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Duke Medicine Responds to Haiti Disaster
Dzau visits Haiti; second Duke medical team deployed
From Victor J. Dzau, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and President and CEO of Duke University Health System
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti to not only provide my personal support to our Duke medical team, but also to assess the situation on the ground as it exists there today. Witnessing the incredible human spirit in the patients, families and Duke medical professionals there in the midst of a very difficult situation was inspiring to say the least. There is no question that our teams have made, and are making, a significant difference in the lives of many people there.
While in Haiti, I also had the opportunity to meet with health officials and medical leaders, along with our colleagues at Partners In Health, about the challenges that lie ahead in rebuilding the completely decimated health care system in Haiti. I'm sure all of us know by now that hospitals and clinics throughout the country were largely destroyed and medical care -- in many areas -- is now being administered in temporary facilities. Just about everything has already been said about the situation there, but having now observed it directly, I would only say that the needs there are indescribable.
As you know, our first medical relief team returned to Duke recently and our second team is currently working at the Partners In Health hospital in Cange. We remain committed to providing the appropriate level of involvement for Duke Medicine in this continuing crisis and facilitating the interest and desire that so many of our employees have expressed in volunteering and helping. I hope to be communicating with you in coming weeks the planned extent of our outreach to Haiti and further opportunities through which our employees can participate.
Prior to our departure for Haiti, Dr. Ian Greenwald and I presented an update to the Board of Trustees on our efforts in Haiti thus far and the response was tremendous. They were extremely supportive and proud of our efforts and moved by the outpouring of interest among our employees.
I will continue to keep you updated on our continuing plan for engagement in Haiti and how you can help. One way now, would be to consider donating to the Duke Medicine Responds to Haiti fund by clicking on the link above.
As I write this update, I am shocked again with the news reports of massive earthquakes in Chile and China that have claimed many lives and caused tremendous damage. Our hearts and thoughts reach out to the victims.
Victor J. Dzau, MD
- Click Here to sign up for the Duke Regional Advisory Committee State Medical Assistance Team (SMAT)