Through Direct Relief’s partnership with Healing Art Missions, more than 15,000 people in Haiti were able to receive primary medical care, access a cholera clinic and eye care center and obtain much-needed medications last year.
The organization was founded in 1999 by family practice physician, Tracee Laing following her first medical mission to Haiti. During Dr. Tracee’s first trip to Haiti in 1997, she was touched not only by the tremendous medical needs of the people, but also by the beautiful art the Haitians created.
Realizing the suitcases she and her teams used to transport the medications needed for their medical missions would be empty at the end of the trip, she decided to purchase art from the local Haitian artists to bring back to the U.S. and then organized a silent auction of the art in which she raised enough money to fund subsequent medical trips to Haiti and create Healing Art Missions.
After the earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, Healing Art Missions realized they needed to open a full-time medical clinic to replace the community health center they opened in Dumay in 2000. They built a new primary health care clinic, Centre de Santé, which serves a population of 20,000 in Dumay, a rural subsistence farming community northeast of capital, Port-au-Prince.
Centre de Santé provides five-day-a-week access to doctors, laboratory testing, and a pharmacy. Additionally, they offer the Noel Dusan Eye Clinic, vaccine clinics, family planning, prenatal and infant wellness programs, a nutrition program, and clean water programs. Many programs are free to the community. The cost to see a physician and necessary prescriptions is equivalent to about 60 cents U.S., though no one is turned away if they do not have money.
The clinics are staffed entirely by Haitians. Dr. Jean Fritz Jacques – one of only 100 general surgeons currently working in Haiti – serves as the medical director. In total, 13 full-time medical staff and 11 support staff work at the clinic.
Direct Relief has been supporting Healing Art Missions since December 2010 and to date has provided the organization seven shipments of medicines and supplies totaling more than $372,000. With the support, the nonprofit was able to provide a wide array of medical and health services on an annual cash budget of just under $200,000.
“Without the substantial material support of Direct Relief, our abilities and impact in providing the quality of care we have achieved would be significantly diminished,” said a representative from Healing Art Missions.
Additionally, in 2012 with the help of Direct Relief they:
- performed 224 minor procedures
- gave 2925 vaccinations
- performed 3643 laboratory tests
- enrolled 100 participants per month in the family planning program
- performed 261 eye exams at the Noel Dusan Eye Clinic
Direct Relief is happy to support the work of organizations like Healing Art Missions who are helping thousands of Haitians in need access quality, affordable medical care.