The following post was written by Scott Nelson when he first arrived with a team at Hopital Adventiste d’Haiti early last week. This is Part 1 of the March, 2015 Trip Report Series.
Due to the efforts of Elaine Lewis (surgical tech), Dan Brown (facilities manager) and Ed Martin (administrator) major progress is being made. When we arrived yesterday on campus there was a noticeable difference. The wires and tubes hanging all over the front of the building have been consolidated and cleaned up, the old ambulance parked in the backyard has been relocated, the nonfunctioning rusty water tank that was “gifted” to us after the earthquake has been removed, and the makeshift dilapidated kitchen built by The Supreme Masters in 2010 has been destroyed.
Thanks to Elaine the operating room is in impeccable condition. I have never seen it so organized. Not a single item is out of place in the sterilization room, the table is not piled up with a bunch of disorganized instruments, the sinks are clean and the shelves are labeled and neatly stacked. Although the new operating room is still awaiting some final touches the current operating area is more than adequate to accommodate whatever cases need to be done. A big part of doing safe surgery is being organized, having what you need when you need it, keeping equipment clean and in good working condition, and effectively using what you have. More important than Elaine’s organizational skills is her diplomacy. She has not done all this work herself. She has motivated the staff, built relationships, taught them what needs to be done and shown appreciation for quality work. They are now doing it on their own.
I have not yet seen the progress inside the new operating room but I expect that my report will be good. Two massive medical air/suction pumps have been installed downstairs as well as a huge circuit board. These pumps look large enough to run the 16 operating rooms at Loma Linda University much less the 3 at HAH. The front entrance to the operating rooms has been remodeled and looks modern and clean.
This week in addition to the cases that we have to operate we plan to accomplish some administrative goals regarding the sustainability of the orthopaedic program. Although all of us have the common goal of continuing to offer top quality services to all, it is challenging to find ways to increase revenues, make a budget, transact donations and continue to host volunteers without burdening the precarious financial situation of the hospital.