The AAN is working with Operation Blessing International (OBI) to promote opportunities for neurologists to provide aid in earthquake ravaged Haiti.
Operation Blessing International is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, humanitarian organization offering hunger relief, disaster relief, medical aid, vulnerable children programs, microenterprise opportunities, and more within the United States and around the world. One of its programs in Haiti is to place volunteer American medical professionals at St. Damien Hospital for children and St. Luke Hospital for adults in Port-Au-Prince to work alongside the Haitian staff in disease diagnostics, patient care, and education. Physician volunteers will be asked to provide care to many patients with a variety of needs, as well as offering neurologic care when necessary.
Visits are open to US members and each physician volunteer must have a valid US medical license, medical liability insurance, and should consult his or her insurance carrier for information on overseas coverage for humanitarian work. Volunteers are responsible for their own round-trip airfare (OBI can recommend a travel agency). OBI provides all in-country ground transportation, accommodations, and meals. Typical trips last one to two weeks, depending on the volunteer's availability. Arrangements should be made directly with OBI.
"I have been working with Operation Blessing for the past year," said Anthony G. Alessi, MD, FAAN, who was one of the first AAN members on the scene after the earthquake struck. "The assistance they have provided to those of us working with Fr. Rick Frechette at the St. Luke Health Center has been invaluable. Operation Blessing is a multi-faceted faith-based charity that has been working around the world for many years. In Haiti they have provided clean water, construction, and medical assistance. Their most recent project has been to sponsor medical teams from the Mayo Clinic to assist our efforts to care for the poor of Haiti. I am impressed by their level of organization and ability to provide a safe environment for volunteers."
Weeklong trips to Haiti are currently being scheduled for the weeks of July 23, August 13, September 3, and September 17. In addition, Operation Blessing is planning trips through December with specific dates for those trips to be announced soon on their website.
Learn more at Operation Blessing International.
For more information on what it’s been like for AAN members to volunteer in Haiti, read these articles from Neurology Today.