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The End of One Relationship and Beginning of Another

For several years we have been blessed to be an overseas clinical site for nursing students at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing taking their Public Health Nursing course as undergraduate BSN students. Twice each year we have had a group of 9 students and one faculty member come down to Haiti to work with us in our Water and Sanitation Program as well as assist with patient consultations in our outpatient clinic in Gatineau. Over the years, these students and their incredibly dedicated faculty have helped us train our Community Promoters, train our census workers, evaluate our water and sanitation program, provide community education in communities far from the clinic and work beside us in giving medical and nursing care in our clinic. They have had a huge role to play in the success of our community development efforts and we are grateful for the ongoing relationship we have had with the School of Nursing.

As with most things in life, things change and Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has decided to make their nursing program a masters level program now, doing away with the Public Health Nursing course. But, thanks to faculty member Diana Baptiste and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health faculty member Pablo Yori, we have now entered into a new relationship with both the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health (which is where I obtained my MPH degree). Diana and Pablo and graduate student Sabianca Delva joined Dr. Nicole Warren and her last group of undergraduate nursing students on a visit to us in early May. Nicole and her students led a training session for 12 new Community Promoters, helped us out in the clinic with patient care and education and visited a far away community to conduct a community education session with the community members.

New community promoters work together on an assignment during their training session

Promoters learn how to construct a tippy-tap as a means of washing hands.

Promoters take a test on the last day of class.

12 new community promoters with Gemi, Dr. Wolf and instructors.

JHSON team on the residence porch. Standing: Michelle, Melissa, Ellie, Leah, Colleen. Squatting: Julia, Suzie, Augusta, Abi and faculty member Dr. Nicole Warren.

Diana, Pablo and Sabi visited several water sources in the area and observed how the local people obtain, transport and store their water. In addition, they saw some of the new latrines that have just been constructed in our Promoter communities and assisted the students in their community education activities. Pablo has been working in the field of water and sanitation for many years in Peru and we were thrilled to be able to have him observe and give feedback on our own community development efforts. Both Diana and Sabi are Haitian-Americans and speak Creole fluently, so they were a huge help during the community visits. We all spent some time discussing together the future of our partnership with Johns Hopkins and possible areas of collaboration. Some of those areas may involve doing clinical research, providing opportunities for graduate students to get some field experience and multi-disciplinary assistance with our water and sanitation program. We look forward to what lies in store for all of us!

The team, including Pablo, hike to a far away community of Milfort to visit two new promoters and conduct a community education session.

Faculty member Diana Baptiste, showing off her new FHH t-shirt (available through the FHH store on our website!)

The entire team on their last day in Jeremie (Top from left: Diana, Pablo, Julia, Melissa, Nicole, Sabi, Abi, Leah, Augusta) (Sitting from left: Suzie, Coleen, Michelle, Ellie)

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