A nine-member team from Penn Medicine has flown to Haiti to provide expert care in the devastated earthquake zone. The team, led by Michael Ashburn, professor of anesthesiology, includes orthopedic and trauma surgeons, surgical and critical-care nurses, as well as technical specialists. The group left Philadelphia on January 25, and will practice at a 200-bed hospital located about one hour outside of Port-au-Prince.
This first team of Penn medical experts was chosen to travel to Haiti because, in addition to their medical expertise, members had previous military experience, foreign-service experience or had done missionary work. Before the team left Philadelphia, faculty and staff across Penn Medicine worked to gather critical equipment and 1,200 pounds of medical supplies to take on the mission. The team expects to be in Haiti for about two weeks. To date, more than 150 Penn Medicine faculty and staff have volunteered to help in the relief efforts.
Penn Medicine has provided important help throughout the Haitian crisis. Five days after the earthquake, teams from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were the first in the nation to treat earthquake victims airlifted to the United States from Port-au-Prince. Medical teams will continue to send supplies to Haiti as the recovery effort moves forward, and Penn Medicine is encouraging its doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to volunteer for future missions to assist the injured.
A special website has been set up to inform the entire Penn community about relief efforts launched by students, faculty and staff, as well as information about what individuals can do to help. Click here to read more and to see video of the medical team.
Originally published on January 26, 2010