(FOND DES BLANCS, Haiti) - The St. Boniface Haiti Foundation officially inaugurated its state-of-the-art Surgical Center today at a ceremony with representatives from the United States Embassy in Port au Prince, the Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP), USAID's American Schools and Hospitals Abroad program, the CDC, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and a large group of other partners and leaders of the local communities served by this new center.
The St. Boniface Hospital Surgical Center has been operating since November 2016, providing approximately 200 patients each month with both planned and emergency surgical care. It is the only fully functioning surgical center on Haiti's southern peninsula that provides care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. It is run by a staff of professional Haitian surgical nurses, nurse anesthetists, and techs, with leadership from former Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellow Dr. Luther Ward and Haitian surgeon Dr. Michelson Padovany.
The inauguration ceremony included speeches from SBHF leadership and local community leaders, as well as:
- Brian Shukan, Charge D'Affaires, U.S. Embassy Haiti
- Anne Dix, ASHA Office Director at USAID
- Alix Cantave, Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- David Barash, Chief Medical Officer, GE Foundation (video remarks)
- Dr. Adrien Lauré: Directeur Général, MSPP
Many spoke about the impact that access to surgery has on the health and wellbeing of entire communities. Dr. Padovany shared how a lack of access to surgical care directly impacted his family, after his mother was in a motorcycle accident. She was unable to get a necessary surgery to repair her injuries, and ended up having her leg amputated at a hospital in Port au Prince. He has thus dedicated his life to ensuring that the people of his home country can get surgical care when they need it, and the new Surgical Center at St. Boniface Hospital is helping to make that possible. "St. Boniface is a hospital that offers everything to people who need it," Dr. Padovany remarked.
Representatives from the U.S. Government celebrated the effective public/private partnerships that have brought the Surgical Center to fruition, and make much of SBHF's work possible. "SBHF illustrates the essential idea of these partnerships," U.S. Embassy Charge D'Affairs Brian Shukan noted, "American and Haitian doctors working together every day in the operating room, in the maternity center, and in the hospital." While 98% of SBHF's staff is Haitian, the working relationships they develop with American professionals and institutions strengthens both the care that SBHF provides, and the professional development of its staff.
For more information about the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation and its innovative surgical program please contact:
Liz Schwartz, Communications Manager