Piedmont Healthcare is responding 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 are embarking 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 Sunday, January 24.
Piedmont Healthcare funded 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.
In addition to the $10,000 in transportation costs, Piedmont Hospital donated nearly $35,000 in medical supplies to be used during the mission. The Atlanta-based medical team took with them 500 pounds 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, and we are incredibly grateful to all the organizations that donated items,” said Dr. Stephen McCollam. Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti has had a longstanding 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 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.