Thursday, May 5, 2011
LBCC Diagnostic Imaging Faculty Stacy Mallory Teaches in Haiti
Diagnostic Imaging faculty Stacy Mallory makes no bones about the fact that she cannot fix the problems in Haiti. But what she can do is help the people to help themselves.
Stacy spent most of the month of April volunteering in the only hospital in Haiti with an emergency room, Hospital Bernard Mevs. Located in Port-au-Prince, the hospital serves a population of about 3 million people, yet only has two emergency room beds, four ICU beds, and 11 medical-surgical beds. The whole hospital takes up four small buildings, with walled rooms for X-ray and CT scan equipment.
Stacy’s purpose: To train three men with no formal college education who spoke very little English to X-ray patients on machines whose instructions were in English. The challenges were many, Stacy said. She was on 24-hour call, seven days a week at the mostly-volunteer hospital, which is sponsored by Medishare and the University of Miami.
“The premise behind what we are doing is to train the Haitian people to take over operation of the hospital in three years,” said Stacy.
Initially a tent hospital erected after the earthquake last year, the hospital moved to the permanent buildings in September. Patients usually arrive in the back of a truck. There are no ambulances.
“Everyone has to do everything there,” said Stacy.
“Not only was I teaching, but I also did triage, gave shots, and assisted other staff.”
Stacy also taught an online course for the program here, keeping in contact with her students via email and the internet around 2 a.m. each morning.
“I hope that my experience in Haiti will add depth and diversity in my teaching here. People in Haiti have so little. There’s so much disease, so many things can go wrong,” she explained. “Ninety percent of the X-rays here are good, while 90 percent in Haiti show a major health issue.”
One of Stacy’s Diagnostic Imaging graduates will be heading to Haiti for one week to do follow-up work and take much-needed supplies.
“I will probably go back, and maybe sooner than I think,” said Stacy. “If we are going to help them, the best way to do it is to help them help themselves.”