More than a year has passed since Haiti was devastated by a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake. State Senator Kwame Raoul recently traveled to the nation, with a Chicago-based coalition, to help resurrect one of its facilities, Grace Children’s Hospital (GCH). When rebuilt, the hospital will provide needed care and services to the children of Haiti.
For Senator Raoul, helping improve life for Haitians in the wake of this natural disaster is a personal commitment. Raoul was born in Chicago to Haitian-born immigrants. His father practiced medicine, made house calls to the underserved and underprivileged across Chicago, and was a board member of International Health Care. The state senator, whose legislative district is located in Chicago, still has family in Haiti.
“It is important for all of us to realize the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti is still making life very hard for the entire nation,” Raoul said. “It was valuable and productive for an Illinois-based group to take a hands-on approach to rebuilding this hospital in the poorest country in our hemisphere.”
Raoul, who is a board member with the Chicago affiliate of International Child Care, went to Haiti with seven other supporters of this effort February 17-20. The Chicago-based Children’s Memorial Hospital was part of this alliance and together the coalition brought 600 pounds of donated medical supplies.
"Children's Memorial Hospital is currently building a new children's hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, opening June, 2012. Our vision is to share that experience in helping plan, construct and operate a Haitian-driven and sustained women and children’s hospital and outreach health delivery system,” said Bruce Komiske, Chief of Design and Construction at Lurie Children’s. "The goal of this alliance is to significantly improve the health status of all Haitian children within the next five years with the hope that the process becomes a model for other developing countries."
Trip Highlights & Accomplishments
- Assessed the environment, community and property damage surrounding GCH
- Conducted meetings with staff and patients to assess current services and future needs
- Visited tent camps serviced by International Child Care
- Offered guidance and consultation regarding the design and build of GCH
- Initiated process to identify potential Haitian construction bidders
- Assessed the impact of earthquake on staff and patients
- Identified educational needs for medical, nursing and community health workers
- Identified desire to create an alliance between CMH and GCH to foster medical and cultural education
Traveling with Senator Raoul Were
Bruce K. Komiske, Chief of Design and Construction; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Robert Gallo, Senior Vice President & Partner, Power Construction Company, LLC; David E. Mikos, President and CEO, Anderson Mikos Architects ltd.; Robert Schaefer, Vice President, Anderson Mikos Architects ltd.; George W. Paul MD, Emergency Pediatric Physician, Northwest Community Hospital, a satellite of Children's Memorial Hospital; Mary Astor Gomez, Interim Co-Director, Children’s Memorial Hospital Transport Team; Chris Haen, Director, Physician Services, Children's Memorial Hospital
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly
Children’s Memorial Hospital, is a 23-story, state-of-the-art hospital
located in downtown Chicago on the campus of its academic partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals in the
U.S.News & World Report 2013-14
Honor Roll rankings. Lurie Children’s provides pediatric care in a
setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical
technology, research and family-friendly design. The hospital relies on
philanthropic support to care for more than 149,000 children each year.