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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti: Tracy Kidder and Partners in Health

Everywhere you look there are online sites directing you to sites that are collecting funds for Haiti. But, which one should you pick?

I'd like to suggest Partners in Health. This organization is based in Haiti and has a care network already in operation. The founder of Partners in Health, Paul Farmer, is the subject of a book by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tracy Kidder. Mountains Beyond Mountains [B FAR] was released in 2003 and was a popular book club choice for a number of years. I imagine it will be in demand once more.

Kidder remains committed to the organization and has been making appearances on television to explain the organization and its role in the Haitian earthquake disaster. I was moved by one of his appearances and made a donation. I've already received an update on the activities taking place. This is from an email message I received last night:
Thanks to a true team effort, at the general hospital in Port-au-Prince alone, we helped get 7 operating rooms up and running, performing surgeries around the clock. By tomorrow night, we should have 10 or 12. At our sites in the Central Plateau and Artibonite regions, we have eight more functional operating rooms that are already supplying surgical and medical care to hundreds of earthquake victims fleeing the destruction of Port-au-Prince. And thanks to a partnership with many people and organizations here in the U.S., we've filled 10 planes with surgical teams and supplies, and have many more scheduled flights throughout this coming week.
Dartmouth had its incoming freshman class read Mountains Beyond Mountains as a class project. A program was held at the school and Dr. Farmer was one of the speakers. It was recorded and may be viewed below.

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