Twinned with Notre Dame D'Altagrace, Cap Haitien, Haiti. Join in solidarity with this poor parish, share blessings, needs, and prayers.
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[The following is an edited transcript of an e-mail from Archangel Medical Mission team member Stu Hirsch, who is one of the pilots coordinating with Peter Sloan. Explanatory/editorial notes in italics.]
From Stu Hirsch, 14 Nov 2012, 5am: At 0800hrs [13 Nov] , Mike and I returned to the Les Cayes aerodrome to depart for Cap Hatien where we had planned to rendezvous with Pete Sloan to review his team's clinic operations and location. The flight conditions were optimal and we were able to make the 127NM direct trip in 53 minutes - far surpassing the typical 12-16 hours for ground transit between Les Cayes and Cap Hatien... Vehicular road trauma in Haiti with mass-casualty accidents is quite prevalent and with little recourse for trauma care, other than in Port au Prince. Once meeting Pete at the terminal at Cap Haitien Airport (MTCH), we were driven by Father Gabriel to Notre Dame d'Altagrace, where Pete and his crew were staying and working. As we drove to that church, about 2km from the airport, we noted the impoverished conditions of the surrounding communities. At the church, we went on a tour of their clinic which was being manned by Sister Deirdre (DeDe) and a Nurse Practitioner [parishioner Annie Quast] from the DC area. Father Gabriel introduced us to the pastor of the church and we discussed the progress and challenges of the Cap Haitien community and the outlying regional communities since the earthquake and most recent hurricane. I described our model of partnering with Haitian medical providers to support the existing public health system with standardization of medical protocols, clinic operations, community health education and basic first responder/first aid training and sharing of health data as collaborative methods of improving the health metrics and outcomes for the respective populations. This was well received and we will most likely partner with Pete's efforts to build this sustainable model as a replicable one in multiple areas as we are currently doing in the Southern Department Les Cayes area.
By 12PM, Pete, Mike and I flew in a formation flight from Cap Hatien to Port au Prince in order to refuel and to retrieve our incoming personnel. The coordination and procedures for the 'flight of two' went very well. We arrived by 1PM and were in immediate contact with our teams. We used two-way radio communication to coordinate the transit of our clinical team from the main terminal down to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) with a secure ground transport. Both teams arrived expeditiously. Pete returned to Cap Hatien with his two team members [Boy Scout Henry Speaker and his dad, Stuart, who flew via commercial airline and will return Fri, 16 Nov] as we conducted two shuttle flights to Les Cayes with our four team members and gear.
Please continue to pray for the success of the mission, and for the safe return of Peter, Sr. DeDe, and Annie.