US Doctors, Graduates of Cuban School of Medicine, Return from Haiti – NYC Press Conf. March 2

Posted on February 27, 2010


From IFCO-Pastors for Peace


March 2nd Press Conference in NYC: Seven Doctors Return From Haiti After Month-Long Service

ifco docs haiti.jpg

Viva la revolucion!


Press Conference  Tuesday, March 2nd 11:00 AM
Transport Workers Union Local 100

Quill Room (508)
80 West End Ave. (entrance on 64th St.)
New York, NY 10023

  • Seven U.S. Doctors Return From Month-Long Service in Haiti
  • Five of the Young Physicians Hail From Harlem, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

Seven young women doctors return home from post-earthquake Haiti on March 1st. Working long shifts around the clock for the past four weeks in a field hospital without running water, they were able to treat thousands of Haitians in need of medical services in the area of Croix des Bouquets. Working and living among the people in extremely precarious conditions, they slept for a few hours daily on the ground in small tents whenever they could.

These physicians come from Harlem, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island in New York City and from Houston, Texas and Oakland, California.

On their first day of work, approximately 2,000 people passed through the hospital for an array of medical care, ranging from urgent surgeries and wound care to delivering babies. For many of the patients it was the first time they had ever seen a doctor.

According to Dr. Melissa Mitchell, their priority has been to serve children, women and the elderly because they are at highest risk for infectious diseases. “Each of our doctors treated 100-150 patients a day. Many who arrived at the tent hospital suffered with malaria, typhoid, infectious diarrhea and malnutrition.”

“Many of the people we examined are victims of both the earthquake and the legacy of an inadequate national healthcare system that has ignored them completely,” said Dr. Wing Wu. “We have come here to do what we can: practice medicine in the service of humanity. “

The doctors are U.S. graduates of the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba (LASM). They worked with the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade, Cuba’s disaster response medical specialist team.

“These dedicated and skilled young doctors were uniquely prepared for the multiple challenges of this urgent mission,” said Rev. Lucius Walker Jr., executive director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), which administers the scholarship program for U.S. students. IFCO raised funds from its grassroots network and received a special grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation to support this medical service project.

The doctors delivered half a ton of medical supplies which they personally delivered to Haiti.

IFCO is also collaborating with Local 100 of the Transit Workers Union to organize a container shipment of medicines, medical supplies, tents and cots to Haiti.

IFCO is a national ecumenical not for profit agency which has been working for racial social and economic justice since 1967.