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Global Institute partners with Project Medishare and University of Miami doctors and nurses to provide medical aid in earthquake torn Haiti

January 15, 2010

By Jennifer Browning

Chairman of The Global Institute at the University of Miami and Project Medishare Co -Founder Dr. Barth Green is currently meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval to discuss relief efforts in Port-au-Prince and Haiti.

The Global Institute at the University is organizing doctors and nurses from Miami hospitals to team up with Project Medishare’s medical teams working mobile trauma clinics in Haiti.

Project Medishare’s 11-person trauma team has been on the ground in Port-au-Prince since Wednesday morning. The trauma team worked out of United Nations headquarters at the airport, but under very difficult circumstances.

Project Medishare’s Executive Director, Ellen Powers, reported that the amount of suffering is far overwhelming the capability to help.

Three more teams arrived on Thursday with medical supplies. Instead of working out of UN headquarters, the teams are now working between Port-au-Prince’s General Hospital Hospital Universitaire de la Paix, and a makeshift hospital outside the Hotel Villa Creole where it will be easier to provide better care. Medical teams will be flying in daily to assist the primary Project Medishare team.

Project Medishare’s office and staff house in Port-au-Prince has been destroyed. Two staff members are missing and believed to be in the office at the time of the quake.

Powers said that while there was a need for medical supplies that logistically getting these supplies into the streets of Port-au-Prince are nearly impossible right now.

TODAY Show’s Ann Curry and Al Roker interviewed Anna Morrison, a Project Medishare medical team member. The medical trauma units will fly in each day with medical supplies, stay for 20 hours, and fly back to Miami. Morrison, who works at Holy Cross Hospital in Miami, said the hospital donated $5000 worth of the supplies the team brought in this morning.

CNN’s Eric Marrapodi reported that the pier used for delivery of cargo to Port-au-Prince was “completely compromised” by Tuesday’s earthquake. Marrapodi said three ships filled with medical supplies, food, clothing and water were turned away. He also reported that roads leading into the city from the dock were bucked about 5 feet high by the earthquake.

Project Medishare is asking that donors do not send supplies right now, but to donate money to Project Medishare’s Earthquake Relief Fund so that Project Medishare medical teams may purchase necessary supplies.

Project Medishare has been working in Haiti since 1995 and is committed to long term recovery efforts for years to come. Project Medishare is uniquely positioned to provide disaster relief services in Haiti because of the staff experience, language skills and relationships developed over many years working in this impoverished country.

The most urgent need right now are cash grants. You can donate through the online Earthquake Relief Fund today.

Click here to donate online to The Global Institute’s partnering efforts with Project Medishare or you can send checks by mail to:

Global Institute
Miller School of Medicine
1801 NW 9th Ave.
Suite 470 (M701)
Miami, FL 33136

Please make checks payable to: Global Institute Millennium Project Haiti.

Devastating earthquake hits Port-au-Prince

January 13, 2010

By Jennifer Browning

Just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, an earthquake with a magnitude estimated at 7.0 struck 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince leaving most the country in rubble. The Associated Press reported that parts of Haiti’s National Palace collapsed. There are also reports saying that a hospital in Pétionville, a hillside district of the capitol, collapsed. The United Nations reported late this evening that their headquarters were severely damaged and people were missing.

The worst earthquake in the region in more than 200 years leaves Port-au-Prince in darkness tonight. The New York Times reported that electricity is out, telephones are not working and relief workers struggled to make their way through streets blocked by rubble.

The Global Institute at the University of Miami is partnering with Project Medishare who is gathering reports from Haiti and monitoring events. An emergency medical team is currently being assembled and will be placed on standby if needed.

In Country Director for The Global Institute and Project Medishare Director Ellen Powers said contact has been made with staff in Thomonde and early reports are that everyone is safe.

The Global Institute and Project Medishare are organizing a trauma team to head to Haiti tomorrow.

If you would like to donate to the support the medical efforts in Haiti click here.

U.N. food chief raises awareness regarding world hunger

November 15, 2009

By Jennifer Browning

Because Rome’s U.N. Food and Agriculture offices are unheated at night, U.N. Food Chief Jacques Diouf bundled up with a hat, scarf and overcoat over his pajamas and spent the night on a makeshift mattress in an effort to draw attention to the 1 billion chronically malnourished people before next week’s U.N. food summit. Diouf began the 24-hour strike at 8 p.m. Friday in the lobby FAO offices.

Diouf along with the FAO hopes to raise awareness about the plight of the world’s hungry as well as put pressure on world leaders to help combat malnutrition.

The Akamil Production Facility sits behind a new generator, the first equipment to be installed for the facility. The Akamil Production Facility will manufacture and distribute Akamil, a mix of locally-grown products such as cereals (rice, corn, millet, wheat) and vegetables (beans) all blended into powder. It is a product of great nutritious value containing building and energetic nutrients, and is affordable to poor families. With the expert consultation of a nutritionist, the finished product will be fortified with a mix of important vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and Vitamin A.

The Akamil Production Facility sits behind a new generator, the first piece of equipment to be installed for the facility. The Akamil Production Facility will manufacture and distribute Akamil, a mix of locally-grown products such as cereals (rice, corn, millet, wheat) and vegetables (beans) all blended into powder. The finished product will be fortified with a mix of important vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and Vitamin A.

On the heels of the upcoming UN Food Summit, Project Medishare has been working toward specifically solving the malnutrition problem in Haiti with the construction of the Akamil Production Facility and Nutrition Complex. Construction of the facility began over two years ago and despite severe hurricanes the Akamil Production Facility is finally complete. Currently, equipment for the production facility is being installed. Project Medishare is expecting to conduct trial runs of the Akamil product in December.

The Global Institute at the University of Miami has joined Project Medishare in the battle against hunger and malnutrition through the Integrated Community Development Program (ICDP’s). The Akamil Production Facility is a start in working toward the ICDP’s success.

Read more…

Chris Lowell donates Haiti photography profits

July 13, 2009
Mother of 3. Photo by Chris Lowell.

Mother of 3. Photo by Chris Lowell.

By Jennifer Browning

Chris Lowell Photography is donating 100 percent of sales from the Haiti collection to The Global Institute’s partnering organization, Project Medishare. Project Medishare conducts all of the community health care and agriculture programs in Haiti’s Central Plateau, including in Marmont, home of the first Millennium Village Project in Haiti.

Chris Lowell was born and raised in Georgia. He has been a professional fine art photographer for six years, shooting in countries across the globe from Morocco to Peru to Korea. He found out about Project Medishare through a friend at Emory University and participated in a trip to Haiti in the Fall of 2008. Aside from photography, Chris also works as an actor in Los Angeles. He is currently starring on the show “Private Practice” on the ABC network.

Click here to view Chris Lowell’s photography website. To inquire about purchasing photos from his Haiti project you may contact him at chris@chrislowellphotography.com.

Haiti sees drop in HIV/AIDS infection rate

July 7, 2009

By Jennifer Browning

For a country that was unscientifically stigmatized in the early 80’s as a breeding ground for the AIDS virus, Haiti is coming out on top regarding HIV infection rates. According to UNAIDS, infection rates in Haiti dropped from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent among expectant mothers in the last 15 years. Today researchers are testing all adults, putting Haiti’s official rate at 2.2 percent.

Two organizations receiving much of the credit are Boston’s Partners in Health and Port-au-Prince’s GHESKIO, widely considered to be the world’s oldest AIDS clinic. Haiti’s success in the fight against AIDS has been attributed to education, coordinated use of AIDS drugs as well as behavioral changes including increased condom.

In December, Project Medishare, who is partnered with The Global Institute at the University of Miami, received a $1.25 million grant through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The award, which focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention activities, is part of a $4.8 million grant to Cross International, a South Florida-based interdenominational Christian humanitarian agency. The grant’s goal is to encourage faith-based and local organizations to partner with the U.S. government’s global AIDS initiative. Cross International is working with Project Medishare and four mission partners to begin a comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness and care program targeting teens, AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. The three-year project will reach an estimated 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children, providing them with care and medical services. Project Medishare will focus its work on one of Haiti’s poorest regions, the central plateau.

Read Jonathan Katz’s article regarding Haiti’s plummeting HIV/AIDS infection rate here.

Haitian President Rene Preval expresses full support to The Global Institute’s programs in Haiti

June 24, 2009
Pictured above are Marie Chery (Project Medishare and The Global Insitute), Marissa Merove-Pierre (Support Group or Project Medishare in Haiti), Ellen Powers (Project Medishare and The Global Insitute), Haitian President Rene Preval, Dr. Barth Green (Project Medishare Co-Founder), and Pasha & Angele Vorbe (Support Group of Project Medishare in Haiti).

Pictured above are Marie Chery (Project Medishare and The Global Insitute), Marissa Merove-Pierre (Support Group or Project Medishare in Haiti), Ellen Powers (Project Medishare and The Global Insitute), Haitian President Rene Preval, Dr. Barth Green (Project Medishare Co-Founder and Chairman of The Global Institute), and Pasha & Angele Vorbe (Support Group of Project Medishare in Haiti).

By Jennifer Browning

After a meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval last week, Preval expressed excitement about Project Medishare and The Global Insitute at the University of Miami’s many programs and initiatves focused in the Central Plateau.

On Tuesday, June 16 Dr. Barth Green, Ellen Powers, Marie Chery, from the Global Institute at the University of Miami and Project Medishare, along with Pasha and Angele Vorbe and Marissa Merove-Pierre from the Support Group for Project Medishare in Haiti, met with President Preval regarding a variety of ongoing programs focused in Haiti’s Central Plateau.

The discussion mostly centered around the program activities of The Global Institute & Project Medishare in the Central Plateau with a major focus on the Millennium Village Project in Marmont. Dr. Green also talked about how he is spearheading the effort for the construction of the first trauma hospital in the country, in collaboration with Jackson Memorial Hospital, the University of Miami and local partners in Haiti.

President Preval expressed his full support for these initiatives reinforcing the national development efforts toward economic growth and poverty reduction.

The President is planning a site visit to the Millennium Village Project in Marmont in the near future to get first hand knowledge of the progress being made in this region.

South Florida delegates meet with The Global Institute

June 24, 2009

By Jennifer Browning

At the request of Representative Kendrick Meek and the South Florida delegation, Dr. Michel Dodard and Ellen Powers, representing Project Medishare and The Global Institute, joined the Florida lawmakers for a lunch meeting on Monday.

Dr. Michel Dodard and Ellen Powers with the South Florida congretional delegates during their visit to Haiti this past Monday.

Dr. Michel Dodard and Ellen Powers with the South Florida congretional delegates during their visit to Haiti this past Monday.

At the meeting, Dr. Dodard and Ms. Powers spoke to the group about The Global Institute and Project Medishare’s programs in Haiti, including the Millennium Village in Marmont. Dr. Dodard also discussed the details of University of Miami’s workforce development program, which focuses on training Haitian residents to be family doctors in Cap Haitien.

The Global Institute is seeking funding from the US government for these programs supported and led by Representative Wasserman Shultz. The Florida representatives were very supportive of the programs.

Below is a video clip reporting about the South Florida delegates meeting which was aired on Miami’s Channel 6.