Across the University, through programs and initiatives focusing on issues ranging from human rights to health care, UM leaders, faculty, students, and staff members have long been deeply involved in efforts to improve the health and well-being of the people of Haiti. Several of these activities are highlighted in the links noted below.
President Shalala’s Visit to Haiti
On December 2, 2003, President Shalala, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and School of Medicine Dean John G. Clarkson, and School of Nursing Dean Nilda Peragallo led a UM delegation, along with representatives from Project Medishare and the Green Family Foundation, on a two-day visit to Haiti. The members toured UM’s clinical site in Thomonde, Haiti, as well as the medical complex built nearby in Cange by Paul Farmer, M.D., of Harvard Medical School. Highlights of President Shalala’s visit are available here.
Meeting the Challenge of the Millennium Development Goals in Haiti
At the inaugural event of “Our Global Challenges: A Series of Dialogues on the Most Pressing Global Issues of Our Time” on November 2, 2009, the University of Miami School of Communication's Knight Center for International Media and The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) focused on Meeting the Challenge of the Millennium Development Goals in Haiti: A Progress Report from the Poorest Country in the Americas, held at CSIS headquarters in Washington, D.C. The panel included Paul Farmer, M.D., the UN’s Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti; Barth Green, M.D., Project Medishare cofounder and chairman of The Global Institute at the University of Miami; and Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Raymond Joseph.
Haiti Projects Portal
Produced under the initiative of the Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami School of Communication, this portal site contains links to information about various Haiti projects at UM, including Project Medishare, the Millennium Project Initiative, and the Green Family Foundation, as well as statistical information on the challenges facing Haiti.
CRECER (Challenging Racism and Empowering Communities through Ethnocultural Research)
CRECER is a community-oriented research group based at the University of Miami’s School of Education. Led by Dr. Guerda Nicolas, CRECER is composed of graduate students who seek to address social justice issues through academic research and intervention programs. The CRECER team has compiled a list of articles and other resources that may assist mental health practitioners, educators, and emergency relief workers in providing assessment and interventions for Haitians during this time of crisis.
Founded in 1995 by Barth Green, M.D., and Arthur Fournier, M.D., of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Project Medishare is dedicated to improving the health of underserved residents of Haiti’s central plateau through health services, infrastructure, and collaborative partnerships. The program, led and cofounded by Green, Fournier, and their colleague Michel Dodard, M.D., in partnership with the Green Family Foundation, enables practicing physicians, health care workers, and students from the U.S. to work collaboratively with Haiti health care professionals and institutions.
The Haiti Project
In an effort to promote medical education more relevant to people’s needs and to improve the health status of the Haitian population, the Haiti Project of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health trains Haitian medical school graduates and helps deliver much-needed services to Haiti’s rural areas.
Human Rights in Haiti Reports
The University of Miami School of Law’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, led by law faculty member Irwin P. Stotsky, seeks to increase knowledge and understanding of international human rights issues. Over the past five years, the center has made it possible for several law students to travel to Haiti to investigate and report on human rights conditions there.
Working to Protect Human Rights in Haiti
Sandrine Desamours, JD ’02/LLM ’03, a protection officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, represents the agency as a liaison and advocate at the highest levels. The daughter of Haitian parents who emigrated to the U.S., Desamours travels frequently to Haiti to monitor, conduct research, and analyze information on human rights developments and geopolitical affairs. This October 2006 profile spotlights her and her work.
Three years ago, the nursing school launched a Haiti minimester in coordination with the Miller School of Medicine and its highly regarded Haiti-based health initiative, Project Medishare. These articles from the school’s Heartbeat magazine highlight the creation of the program and its continuation as part of the school’s expanding minimester-abroad programs.
PAHEF Grant for Maternal and Infant Health in Haiti
In June 2009 the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies received a $98,000 grant from the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) to support an initiative designed to address issues of maternal and infant health in Haiti, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western hemisphere. Read the news release announcing the grant.
The library’s community forum series spotlighted Haitian-American issues in Miami in spring 2004. An article about the event with Haitian community leader Leonie Marie Hermantin can be read here.