Sunday, April 19, 2009
Haiti in the Rearview Mirror!
At about 4:30pm today we "shifted colors" and got underway headed out of Haiti. This has been an amazing experience: Being part of an awesome team, doing something that really changes lives, learning skills that enhance our ability to respond to disasters wherever they occur, and having a chance to share that with family and friends back home. I never even kept a journal before, let alone a blog!
So here's what we did: We had over 7,000 patient encounters providing over 30,000 healthcare services. We operated on 158 children and adults and had 4400 education encounters. These included thousands of Dental visits, Optometry, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Dermatology, Physical Therapy, Women's Health, Orthopedics, General Surgery, Pediatric General Surgery, Pediatric Orthopedics, Urology, Opthalmology, Plastic surgery, and no doubt others I can't remember off the top of my head. We built a new pharmacy for the General Hospital and rehabilitated the floor in a staff dormatory. Our Vets treated thousands of animals and our Bio-Med Equipment repair technicians repaired hundreds of pieces of medical equipment. We entertained 336 visitors onboard the ship, including surgeons and anesthesiology residents who worked side-by-side with our surgeons. We delivered 350 pallets of material for the Haitian people including 1.4 Million meals provided by Project Handclasp and Food for the Poor. Our U.S. Air Force Band played numerous concerts and taught introduction to musical instruments to a school full of children. Our Civilian Mariners and Boat Detachment provided training on small engine repair and inventory management for the Haitian Coast Guard. Our Chaplain led two projects that rehabilitated two parks and painted a new Surgery Center.
It has been such an honor to serve with every person on this ship! Most of us are working 14-16 hour days with many people working longer than that. Tomorrow I'm able to let most of our team sleep in a little: No boats getting underway to 5:45am! One day of rest, then back at it!
Well, I have to head down for our post-Haiti brief. Tonight we will wrap up Haiti. We're already on our way to the Dominican Republic.