Brookside Physician Provides Medical Aid in Haiti
Brookside Community Health Center physician Hubertus Kiefl visits Haiti to provide care after Hurricane Sandy. Kiefl is pictured above with his daughter, Tahina, and a Haitian patient and her infant.
When Brookside Community Health Center
physician Hubertus Kiefl, MD, was asked about visiting Haiti to provide care after
Hurricane Sandy, he was enthusiastic but unsure of the impact he and others
could make due to the Caribbean country's magnitude of health care problems and
dearth of resources.
"Despite my initial concerns, it was a
resounding success," said Kiefl of the mission trip, which occurred last
November. "It was a real reminder of the difference we can make and what we
should be focused on as physicians and care providers. I will definitely go
Kiefl traveled to Port-au-Prince with 11 other local physicians,
medical and non-medical professionals and volunteers, as part of the efforts of the Anastasie Aubourg
Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Norwood that is committed
to providing education and health care in rural Haiti. Kiefl's former colleague
Dominique Entzminger, PA-C, of Codman
Square Health Center, leads the foundation, for which Kiefl serves as
The group collected donations before departing, including kids'
toys, reading glasses, soap, toothbrushes and medications, with supplies
totaling 700 pounds. "We maxed out our baggage allowance," said Kiefl. Once in
Port-au-Prince, the group met with a Haitian urologist who joined the mission
and traveled eight hours in a rented van to Les Anglais, a small town at the
western tip of the country.
Kiefl travels to Port-au-Prince with local physicians and volunteers (pictured above) as part of the Anastasie Aubourg Foundation, a non-profit committed to providing education and health care in rural Haiti.
"We were far from Port-au-Prince, and
there was hardly any medical assistance," Kiefl said. "There was one clinic on
the ground, with only one doctor there, who worked a half-day per week, serving
a population of 10,000 people. Much of the assistance going to Haiti goes to
Port-au-Prince, the capital. Some of the other areas are under-resourced."
In four days, Kiefl and the team cared
for 600 patients, some of whom were injured in Hurricane Sandy, and performed three
surgeries-a hydrocelectomy, circumcision and the removal of a large lipoma from
a patient's neck-at a clinic in Les Anglais. The team included lab and
radiology technicians, physicians, a physician assistant, engineer and
non-medical volunteers who helped organize patient flow and provide
Physician assistant Dominique Entzminger, of Codman Square Health Center, treats a patient during her group’s trip to Haiti.
"It was my first time traveling to
Haiti," said Kiefl, who joined Brookside in 2003. "It was extremely rewarding
because you're helping patients who are truly in need." The group hopes to
return to Haiti in the fall or next year.