University of Chicago Medical Center Medical Relief Efforts in Haiti

Richard Cook, MD, professor of anesthesia and critical care, provides care and comfort to a baby at the field hospital in Fond Parisien, Haiti.
Richard Cook, MD, professor of anesthesia and critical care, provides care and comfort to a baby at the field hospital in Fond Parisien, Haiti. Image courtesy of Justin Ide/Harvard University

The University of Chicago Medical Center swiftly responded to the humanitarian crisis after an earthquake in January devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti. In a continued effort to provide high-quality medical care, several teams, made up of emergency medicine specialists, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, have made the trip to Haiti. Fond Parisien, a town near the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, has become a hub of medical care to earthquake survivors.

Field hospital, Haiti The medical relief camp, the largest such facility in the country, has provided medical care, food and shelter for more than 1,000 patients injured by the earthquake, plus their families. Image courtesy of Justin Ide/Harvard University.

Medical Center volunteers have returned with heart-wrenching accounts of hardship, injury and loss. "I’ve seen more pediatric amputations in my nine days here than I have in the rest of my career combined. The devastation is almost incalculable,” said Richard Cook, MD, associate professor of anesthesia and critical care, in an interview with John Easton for the Medical Center's Science Life Blog.

Medical Center volunteers have returned with heart-wrenching accounts of hardship, injury and loss. "I’ve seen more pediatric amputations in my nine days here than I have in the rest of my career combined. The devastation is almost incalculable,” said Richard Cook, MD, associate professor of anesthesia and critical care, in an interview with John Easton for the Medical Center's Science Life Blog. Based at the 60-acre site of the Love A Child Orphanage, the walled-off camp houses about 250 to 300 patients.

In the face of profound destruction, challenges and sparse resources, the volunteers have found the experience exceptionally rewarding and their stories are filled with admiration for the resilience and spirit of the people of Haiti. "I realized that, despite every good reason, patients weren't crying at night in their tents," said Melanie Plumley, a University of Chicago nurse. "Back home, they would be on Prozac, on Ativan. Here they seem to fight off depression by laughing or singing. There's a lot of singing."

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Press Releases:

Fond Parisien, Haiti

Team one
Christian Theodosis, MD, Emergency Medicine
Dima Awad, Pharmacy
Richard Cook, MD, Anesthesia
Rex Haydon, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery
Elvire LaPlanche, RN, ICU
Nicole Muse RN, Neonatal ICU

Team two
Chrissy Babcock MD, Emergency Medicine
Kris Alden, MD, Orthopaedics - Weiss
Keegan Checkett, MD, Emergency Medicine Resident
Sean Clancy, Occupational Therapy
Diane Davis, Physical Therapy
Walter Flores, RN, ER
John Kress, MD, Pulmonary/Critical Care
Marie LaFontant, RN
Vivian Liese, Logistics
Elisabeth Mouw, Pharmacy
Marshall Segal, MD
Mike Sorensen, IT/Logistics

Team three
Karen Arndt, RN, UCAN Flight
Sabine Cadeau, History, Medical Interpreter
Catherine Kennedy, Physical Therapy
Megan McDonald, Physical Therapy
Nicole Muse, RN, Neonatal ICU, 2nd trip
Melanie Plumley, RN, Pediatrics
Chris Sullivan, MD, Orthopaedics
Karen Wilson, RN, Pediatric ER

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Chicago Medical Response Team
Heather Costello, MD, Emergency Medicine, NorthShore
Emilie Calvello, MD, Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins
Martin Lucente, MD, Emergency Medicine, Northwestern
Brian Callender, MD, Hospitalist
Mark Haseman, RN, ER
Daniel Johnson, MD, Pediatric/Infectious Diseases
Kathy Luba, MD, Anesthesia/Critical Care
Yadira Martell, RN, Operating Room
Steve Schrantz, MD, Infectious Diseases
Nilam Soni, MD, Hospitalist

Cure International
Tiffany Cupp, RN, Comer ER

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Plastic and Reconstructive surgery
Ginard Henry, MD
Dan Kwan, MD, Resident
Russell Reid, MD
Michelle Roughton, MD, Resident

Cardiac critical care
Emily Dawson, MD, Pediatric ICU Fellow
Cathy Humikowski, MD, Pediatric ICU Fellow
Jamie Harrison, RN
Jennifer Liedel, MD, Pediatric ICU
Alicia Villegas, RN


Contact Us

The University of Chicago Medicine
Press Contact
John Easton
Phone: (773) 702-0025
john.easton@uchospitals.edu