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The year 2020 began with a bit more political stability here in Haiti than we had for most of the previous year. But, we are still requiring our visitors to fly back and forth between Port-au-Prince and Jérémie in order to minimize any travel risks. We were very happy to welcome another great team from Avera Health in Sioux Falls, SD at the end of January. The team consisted of team leader Kathy English, RN, her husband gynecologist Dr. Gil English, their daughter Ann Marie Schulze (marketing), Gerri (nurse) and Jerome (handyman) Malsom, NP Dana Buus, and nurses Craig Eden, Katelyn Grehl, Mary Holsing, Marlis Eben, Joseph Whalen, Patricia Erpenbach and Rosemary Murphy. Dana and I did patient consultations and Dr. Gil performed lots of Pap tests and gynecology follow up evaluations. Craig and Joe helped Jerome with construction tasks and the rest of the nurses did lab tests, helped in the pharmacy, assisted the physicians and helped with ER patients.

January 2020 Avera group: (Top L to R) Kathy, Gil, Marlis, Jerome,Gerri, Mary

(Bottom L to R) Katelyn, Joe, Pat, Rosemary, Dana, Ann Marie, Craig

In addition to practicing gynecology, Dr. Gil sees general medical patients for us and even fits some of them with reading glasses!

Dr. Gil testing a patient for reading glasses with the help of translator Wilder.

Nurse practitioner Dana with her translator, Reginal.

With our travel to PAP curtailed by the political instability, groups like this Avera team bring us valuable medications to stock our clinic pharmacy.

The group unpacks, sorts and records expiration dates on medications they brought down with them for our clinic.

Jerome always helps with handyman tasks such as putting up signs on the lab, xray and pharmacy doors. The signs were made by workmen in South Dakota specifically for our clinic. We thank Jerome and the sign-makers!

Jerome stands by the sign he just attached to the door of the laboratory.

This time, Jerome had Craig and Joe to help him out with his “to do” list. Joe tried to help cut down a rock wall behind the storage depot but quickly found out it wasn’t an easy task! He was trying to loosen up the rock so the skid steer could break it up but it was obvious they needed a jack hammer to do the job.

Joe takes a pickaxe to the rock wall behind our storage depot. He decided he likes nursing better!

The nurses all kept busy helping with patient care, Pap smears, lab tests, pharmacy tasks and giving out gifts to the patients. Here they are at work:

Katelyn had her chance to play handyman also as she changed the sanitizer solution in our wall sanitizers (gifts to us from Avera).

Pat writes out receipts in the pharmacy.

Rosemary counts meds in the pharmacy.

Marlis helps with an asthma patient in the ER as the boy’s grandfather looks on.

Rosemary, Ann Marie and Pat ready for work in the clinic.

Joe and Kathy do a little bonding in the clinic hallway.

Mary takes her turn helping out in the pharmacy.

Some of the group went to a nearby community called Provert to do some health teaching. While there, they taught people about hypertension and took blood pressures for anyone who wanted them to. Then, the whole group, along with Cherlie and me went on Friday to another community called Morvan to do teaching and blood pressure checks. These community visits are always well received.

Some of the group doing health education in the community of Provert.

Craig checks a blood pressure in Morvan.

Gerri makes a new friend in Morvan.

We’re grateful for all the visitors who come to Haiti to help us in our ministry. We also are grateful for the prayers of those of you who remain behind, prayers for safety, good health and flexibility for the visitors who come. May you all be blessed because of your faithfulness and service to the Lord and to the Haitian people!

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