We’ve talked a lot over the last several weeks about the University of Chicago Medical Center medical relief efforts in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of January 12th. But most of that discussion has been in the form of photos from the field hospital in Fond Parisien where many of the UChicago volunteers have worked, or in video interviews with those volunteers after they have returned from the still-reeling country. Finally, we now have video from the scene, thanks to Cheryl Reed, senior editor of Medical Center publications, who spent a week with the volunteer team in Fond Parisien earlier this month.
In the documentary posted below, Cheryl’s footage offers a window into the day-to-day life at a field hospital caring for more than 250 patients in tents and with donated supplies. In the weeks following the earthquake, medical needs shifted from trauma surgery to rehabilitation, as thousands of Haitians who received emergency orthopedic surgery for crush injuries needed help recovering from their wounds and procedures. You’ll see some of those patients arriving via helicopter and bus from hospitals in the Dominican Republic, Port-au-Prince, and the US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort. You’ll also see UChicago volunteers at work – offering physical therapy, surgery and vaccinations – and talking about their experience bringing urgently needed medical care to Haiti in less-than-ideal conditions. The communal, low-tech spirit of the field hospital is best encapsulated by a scene in Part 2, where 40-some volunteers combine to physically move the “operating room” tents so that a new structure can be built for the care of the critically injured.
If you’d like to learn more about the Medical Center’s continuing efforts in Haiti, visit the project’s web site. You can also read more about Cheryl’s trip, view more of her excellent photography, and listen to a radio interview about the experience at her ChicagoNow blog.
If you can’t view the videos through YouTube, you can access them here.