Global Health at CHOP Deploys Pediatric Medical Team to Haiti

01/30/2010

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Global Health at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is deploying a medical team to Haiti today in response to an urgent call from Partners In Health for pediatric experts to care for children with injuries related to the Jan. 12 earthquake at the University Hospital in Port-au-Prince. This will be the first dedicated pediatric medical team providing care on the ground at this facility in Port-au-Prince.

After gathering at The Children's Hospital for a final orientation meeting, the medical team will depart to Chester County Airport in Coatesville, Pa., where they are to fly on two private jets to Chicago. At that juncture, the medical team will take a flight arranged by Partners In Health (PIH) from Chicago for the 10-day trip, and join PIH members who have arranged a flight to Haiti.

The 12-member team, led by Fred Henretig, M.D., includes doctors and nurses from Children's Hospital's emergency, critical care and transport teams, as well as a doctor from the emergency department at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania. The team expects to see patients at University Hospital in Port-au-Prince (HUEH) and treat children with crush injuries, bone fractures, wound infections, post amputation and other illnesses.

"There is a dire need for pediatric care in Haiti right now, and we are anxious to receive the medical expertise from the doctors and nurses from Children's Hospital who have volunteered to go on the trip," said Joe Rhatigan, a team member from Partners In Health. "We are grateful for their nimbleness in responding to our request so quickly. This immediate response will certainly have major impact for the multitude of pediatric patients requiring treatment."

After the earthquake struck Haiti, more than 400 Children's Hospital employees submitted applications for consideration as a volunteer through the Global Health Haiti Disaster Response program. In addition, Children's Hospital employees have worked for weeks to identify and obtain critical equipment to send into Haiti.

"Our past Global Health outreach to Haitian children living in the Dominican Republic makes us uniquely suited to offer medical support to Haiti during this time of crisis," said Global Health director Rodney Finalle, M.D., "We would like to thank all of the employees at Children's Hospital for supporting this effort."

After the earthquake struck Haiti, Partners In Health quickly established field hospitals in Port-au-Prince, and currently has 20 operating rooms up and running, with 12 functioning 24-hours a day. PIH has been designated by the World Health Organization to serve as the primary coordinators of HUEH hospital.

Global Health at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Since 2004, more than 100 Children's Hospital staff have participated in a Global Health activity, primarily outside the borders of the United States. More than 4,000 children have received care in another country from a Children's Hospital clinical professional in one of our established programs.

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 441-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visithttp://www.chop.edu.

About Partners In Health: Founded in 1987 by Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners In Health (PIH) is an international health care organization based in Boston that works in 12 countries dedicated to delivering quality health care to people and communities devastated by joint burdens of poverty and disease. PIH's work has three goals: to care for patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease and to share lessons learned around the world.

PIH has been providing vital health care services in Haiti for more than 20 years and is one of the largest rural health care providers in the country, working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to deliver comprehensive health care services to a catchment area of 1.2 million across the Central Plateau and the Lower Artibonite Valley. PIH had more than 100 doctors, 600 nurse and 4,000 employees on the ground in Haiti working from 12 existing PIH medical facilities in Haiti before the earthquake struck on January 12th. For more information: www.standwithhaiti.org.

Contact: Juliann Walsh, Andrew Marx
Director of
Media Relations Specialist Communications
The Children's Hospital of
Philadelphia Partners In Health
Cell Phone: (267) 987-0796 (617) 998-8977
Walshj1@email.chop.edu amarx@pih.org