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 https://internationalservice.acr.org/ or contact Brad Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-227-5463 ext. 4975.