Healing Hands for Haiti Minnesota Team

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Posing for their photo are the 2003 Minnesota Healing Hands team, along with the clinic staff and administration.
Posing for their photo are the 2003 Minnesota Healing Hands team, along with the clinic staff and administration.

A 17-person medical team from Healing Hands for Haiti will leave for Haiti Friday, February 6, and will return on Monday, February 16. The humanitarian team includes a physiatrist, nurse practitioner, a prosthetist, orthotist, O&P technician, five physical therapists, three occupational therapists, three support staff, and a translator.

Viewers can "travel" with the team as they provide vital assistance to disabled persons in this poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

The physician and nurse practitioner, along with Haitian physicians and nurses, will evaluate patients and then send them to the appropriate team member for treatment. The orthotist, prosthetist, and technician will evaluate, fabricate, fit, and repair as many devices as possible while teaching the Haitian technical staff," said Al Ingersoll, CP. "The therapists will treat patients, teach students, and help the O&P staff." Some team members also will visit orphanages each day.

Dominique (above left), a technician in training, examines a child with bilateral congenital partial foot absence as Al Ingersoll, CP, holds her.
Dominique (above left), a technician in training, examines a child with bilateral congenital partial foot absence as Al Ingersoll, CP, holds her.

Haiti is a country where 50 percent of the adult population is unemployed and 65 percent cannot read or write. The majority of people cannot get safe drinking water, medical care, or sufficient food for their families. "The overwhelming need for caregivers is matched only by the continually growing need for materials and tools used to construct appropriate prosthetics and orthotics for upper- and lower-extremity amputations and musculoskeletal deformities and weakness," the organization points out.

Helping Haitians to help themselves is a prime goal of the organization. "Through providing these services, we hope to ultimately see independent and well-trained Haitian personnel who specialize in rehabilitative medicine," the organization says. Another vision is the establishment of a permanent rehabilitation hospital in Haiti.

Healing Hands for Haiti is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, nongovernmental, and nondenominational 501 (c) 3 organization. For more information, visit           www.healinghandsforhaiti.org.

Bremer, Barr Aid Haitians

The students are (from left) Edyline, Clifford, and Flavianne. Bremer (second from right) said, ”The students are great to work with. We worked very hard but still had fun and became friends.”
The students are (from left) Edyline, Clifford, and Flavianne. Bremer (second from right) said, ”The students are great to work with. We worked very hard but still had fun and became friends.”

Several teams have volunteered for Healing Hands for Haiti. Tom Bremer, CP, Bremer Prosthetic Design, Flint, Michigan, traveled to Haiti in late November 2003 with ten boxes of supplies from the Barr Foundations Hope Donors Members. Bremer cast seven patients. Three were bilateral amputees, including a boy, age nine, with bilateral AK amputations. Bremer, along with Barr Foundation President Tony Barr, returned to Haiti in late January to fit the patients with their new prostheses.

Bremer also provided for a Haitian student to stay at his home and train in his facility from mid-May to mid-August, 2003, before returning to Port-au-Prince, Haitis capital. Clifford Cadet, 25, speaks three languages: English, French, and Creole. Cadets warm personality and enthusiasm won the hearts of Bremers family and the clinic staff. He will be a real asset to Healing Hands for Haiti, Bremer said.

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