LES CAYES, Haiti (KDKA) – Other groups joining organizations like Brother’s Brother have long worked on the ground in Haiti and are now facing an influx of people in need of medical attention.
The Hôpital Albert Schweitzer belongs to these groups.
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They serve 350,000 people in Haiti and their development team is based in Pittsburgh.
CEO Jean Marc de Matteis joined KDKA News at 7:30 am to discuss ongoing efforts in central Haiti.
The hospital, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary, is at the forefront of serving the people of Haiti.
“This is our 65th anniversary here in Haiti, and our founders, Dr. Larry Mellon and his wife Gwen founded the hospital in 1956, ”said de Matteis. “Our coverage area includes almost 450,000 people, so it’s the only hospital for a city like Pittsburgh.”
After a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, hands were on deck for the hospital and its staff, with efforts continuing in coordination with the United States Coast Guard.
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“It’s extremely devastating, right now I’ve ended up in one of the hospitals that we support, that we help and coordinate evacuations, hospitals are overwhelmed and hospitals like ours need to be available to accommodate the overflow of patients,” he said . “I found a 14 year old boy with his father in a hospital. [their] House collapsed, his father had lost all four of his children and his wife, and this was his only surviving child. We were able to evacuate him in a Coast Guard helicopter and take him to a hospital. It was very, very difficult. “
To make matters worse, less than a week after the earthquake, a tropical storm is approaching and could bring up to 15 inches of rain to the already devastated region.
“The rain has just started, I would like a clip for the US Coast Guard, they have flown their helicopter crews from the Bahamas and Puerto Rico has flown non-stop flights, also here with this kid,” de Matteis recalled. “We flew with patients to the tropical storm and back to evacuate patients. I really wanted to recognize the US Coast Guard tonight. “
How can Pittsburgh help Albert Schweitzer Hospital and the people of Haiti?
“We feel a deep connection with the people of Pittsburgh, they can go to our website and show their support that way, our facility is there, we are ready to admit patients, we have a full medical team on site, and we“ support logistical efforts across Haiti to save lives, ”he said.
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For more information on the efforts of the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer and how you can help, please visit the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer website at this link.
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