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In This Issue:
“My sister, my niece and nephew.”
“All my family.”
During an emotional prayer service at BWH, staff with family and friends called out the names of loved ones in Haiti where a devastating earthquake struck Tuesday.
The earthquake in Haiti touched many employees, some of whom filled the Bornstein Amphitheater with their supportive colleagues during two prayer services on Wednesday. Chaplaincy offered readings and prayers—including a closing prayer read in Haitian-Creole—and time for employees to comfort one another.
“Our hearts reach out today to the residents of Haiti and their family members around the world, some of whom are our colleagues in the BW/F community,” BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, wrote in an e-mail to all employees. “We will be coordinating any support we can offer through Partners In Health (PIH), and those conversations already are underway.”
As soon as the news of the earthquake reached the media, care providers at BWH began to mobilize. Clinical staff strategized with their colleagues here and in PIH, which has staff on the ground in Haiti, to provide the quickest, most effective response possible. Relief agencies estimate that 3 million people have been affected by the earthquake, which had an estimated magnitude of 7.0 and an epicenter just 10 miles from the capital city Port-au-Prince.
Hilarie Cranmer, MD, MPH, and Stephanie Rosborough, MD, MPH, of the Department of Emergency Medicine, and Jennifer Furin, MD, PhD, of the Division of Global Health Equity, boarded a plane for Haiti on Thursday morning. Joia Mukherjee, MD, MPH, and David Walton, MD, both of PIH and BWH’s Division of Global Health Equity, were en route to Haiti Wednesday, as coordinated through PIH.
Yaeko Karantonis, RN, of Emergency Medicine, Jennifer Lewis, RN, of Tower 11C, and Teri Traskos, RN, of Tower 3BC, left for Haiti with DMAT, a disaster medical assistance team. Rhonda Martin, RN, of the ICU Float Pool, was volunteering in the Dominican Republic when the earthquake hit the island and was poised to help in Haiti if needed.
Cranmer is leading the team from BWH and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to provide an immediate needs assessment and medical relief on the ground.
“We’re working together with our colleagues to determine the best and quickest way to respond,” said Cranmer, who has been part of relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and for the tsunami in Indonesia in 2005.
She emphasized that individuals should not travel to Haiti unless they are part of an organization providing food, shelter and water.
At BWH, Chaplaincy responded to the news immediately, determining how best to care for the many BWHers affected. “So many workers in our community are Haitian, and we knew they would be deeply impacted,” said Kathleen Gallivan, PhD, director of Chaplaincy Services. “We wanted to hold our prayer services for them right away.”
Chaplaincy and the Employee Assistance Program are available to support any employees who need it. Call the EAP at 617-732-6017 or Chaplaincy at 617-732-7480. Chaplaincy also is offering the Tea for the Soul Program to departments with affected employees.
A relief fund has been set up through Partners In Health.