Since 1999, parishioners from the Catholic Churches of St. Benedict (Duluth, GA) and St. Monica (Suwanee, GA) have been traveling to Hinche, Haiti to provide medical, dental and financial assistance to the poor and underserved of this area. In concert with Monsignor Faublas Louis, the pastor of Sacre Coeur Church in Hinche, the parish families of St. Benedict and St. Monica support a medical clinic staffed by our own Haitian physician, devoted nurses and other support staff to provide for the healthcare needs of this community. In addition we send down several dental mission trips a year, As Medical Director, I have been very fortunate to witness the tremendous help this trip has been to our Haitian friends.
Allow me to give you a brief history of this mission.
When we first started our mission we would send down 20-25 individuals for a week at a time once a year. There may be 1-2 smaller missions during the year. We were providing needed care but only a small percentage of the year. We were finally able to hire our own permanent doctor, Dr. Hudson, and staff. Today we have a clinic open Monday through Friday all year long. We average 10,000 clinic visits a year. Our medical staff treats a wide range of maladies ranging from malnutrition and parasite infections to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Our dental staff relieves a lot of misery by performing hundreds of extractions and restorations. We have partnered with the Dental school in Augusta and now have dental students providing additional needed care every year. We hope to someday employ a Haitian dentist as well to man the dental suite within the Whitney Clinic.
- Dr. Scott Pugel
Our Haiti clinic has established a support group for patients with high blood pressure and/or diabetes. This group (CEDIMAC) meets every other week with our Dr. Hudson and our program manager, Jodel. Below are just a few examples of your donations at work.
This year we had a 56 yr old woman come to the group with uncontrolled blood pressure and diabetes. She also was mostly blind due to cataracts. Dr. Hudson coordinated her getting her cataracts fixed. Her blood pressure and diabetes are now in control and she can see. She runs a business and takes care of her grandchildren. This was not possible a year ago.
We have a 70 yr old man in the group who had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. He was started on medication and attended the CEDIMAC group. Today he is off all medication thanks to diet changes and regular exercise. CEDIMAC is providing knowledge and support. This makes a huge impact on the health of the community. Last year we sent the group 25 blood pressure cuffs so they could outreach to the community to test and inform their neighbors about high blood pressure.
If you are a medical or dental professional or technician and are interested in transforming lives in Hinche, a week-long medical mission is for you!
Licensed professionals participate in five full workdays of medical relief - bringing excellent care to men, women and children who would otherwise go without.