The Medical Clinic at Pistere is at the heart of what Soaring is doing in Haiti. Located in the rural environs of Cap Haitien, the clinic staff of a Doctor, Administrator, Lab Technician and Pharmacy Coordinator, continue to serve patients four days a week in a community where cows and goats roam freely, no electric power or indoor plumbing exists, and you still sometimes see older people riding donkeys. These critical medical services are now expanding toward an even greater emphasis on women and their children and families. Our newest staff member ~ a nurse ~ is conducting training of local midwives, providing prenatal care, and delivering family planning services. And as we continue to conduct meetings, discussions, and conference calls with the Building Goodness Foundation, we move forward toward our dream of a Women's Health & Birthing Clinic where we will continue to do even more to help ensure healthy births, assist women with their health needs, and strive to improve the maternal and infant mortality rates in the nation with the worst record in the western hemisphere.
A partnership between Soaring Unlimited and Michigan State University started in February of 2012. The vision for this partnership was created by Soaring Unlimited Executive Director, Dorothy Frederickson and MSU Associate Dean, Dr. William Cunningham. The objective for Soaring was to improve the health care services at its medical clinic in the rural village of Pister with expertise provided by MSU doctors and medical students. MSU in turn would gain an established and credible partner providing medical services where their students could experience a third world country learning opportunity that fit the mission of the MSU Institute of Global Health where Dr. Cunningham serves as its Director.
Over the past seven years Dr. Cunningham has personally headed teams annually of doctors and medical students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine. They have provided a level of care not otherwise possible to hundreds of patients in an unserved area of rural Haiti and acted as mentors to the Soaring medical staff. Earlier this year a memo of understanding between MSU and the nearby hospital in Milot was signed, which promises to bring additional collaboration with Soaring and enhance its medical mission.
The commitment demonstrated by MSU with its seven year association has helped elevate not only the level of care provided at the Pister clinic, but also the stature of Soaring in terms of credibility with financial donors, partner organizations and volunteers. The continuation of this kind of collaboration is critical to the long-term sustainability of Soaring and its mission to serve the good people of Haiti.