ATLANTA (Jan. 25, 2010) — Piedmont Healthcare responded to the urgent need for medical care in Haiti by making it possible for a team of medical professionals with critical areas of expertise to travel to the region devastated by recent earthquakes.
On Wednesday, January 20, medical professionals from Piedmont Hospital and the WellStar Health System departed from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and traveled to Haiti where they embarked on a five-day mission trip aiding the medical staff of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti, a surgical hospital located near Port-Au-Prince. The team returned on Sunday, January 24.
Piedmont Healthcare is funding transportation costs for the team whose members include: Piedmont Hospital medical team members Stephen McCollam, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon; Lee Kelley, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon; Marcel Gilli, M.D., anesthesiologist; Rick Hodge, RN, surgical orthopaedic nurse; Deborah Shreer, RN, surgical orthopaedic nurse; and WellStar orthopaedic traumatologist Douglas Lundy, M.D.
Piedmont Hospital donated nearly $35,000 in medical supplies to be used during the mission. The Atlanta-based medical team took with them 500 lbs. of medical cargo, including medical equipment, tetanus vaccines, antibiotics, analgesics, anesthesia and various other medications donated by Piedmont, WellStar, Stryker, Synthes, the Surgical Implant Generation Network and others.
“The value of the equipment and medications is over 500,000 dollars, and we are incredibly grateful to all the organizations that donated items,” said Dr. Stephen McCollam.
Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti has had a long-standing relationship with Drs. McCollam and Kelley and the physicians of Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic. Every four months since 1957, surgeons from Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic have traveled to Haiti to provide orthopaedic care to impoverished Haitians who would otherwise go untreated. For more information about Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti visit hashaiti.org.
As of January 19, officials with the European Union have estimated that 250,000 were injured, approximately 200,000 people may have been killed and 1.5 million were made homeless by the magnitude-7.0 quake in Haiti. According to the U.N., 3 million people are in need of food, water, shelter, and medical assistance.
(L to R) Obi Ugwonali, M.D.; Danny Guy, M.D.; Stephen Smith, M.D., from Piedmont Hospital; Mike Behr, M.D., from Piedmont Fayette Hospital; Stephen McCollam, M.D. from Piedmont Hospital (went on previous trip & along for the ride - literally - on this one); Robert Hendley, PA-C, from Piedmont Fayette Hospital; and Jonathan Clayton, M.D., from Piedmont Fayette Hospital