Dr. Root travels to Haiti on medical mission


by Amanda Reimer,

Jackson County Memorial Hospital



The Root medical team.


Dr. Root with one of the medical team members.


Dr. John Root, JCMH Family Practice physician, recently returned from a seven-day medical mission trip to Haiti with Heart to Heart International. Dr. Root was with a patient-care team deployed to the remote Sud-Est department of Haiti with four other physicians.

Haiti, a Creole-French speaking Caribbean country, is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In the Sud-Est department of Root’s tour, there are very limited health systems, no clinics, no electricity grid, and no public water system.

While traveling the dirt roads to their locations, the physicians, pharmacists, and interpreters saw patients with typical diagnoses such as high blood pressure and dyspepsia along with tuberculosis, Hepatitis A, typhoid, malaria and other tropical diseases. Root says, “There are efforts being made to improve the health system. The volunteer program with Heart to Heart currently visits about once per month and are working to get volunteers for once per week visits.”

“I was encouraged by their community – all the school-age kids were in uniforms and most that are under age 20 are literate. They are very patriotic and have a gung-ho spirit about their country. The model for HHI is sustainable healthcare. As a result, we are not distributing free healthcare. Patients were charged about 100 gourde per visit, which would be equivalent to about $2.00, and then charged accordingly for any tests necessary.”

The entire mission consisted of four teams. One was an education team established to assist the Ministry of Health (MSSP) organize a family medicine program. A patient care team was deployed to Leogane, the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake. A service team was also deployed to the same area to repair a school and orphanage. Root’s patient care team consisted of four other physicians Dr. Jackenson Davilmar of Port au Prince, Dr. Janna Hami of Phoenix, AZ, Dr. Stephanie Prior of Cape Cod, MA, and Dr. Kim Tjaden of St. Cloud, MN. A total of 1300 patients were assessed between the two patient care teams. This is the highest total since the 2010 earthquake by the HHI organization.

“Altogether, our team assessed almost 500 patients. Our clinic in Corail Lamothe was the busiest clinic with 144 patients. The typical diagnoses were high blood pressure and dyspepsia along with many infectious diseases such as TB, leprosy, typhoid, malaria, and a another physician and myself attended the birth of a healthy male child. Jackson County Memorial Hospital provided over $100 of over-the-counter medications used between the two teams and was of great benefit to the patients treated. I made a lot of great friends, and look forward to more of these missions.”

The Root medical team.
http://altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_RootMedicalTeam.jpgThe Root medical team.

Dr. Root with one of the medical team members.
http://altustimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_DrRoot.jpgDr. Root with one of the medical team members.

by Amanda Reimer,

Jackson County Memorial Hospital

Reach Amanda Reimer at amandareimer@jcmh.com

Reach Amanda Reimer at amandareimer@jcmh.com

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