Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ACR Bulletin Features Trip to Haiti

“Moving Mountains” discusses the powerful statistics discovered during our trip to Port-au-Prince as well as plans for establishing a long-term, lasting relationship with Grace Children’s Hospital and the Haiti radiology community. The article also features a video created from footage taken on the trip and gives first hand accounts from some of our delegation who witnessed the devastation created by the January 2010 earthquake. Find out how the ACR is helping those in Haiti and how you can help too!

Visit to read the article and to find the video on the ACR’s YouTube.

Find out more information about the Haiti Radiology Relief Fund by following these links:
ACR Foundation International Outreach Homepage:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Grace Children's Hospital Receives X-Ray Equipment Generously Donated by Siemens

We received word today that a Siemens (hybrid) portable x-ray unit has cleared customs and will be delivered today to Grace Children's Hospital (GCH).  The unit will greatly enhance the radiology capacity for the hospital and will lead to more children being diagnosed and treated for childhood diseases.  I want to especially thank Siemens for their generous contribution and thank ICC for their support in getting the unit through customs and on its way to GCH. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

On My Way Home

After four days in Haiti, we are now on our way home.  There are many lessons we learned about radiology in the Port-au-Prince area of Haiti.  We learned about its current limitations but also reflected and began discussing some exciting plans for the future.  We learned that change will not come easily.  Haiti has many immediate needs today and will continue to have them well into the future.  We forged new friendships, made important contacts, discussed hurdles and hardships and became fascinated by the people and the place. 

Haiti is indeed a land of contrasts.  Its mountains and seas, flora and fauna reflect the beauty of a tropical parardise waiting to be seen.  Its shaken earth, crumbled buildings and years of poverty, have scarred the surface with mounds of rubble, debris and stench that are reflective of a country in the developing world whose condition has been exacerbated by a devastating earthquake.  Despite its challenges, it is the warmth, perserverence and dignity of its people that I will remember. 

When we departed Miami International Airport to fly to Port-au-Prince, long-time radiologist volunteer Chuck Phelps, M.D. pulled me aside and said, "watch out Brad, once you're in Haiti, Haiti will be in you."  On my way home now I can honestly say that I am bringing a part of Haiti with me.  I hope my next visit will be longer and that I can learn more about this remarkable place and its people.

Pictured above:  As we make our way to the airport from left to right are Dr. Chuck Phelps, Dr. John Yates (person overseeing GCH's rebuilding), Dr. Paul H. Ellenbogen (ACR Vice Chair, Board of Chancellors), Dr. Jeannine Hatt Phelps (Pediatrician and Board Member of ICC) and Dr. James Borgstede, M.D. (Chair, ACR Foundation International Outreach Committee). 

For more information on radiology in Haiti, the Haiti Radiology Relief Fund and ACR Foundation activities there, please visit the ACR International Service Web site at or contact Brad Short at or 800-227-5463 ext. 4975.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day Three: Full Day in Haiti

We started today with a trip to the Hôpital Universitaire de la Paix.  The hospital is allied with the HUEG (or General Hospital) in Port-au-Prince.  We surveyed the radiology facilities and met with the hospital director and some of the staff. 

We then travelled to the main University Hospital (HUEG or the General Hospital) and met with the director of medicine Dr. Alix Lassegue.  He noted that they plan on reinstating their radiology residency program.  He also noted the need for education materials including text books and DVDs.  They are also in need for radiology equipment repair personnel. 

After meeting with Dr. Lassegue we headed for the radiology department to meet with members of the Haiti Radiology Society including Dr. Claudine Cleophat, who heads the Radiology Department.  We had a long discussion on some of the needs of radiologists and radiologic technologists in Haiti.  In addition to equipment needs, there has been a significant emigration of Haitian medical trained-radiologists to other western countries.  With roughly 19 radiologists in the country, no current radiology residency and training and advanced equipment found elsewhere, many potential radiologists have left the country.  The radiologists specifically noted a need for a "teach the teachers" program.  The General Hospital suffered some severe damage to some of its campus and will be going through a rebuilding effort.  We discussed some of the potential needs for the University Radiology Department.  We also discussed ways that the ACR Foundation can assist with teaching and training materials in the short-run and, working with the ASRT, provide possible educational materials for their radiologic technologists. 

The saddest part of the day took us to the wing of the hospital that housed the nursing school.  During the earthquake roughly 90 nursing school students and some teachers were killed.  Most of them were in their second year of a three-year program.  The facility is now in tents supplied by UNICEF.  We met the head of the nursing program who survived the earthquake and the remaining 20 students left from the class which suffered the signficant fatalities. 

We ventured out on to the town in the late afternoon.  The ride to the hospitals and the tour of the city reminded us all of how much work is left to be done in Haiti.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day Two: Tours and Meetings

Our second day in Haiti was primarily focused on tours and meetings.  We started off the day with a tour of the former inpatient area at Grace Childrens Hospital. 

This single infant bed was a reminder of the devastation that occurred to the building.  Fortunately there was only one death attributable to the earthquake at the facility.  The pediatric inpatient facility no longer has walls or a ceiling.  It is simply gone. 

Drs. Phelps (left) and Borgstede (right) look at x-rays that used to be hung out to dry in the former facility. 

We continued our trip over to the transitional buildings now housing both a pediatric and adult outpatient clinic as well as a new pediatric inpatient facility. 

This is part of the transitional building's outpatient waiting room. As you can see they are very busy.  There were over 100 people in this waiting area (all very patient!). 

The highlight of our morning tour was these young girls in the pediatric inpatient facility.  They sang a song in Creole welcoming us to the facility. 

I caught this youngster during meal time.  The nurse feeding her is not pictured but she is present doting over her while I took the picture. 

This young girl seemed to take a liking to me.  She and I spent about 5 minutes getting to know one another.  The cuddle cloud pictured was a gift. 

The facility, although transitional, was clean and well-planned.  We were amazed at how much GCH has done to transfer to such a nice facility in such a short time. 

The balance of the morning was spent with the rebuilding team at GCH.  They are working on a plan that will increase the former facility from 60 beds to 123 beds.  The old site will be demolished and replaced by 2015.  We talked to them about their plans for radiology and began discussing some ways the ACR Foundation might help.  They have hired a firm to assist with the reconstruction planning effort. 

The afternoon was spent with representatives of the Haitian Medical Association.  We met with the HMA president and vice president (Dr. Claudine Cleophat) who is a radiologist.  We found out that there are currently 20 radiologists practicing in Haiti.  There currently are no formal radiology residency programs however in the country.  We discussed issues related to equipment, training, distance learning, education, and regulations.  The meeting was very productive. 

I will report on more of the information gained from a very productive day.  For now, I am signing off until tomorrow. 

Day 2: Tour of GCH and Meeting with AMH

Today was an intensive day of meetings and tours.  We first took a tour of the grounds of the former inpatient area at Grace Children's Hospital (GCH).  This was a lone remaining bed left out of the rubble from the earthquake. 

We then began a tour of the transitional facility.  The facility was in excellent shape and there were lots of patients waiting to be seen.  The transitional facility houses both pediatric and adult outpatients primarily. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Arrived in Port-au-Prince

We arrived in Port-au-Prince with our hosts (seated on the left Victoria Jean-Louis and far right Melanie Yates Brierre) and enjoyed a nice lunch while going over our plans for the day.  Also present are from left Charles Phelps, M.D., Jim Borgstede, M.D., Jeanine Hatt Phelps, M.D. and Paul Ellenbogen, M.D.  We toured the ICC offices where we received a detailed report on their efforts in Haiti.  We then met with the Education team at Grace Children's Hospital before heading back to the car for our ride to the hotel.  On the way back we got a brief look at the devastation of the hospital. 

The picture shows the level of destruction left in the earthquake's wake.  While only here for a day, it is apparent that there is much work left to be done in Haiti.  The spirit of the people we have met thus far has been exceptional.  They are warmer than the 95 degree heat. 

Tomorrow we have a full day scheduled as we take a tour of the facility and see the transitional facility and work that is being done to make the hospital better than before.  I also hope to interview some of the staff that experienced the devastation first hand. 

Day in Port-au-Prince

We are up early to catch our morning flight to Port-au-Prince.  We have a busy day planned.  We will be meeting with officials at Grace Children's Hospital (GCH).  Accompanying the ACR Foundation delegation with be Charles Phelps, M.D. (TX).  Dr. Phelps has been a long-time volunteer at GCH.  He and his wife have been providing care for many years.  We will be meeting today with Dr. John Yates, a Canadian physician who has been put in charge of the rebuilding efforts at GCH.  We will be previewing the temporary facility that has been built to serve GCH's needs while the rebuilding takes place.  We hope to see a portable hybrid x-ray unit that was generously donated by Siemens at the temporary site.  The unit was shipped two weeks ago and we hope that it has arrived. 

As a long-term volunteer for UNICEF, I am very excited to touch down in Port-au-Prince.  This will be my first time assisting in the provision of humanitarian aid outside the U.S.  With over 1 million still homeless in Haiti, I am a bit apprehensive about what we'll find.  However, I am excited to have this opportunity to assist. 

I'll try to check back this evening (internet willing) to recap our first full day in Haiti. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Setting Off for Haiti

After several months of planning and delays, the ACR Foundation delgation will begin our travels to Haiti today.  We will be meeting with representatives from Grace Children's Hospital, the General (teaching) Hospital in Port-au-Prince and representatives of the Haitian Medical Association. 

We are optimistic about the trip and about meeting the goals we have established.  While we recognize there are many challenges ahead, we hope to improve the current radiological situation in Haiti.  To learn more about the ACR Foundation International Outreach Program and the Haiti Radiology Relief Fund and Program, visit