October 1, 2022

Haiti’s first ever life-saving air ambulance service launches operations

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images|cms-image-000000454PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) — Haiti’s first ever life-saving air ambulance service, which recently launched operations in different regions in the country, will be accessible to patients of all social levels, and will provide a guarantee of quick air transportation from the most remote places to relevant urban health facilities, should need be, for Haitians and tourists visiting the Caribbean country.

The Director of operations for the Haiti Air Ambulance, Jordan Owen, said the company will not set any precondition to deliver the service to those who need it, but called on members of the Haitian community and beyond to contribute to the project’s sustainability, by paying according to their means.

” We are here to offer to the people living or visiting Haiti a quality service which is the same as what is being offered in the US or elsewhere,” Owen told the Haitian-Caribbean News Network (HCNN), in an interview on Tuesday.

“And we won’t seek to know whether the person, who needs the service, has money to pay or not,” he said. “The service will be accessible immediately, because our priority is to help save lives here,” Owen explained.

The company, which has 2 helicopters available, works jointly with the country’s health department and operates through a network of public and private hospitals around the country which give the alert in case of an emergency.

The company’s operations, so far, have been funded by private donations from philanthropists in the US, but founders and managers are looking into different ways, including through collaboration with insurance companies, to diversify sources of revenue to make the program sustainable.

“We urge Haitians to make the project their own by supporting it and by making it sustainable, and we are here to demonstrate how effective and how essential this service is for Haiti and we are pleased to be able to deliver it,” said Owen.

Haitian president Michel Martelly, first Lady Sophia Martelly and Health minister Florence Duperval Guillaume, attended, last month, the launch ceremony of the air ambulance service which meets required international and US standards, and which has also been approved by Haitian authorities.

President Martelly described Haiti Air ambulance service as an unprecedented opportunity to save lives from different and remote corners of the country from where critically ill or injured patients can be quickly airlifted to relevant medical care facilities in any location, on the 27,750 square kilometer haitian territory.

“It is for the first time in our history that we have such an ambulance service which will help save many lives in our country,” Martelly told HCNN. “And the service will be accessible to all, whether you are wealthy or poor,” said Martelly, expressing his strongest support for Haiti Air Ambulance’s operations in the country.

The Project’s medical director, Dr. Vince DeGennaro, explained that one of the most important components of the project is to transfer competence to Haitian nationals who will be able to perform their skills for the benefit of their community.

“The project, before anything else, is about saving lives, it is donors and a team fully dedicated and in love with Haiti and its courageous people who deserve the best we can offer and our plan is to do just that,” DeGennaro told HCNN.

“And we want young Haitians and other professionals to get the most benefit from this important initiative, through training sessions that will facilitate a necessary transfer of competence which will also contribute to the sustainability of this endeavor,” said DeGennaro.

The helicopter-ambulance is well equipped to facilitate delivery, by certified medical staff, of emergency care during transportation to established critical care facilities.

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Current team members include:

Patrick Dolan – Co-founder, Haiti Air Ambulance

Patrick Dolan is a pilot, journalist and member of the board of the Dolan Family Foundation. DFF is based in Woodbury, N.Y., contributes to a wide variety of causes and organizations aimed at bettering the lives of the less fortunate. Mr. Dolan flew his Navajo Chieftain as a volunteer medical relief pilot during the earthquake period in Haiti. He is rated as a certified flight instructor and has logged 4,000 hours in fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Mr. Dolan is also president of News 12 Networks, which provides local television news to suburban New York communities and two of New York City’s five boroughs.

Rymann Winter – Co-founder, Haiti Air Ambulance

Rymann Winter has been working on bringing an emergency aeromedical program to Haiti since 2007. A committed humanitarian and an active commercial pilot, he organized numerous volunteer flights in support of the Haiti earthquake rescue effort. Rymann is also the president of Proteus Air Services, a leading flight school in Los Angeles, California.

Reginald Auguste – Co-founder HAA, Fondation Haïtienne pour une Education Adaptée à l’Aéronautique

Ralph McDaniel – Acting Executive Director, Haiti Air Ambulance

Ralph McDaniel has extensive experience managing emergency medical operations. As co-founder and senior partner of GA Aeromedical Inc, of Atlanta, GA, he expanded a one-helicopter operation to five bases with a staff of 84. He won the 2010 Georgia Regional EMS Pioneer award. Mr. McDaniel also served as director of the Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta. He has worked as a certified EMT, cardiac technician and firefighter.

Jordan Owen – Chief Paramedic and Operations Manager, Haiti Air Ambulance

Jordan Owen is a 25 year veteran of Emergency Medical Services, with extensive rural, wilderness, and metropolitan experience. He is a former Flight Paramedic for Air Methods, Inc., and is also a Fire Department Captain. During the post earthquake period, he served in Haiti as an Incident Commander, Paramedic and House Supervisor at Hopital de Adventiste in Port-au-Prince, He has also performed Fire and Medical work in Mexico and Costa Rica. Jordan has lived in Haiti for the past 18 months, paving the way for the launch of the HAA program.

Dr. Vincent DeGennaro Jr. – Medical Director, Haiti Air Ambulance

Dr. Vince DeGennaro is an internal medicine doctor and global health specialist who has worked in Haiti since 2004 and speaks Haitian Creole and French. He spends part time in Haiti as the Medical Director of Haiti Air Ambulance and part-time in the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Medicine at the University of Florida. He also works as the Director of Internal Medicine for Haiti Air Ambulance’s partner Project Medishare. A staunch advocate for social justice, he fights to increase access to healthcare in developing countries, including helping to build national cancer programs in Rwanda and now in Haiti. With the Haiti Air Ambulance team, he hopes to improve access to all emergency services in Haiti. Follow Dr. DeGennaro on Twitter @DoctorGlobal.

Barth Green, M.D. Neurosurgeon – University of Miami and cofounder of Project Medishare for Haiti, Board Member, Co-Founder F.H.E.A.A. Fondation Haïtienne pour une Education Adaptée à l’Aéronautique

Dr. Barth Green is presently Professor and Chairman of the Department of the Neurological Surgery, Professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and Professor of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. He is also Chief of the Neurosurgical Services at Jackson Memorial Hospital and Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He received his B.A. from Indiana University in 1966 and his M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1969.

Pasha Vorbe – Fondation Haïtienne pour une Education Adaptée à l’Aéronautique

Dr. Robert Vizza – President of the Dolan Family Foundation and Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research He has served as president and CEO of St. Francis Hospital Heart Center and Dean of Manhattan College, N.Y. An author of eight books and more than one hundred articles on management, Dr. Vizza has also served on the boards of 9 public corporations and universities. He has been employed as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies including GE, IBM, Exxon and 3m.

IMAGE: L-R Back: Dr.Vincent DeGenarro Jr., Reginald Auguste, Rymann Winter, Jordan Owen, L-R Front: Patrick Dolan, Ralph McDaniel (photo)

For more on this story go to: http://hcnn.ht/en/2014_09/aid_and_development/371/Haiti’s-first-ever-life-saving-air-ambulance-service-launches-operations-Michel-Martelly-Jordan-Owen-Vince-DeGennaro-Haiti-Air-Ambulance-Sophia-Martelly-health.htm

 

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