Holy Name Medical Center Raises Awareness for Haiti Initiative
Make a Difference: Have a Heart, Help Haiti" premier draws 350
Holy Name Medical Center (HNMC) hosted a premier screening of Caucus: New Jersey's "Make a Difference: Have a Heart, Help Haiti" on February 13. The public television program, which features interviews with Michael Maron, President/CEO of HNMC, and David Butler, MD, HNMC Ob/Gyn and President of the Center for Rural Development of Milot, was one component of the evening's event, which introduced Holy Name's "Hospital for Haiti" initiative and provided an overview of the Medical Center's efforts to enhance the level of patient care at Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti.
During the evening, guests viewed documentary footage about life in Haiti and learned about the healthcare and socioeconomic challenges faced by the people of Milot, which is located in the northern region of the country. Mr. Maron and members of the medical staff who had made humanitarian trips, including Dr. Butler, and Dr. Timothy Finley and Dr. Alan Gwertzman, both HNMC anesthesiologists, shared personal anecdotes about their experiences. Steve Adubato, Ph.D., host and producer of Caucus: New Jersey and One-on-One, provided commentary, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur serves 225,000 people in Milot and the northern Haiti region. It is one of the area's few reliable healthcare resources, although the facility and its technology are 30 to 40 years behind the times. Volunteers from Holy Name Medical Center are providing critically-needed medical care to adults and children at Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Physicians and nurses bring equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals on every visit, and provide education to Haitian healthcare professionals about current medical practice. Holy Name's administrators and technical employees work on infrastructure and systems initiatives, in an effort to lend organization and leadership.
Mr. Maron captivated the audience at the beginning of his presentation with a recording of a beating human heart. He proceeded to speak of his Medical Center's commitment to Haiti, explaining that "Haiti chose Holy Name," rather than the other way around. "Our hearts were open, and we listened," he said. "As an organization vibrant with faith and a beacon of light in challenging times, we chose to act. That is how faith must be. The minor sacrifices we will make for Haiti will only make us stronger and better caregivers here... It is our responsibility, those who have benefited from the sacrifices of others, those of us who have the means, the strength and the courage to act... it is our charge to do so."
Mr. Maron described how the relationship with Hôpital Sacré Coeur started with Dr. Butler 20 years ago, and Holy Name's founders and sponsors, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, have had a consistent presence there. However, after the devastating earthquake of 2010, Holy Name stepped up its involvement and the staff was moved to do more. Mr. Maron said Holy Name's work in Haiti would not be a short-term project, but rather, "HNMC is there for the long haul, there for the people of Milot, with the ultimate goal of creating a reliable, sustainable, healthcare system."
Over 350 people were in attendance at February 13th event, including benefactors, elected officials, individuals from the community at large, and members of the Holy Name family. Honored guests included 22 Holy Name employees and medical staff members who have volunteered their expertise and skills at Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Also present were Angelica Berrie, President, Board of Trustees of the Russell Berrie Foundation; Stephen A. Borg, President of North Jersey Media Group and Publisher of The Record; and leaders from The Valley Hospital, St. Barnabas Healthcare System, Mount Sinai Medical Center, United Water and Bergen County LINKS.
To learn more about Holy Name Medical Center's commitment to Haiti or to make a charitable donation to the Hospital for Haiti initiative, visit www.holyname.org/haiti or call the Holy Name Medical Center Foundation at 201-833-3187.
Michael Maron, President & CEO, Holy Name Medical Center, with children of Milot, Haiti.