Our Strategies to Improve the Quality of Healthcare Across Haiti
1. Construct a 225-bed hospital and adjoining visiting staff housing
Bethesda Referral & Teaching Hospital will be a faith-based, private, nonprofit specialty hospital located in Port Lafito thirty minutes from the International airport. In light of the child and maternal health crisis, our initial phase will target high-risk mothers and infants referred from communities throughout Haiti. The level of medical care at the hospital will be comparable to North American hospitals and will offer state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, transportation, and countywide communications.
2. Develop a nationwide community care network
We are identifying approximately 15 population areas throughout Haiti that we call “Community Care Grids.” Each of these regions will have an assigned grid coordinator hired by the hospital to bring together local church leaders, community health care workers, local government officials, and North American organizations involved in the community. The objective is to encourage collaboration in the community so that interventions can be implemented that are proven to be effective for pregnant mothers and children. Each community grid coordinator will leverage advancements in telemedicine to communicate directly with the hospital to conduct imaging and other diagnostics, and to coordinate referrals to the hospital. Additionally, these community teams will be able to identify high-risk patients so that appropriate referrals can be made to the hospital. A critical success factor is the involvement of American and Canadian churches and organizations.
3. Train Haitian clinical professionals including physicians, midwives and nurses
To increase the number of skilled Haitian health care professionals, Bethesda Referral and Teaching Hospital will focus on training and subsequent employment to insure the sustainability of quality and accessible medical care well into the future. In collaboration with the Haitian medical community, the hospital will provide one-on-one mentoring for the Haitian medical personnel and residents, a unique approach not typical of Haiti’s medical education. To maximize educational efforts, Haitian physicians, nurse practitioners, midwives and nurses will be invited to participate in the hospital’s “Recertification Program” in which the practitioner is paid during their instruction time for a minimum of two days per week for two years. At the end of the training period, tests at the level of American specialty boards will be administered.
4. Host large numbers of North Americans to teach Haitian medical personnel
Leveraging the close proximity of North America to Haiti and the fact that the hospital will offer a safe and very meaningful professional experience, the hospital’s teaching staff will consist at any one time of several hundred North American visiting short-term health care volunteers. To facilitate this unique strategy, adjoining the hospital will be a building to house the visiting staff. As the need for visiting North American instructors diminishes over the years, the space will be converted one floor at a time to hospital beds providing a cost-effective basis for future hospital expansion.