Monday, January 12, 2009

Helping Haitians help themselves one life at a time

In 1968, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart answered a call to help the people of Milot, Haiti improve conditions in their village and the surrounding region. They began by building roads, bridges, schools medical clinics, a tile factory, and a lumber mill. They brought electricity and clean water to the area, and in 1986, built an eight-bed hospital and operating room. They called it Hôpital Sacré Coeur, and it has been helping to change lives for the better, one life at a time, ever since.

Rooted in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, the hospital's mission is to be both a Catholic hospital and medical center, consistent with the ideals of the Order of Malta, and an educational center for Haitian health care workers.

Care is free to patients who cannot afford it, yet patients who can afford to contribute financially are asked to do so. “We are not on a rescue mission, says hospital spokesman Dr. Joani Paterson. We want to help the Haitian people help themselves.”

Hospital president Peter J. Kelly, M.D. (no relation!) will talk about this extraordinary apostolate on CatholicTV's live talk show "This is the Day" on Tuesday, January 13, at 10:30 AM Eastern Time. The show will be available on the site's archives beginning tomorrow night.