Medical team arrives in Haiti

2010-02-13T00:00:00Z Medical team arrives in HaitiJOSH WOLFSON Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
February 13, 2010 12:00 am  • 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A Wyoming medical team arrived in Haiti late Friday to begin a weeklong relief operation in the beleaguered Caribbean nation.

The team arrived in Port-au-Prince from Miami at about 9:10 p.m. local time and expected to begin its work in an Adventist hospital this morning. The group also plans to provide care at a medical clinic established in nearby Gressier after the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

Serving the sick

Another team sent by the Wyoming Haiti Relief organization set up the clinic earlier this week inside a 3,000-square-foot building that survived the quake. Medical workers there served roughly 200 sick or injured people Friday.

Despite the progress, the clinic was in desperate need of more medications, cots and blankets, according to Wyoming Haiti Relief coordinator Janet DeVoogd.

The group planned to stay the night at the hospital in the capital city, where it will spend the week providing medical assistance.

The group is one of three Wyoming Haiti Relief teams that have gone to the island nation since the earthquake. Another is establishing a medical clinic in Gressier, a city that suffered heavy damage in the quake, and the third is working at a hospital in Les Cayes, one of the cities many refugees fled to after the quake.

Presence planned

The group, which was organized by parishioners at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Casper, hopes to have a sustained presence in the country.

The Port-au-Prince team is made up of Laurie Johnson, a Casper physician’s assistant who has worked Haiti many times; Paula Egan-Wright, a Cheyenne teacher who served in the Peace Corps in Haiti and will act as the group’s translator; Holly Nash, a nurse from Ten Sleep who has participated in other overseas medical missions but never in Haiti; and Cassie Amadio, a nurse from Casper for whom the Haiti effort will be her first such venture.

The team has added a non-Wyomingite to its ranks. George Bezarcs, a New York City paramedic, joined the group.

The relief mission was born inside St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in downtown Casper. Soon after the earthquake, parishioners decided they wanted to do more than raise money, so they put out a call to medical workers across Wyoming.

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