. The more we build and attract talented physicians the more our reputation grows and demand for our services increases exponentially. I am very confident that both facilities will be used to meet the health needs of the Haitian people long into the future.
Another key project recently completed is the addition of a surgery suite that includes three new operating rooms and four private rooms. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of Dr. John Lovejoy the bulk of the funds for this initiative have been raised. We purchased the Ettiene property to the East side of the hospital, removed all the buildings that were there, and relocated the visitors who used those buildings while visiting their family members in the hospital.
Unlike the employee lounge and clinic projects where we used Veerhouse Voda and a Styrofoam building material, the Operating room project was constructed using cement blocks that we manufactured ourselves. A cement block making machine was purchased and installed in the Annex section of the hospital. This allowed us to make much higher quality block at a rate of about 1,800 per day. Our goal was achieved to construct a state of the art operating room theater for less than $100 per square foot— an impossible task in the United States.
The private rooms are necessary to care for Church dignitaries, politicians and other Haitian citizens who can be helpful to our mission. As an example, the Ministry of Health for Turks and Caicos recently visited us. They would like us to care for the insured Haitians who presently work in Turks and Caicos. Another sign of how our reputation has grown.
The planning stage for a new pediatric pavilion has also begun. Pediatrics and orthopedics are two services where our reputation has grown so significantly and hence demand has followed. This is primarily due to hiring outstanding Haitian physicians who have created an incredible working relationship with our U.S. volunteers. These two services standout among all others as a model of how cooperative care can be delivered in Haiti.
The new pediatric pavilion will include increased beds and bassinets. A new neonatal intensive care unit and play area. Also associated with this project is the relocation of the Hospital main entry gate to the side of the complex. This will allow us to build a larger sheltered waiting area as well a patient registration area. Improving our statistical data, patient chart information, patient flow, cash collections and security area are all impacted by this new expansion.
Thanks to the generosity of our U.S. supporters we were able to purchase two new generators for our generator room. In the rural area where Hôpital Sacré Coeur is located we are forced to create our own electricity 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Electrical load management and efficient running of the generators is essential for our viability. Diesel fuel needed to run the generators is our third largest expense item just behind labor costs and pharmaceuticals.
You should know that the moral of the Haitian employees under the leadership of Dr. Previl is at an all time high. The community at large sees the progress that is being made and believes now more than ever that the promises we make will materialize and there is real hope for their future.
None of this would be possible if it were not for your generous support and continued commitment to CRUDEM. Last year more than 3,800 people made the choice to financially support us. There is no donation too small and certainly none too large. We promise that 100% of your support will go directly to Haiti and be accounted for whether it is for meeting our operational needs or our building project needs; every penny will be spent as efficiently as possible and all of it with direct impact in Haiti No administrative or overhead costs will be paid from your generosity. Dr. John Lovejoy personally spearheaded a campaign raising more than $500,000 in a matter of months for the new OR project. John has also led the coordination efforts to enhance the Orthopedic service at the hospital. His dedication, commitment and determination should serve as inspiration to all of us reach down and give just a little more.