We’ve had a number of significant events in the history of Friends for Health in Haiti since Cherlie and I started our ministry here in 2007. One of the most significant occurred on Monday, March 17th when we moved all of our patient operations into the new clinic building. We had been delayed in doing this due to ongoing construction at the site, including some finishing touches being put on the clinic porch and doors. But with the second story roof poured on the pharmacy/lab/xray building, the site is less “active” now in terms of dump trucks bringing up materials, so we decided it was a good time to make the big move.
Thursday, March 13th we moved all the charts, medications and supplies from our little tin-roofed house clinic over to the new clinic building. Saturday found us at the site doing some touch-up painting on the porch and inside waiting area. We took the benches that had been under the previous tin-roofed waiting area inside the house and brought out our new benches onto the new clinic porch. Monday morning when we got up to the site, the patients were there and waiting, uncertain as to the change that was afoot. We told them that they were about to make history as the first patients to be treated in the new Centre de Sante de Gatineau! Those who had been praying for this day were rejoicing along with us, because they knew the obstacles that we had faced in getting these buildings up, painted and furnished. It didn’t matter that the electricity and water weren’t yet connected. The natural light coming into the clinic rooms was astounding as was the cool breeze coming across the valley and into the windows. The walls were smooth and painted, a nice contrast to the falling-apart stucco walls we left behind. Instead of plastic garbage bags tied to the window or the back of a chair, we now have plastic wastebaskets, conveniently located in each room. There are drawers and cabinets for our supplies and a storage room for all the extras. We feel like we are truly in heaven!
Front of the clinic on our beautiful opening day.
Patients sit on benches on the new clinic porch waiting for consultations to start.
Cherlie addressing the patients at the start of the new clinic opening day.
Dr. Wolf speaking with patients on opening day in the new clinic.
Praying with patients and dedicating the new clinic to the Lord.
Cherlie leading a patient into her fresh, new triage room.
Dr. Wolf interviewing a patient in one of the new consultation rooms.
Dr. Katie and Cherlie removing sutures from a young patient.
Guy-Johns Chevalier works in the temporary pharmacy area set up in the Medical Records room in the new clinic.
Adrien Jean Jacques registers patients in the Medical Records area of the new clinic. He also is our clinic chaplain.
A patient registers outside at the registration window.
Thanks to all of you who have donated your time, money and energy in making this wonderful clinic possible. We are rejoicing in the way the Lord has blessed us through you!
THE DENTISTS WERE HERE AGAIN!
For the second year in a row, we’ve had the privilege of hosting a team of dental students and faculty from Temple University in Philadelphia, under the direction of Dr. Jason Bresler. Six students and faculty set up their portable dental chairs on the front porch of the clinic and pulled teeth for 52 of our patients! The patients were thrilled with the service and we felt blessed to be able to help provide it to them, due to the generosity of the Temple University team. Much thanks to all!
Patients waiting to have their teeth pulled by the Temple University dental team.
Temple University dental team sets up on the clinic porch.
Patients getting their teeth pulled and others awaiting their fate!
Working on a patient with dental instruments spread out on a table behind.
Dr. Jason Bresler, faculty member and one of the team leaders from Temple University Dental School.
We recently poured a new surface on the bridge leading up to the clinic site, replete with drainage canals and a sloped surface to prevent mud and water from accumulating on the bridge. This had been a major problem in the past, so the new surface will successfully resolve it. Below are photos of the old and new bridge. The design is thanks to Thomas Lee, architect from NJ.
Bridge prior to its facelift!
New bridge surface. The rocks near the bridge will be used to fill gabion cages along the sides of the creek above and below the bridge.
New bridge from the side, looking over the creek to the new clinic buildings.
We also recently had a Haitian carpenter build doors for the patient latrines. Most all of our construction work has been done by Haitian workmen. It’s a great way to provide employment for them and helps them support their families.
Haitian carpenters working on the latrine doors.
Completed latrine doors.