At today's unveiling of plans for a new rehabilitation and training center in St. Marc, Haiti, Paul Farmer, Partners In Health co-founder and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, called the project the "fruit of the partnership model" from which Partners In Health takes its name.
He was speaking before a crowd of more than 80 leaders and guests of Partners In Health, Partners HealthCare, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, and Shepley Bulfinch architects at Shepley Bulfinch's Seaport District office earlier today.
Plans for the new facility, which were presented today, show a two-story building wrapped by a ramp that provides second-floor access and is cooled using natural ventilation. The 6,700 square foot building is designed to be earthquake and hurricane resistant.
The impact of the new facility will reach far beyond the hospital grounds and the city of St. Marc- as Haiti's first universally accessible rehabilitation facility in the Ministry of Health system, it will establish new national standards for rehabilitative care.
Spaulding is developing a nine-month program to train paraprofessional healthcare staff at the center with a curriculum that builds on materials developed by Health Volunteers Overseas.
"We intend to create a new cadre of healthcare professionals," said Dr. Farmer.
Other speakers included David Storto, president of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Dr. Gilbert Mudge, vice president for international programs for Partners HealthCare, Dr. Koji Nakashima, who is co-directing the project on the ground in Haiti for Partners In Health, and Shepley Bulfinch design architect Jay Verspyck. Verspyck provided a design overview of the new facility, with its two-story gymnasium and simulated home environment.
In his remarks, Dr. Mudge applauded the "remarkable, multi-disciplinary team, all who have donated their time and efforts to this unique project."
Speaking to the transformative impact of rehabilitation on the lives of Haitians with disabilities in enabling them to engage more wholly in society, Dr. Nakashima said, "It's not enough to save lives, it's important to save livelihoods."
Joining the medical and design professionals for the occasion were leading members of Boston's Haitian and Haitian-American community, including several patients from Haiti treated at Spaulding who were recognized by Storto and the audience. In the animated discussion that followed the formal presentation, one audience member cited the effort as an example of the "collaboration gene" at work. Another noted the parallel need in Haiti for educational facilities that accommodate students with disabilities.
The hospital in St. Marc is due to break ground later this summer, with a projected completion date in March 2012. The center?s education and training program is scheduled to begin in September 2011, housed in temporary quarters until the facility opens. Collaborating Organizations
Partners HealthCare Contact: Beth Nolan www.partners.org firstname.lastname@example.org 1 (617) 535-6555 Partners HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, community health centers, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health-related entities. Partners is one of the nation's leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.
Partners In Health Contact: Andrew Marx www.pih.org email@example.com tel. 1 617-998-8977 PIH works in 12 countries around the world to provide quality healthcare to people and communities devastated by joint burdens of poverty and disease. PIH has been providing vital healthcare services in Haiti for more than 20 years and is the largest healthcare provider in the country, working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to deliver comprehensive health care services to a catchment area of 1.2 million across the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite Valley. PIH had 4,400 staff in Haiti before the 2010 earthquake.
Shepley Bulfinch Contact: Terri Evans www.shepleybulfinch.com firstname.lastname@example.org tel. 1 857-383-4253 Shepley Bulfinch is an international architecture, planning, and interiors practice with a commitment to the transformative power of design. With offices in Boston and Phoenix, Shepley emphasizes collaboration in its work with leading healthcare, research, academic, and civic institutions to advance their larger visions. Recognized for its work of enduring quality and value, the firm has received countless awards for design excellence and achievements in sustainability, technical innovation, and building envelope technology.
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Contact: Tim Sullivan www.spauldingrehab.org email@example.com 1 617-573-2918
About the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
A member of Partners HealthCare, The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network includes Spaulding Rehabilita-tion Hospital its main campus, a 196-bed facility, located in Boston, as well as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, two long term care facilities Spaulding Hospital Cambridge and Spaulding Hospital North Shore and two skilled nursing facilities, as well as twenty three outpatient sites throughout the Greater Boston area. Spaulding is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School as well as the official rehabilitation hospital of the New England Patriots. Spaulding is the only rehabilitation hospital in New England continually ranked since 1995 by U.S. News and World Report in its Best Hospitals survey with a #4 ranking in 2010.