Ottumwa Regional Health Center team members travel to Haiti

From Left to Right: Gary Brooks, Tami Paris, Cathy Durflinger, Dr. Ted Haas, Colleen Biggs, Denita Brooks, Dan Beavers

Ottumwa Regional Health Center announces for the second year in a row, team members traveled to Thomazeau, Haiti to join a relief effort lead by parent company RegionalCare Hospital Partners.

RegionalCare has partnered with Medical Mobile Disaster Relief in Nashville, TN to build a 40-bed hospital and outpatient clinic in Thomazeau to provide much needed healthcare services to the citizens of that region.

â??Iâ??m proud that we had so many team members interested in traveling to Haiti this year,â?? said Phil Noel, CEO at ORHC. â??It is a big commitment to volunteer for this trip, and they all work extremely hard when they are there. The amount of people they impact during this trip is truly astounding.â??

ORHC sent a team of seven staff members who were joined by approximately 35 individuals from other hospitals, universities and LiveBeyond staff. The group stayed in Haiti for a week in June, and dedicated their time to working in a clinic where they provided more than 1,000 citizens healthcare services. Attendees from ORHC included: Dr. Ted Haas, Cathy Durflinger, Colleen Biggs, Tami Paris, Dan Beavers, Denita Brooks and Gary Brooks

â??We worked in the clinic Monday through Thursday during the day and made home visits during the evening,â?? said Cathy Durflinger. â??It was a very humbling experience to see people with so little who are so happy and grateful. The kids are so full of love.â??

At the end of the trip, the team was asked to come up with one word to describe their experience on this trip. Most agreed that it was almost impossible to describe such a profound experience in just one word, but some of the words that were offered were: hope, compassion, mercy, blessed, awesome, opportunity, humbling, life and full.

â??This trip to Haiti was so amazing and life changing,â?? said Tami Paris. â??It was such an eye opening experience, and was shocking to see how much poverty and devastation there is, but in spite of all that, the Haitian people have so much love, faith and hope.â??

A few of the team members that made the trip this year had also traveled to Haiti last year for this project including Dr. Haas, Gary Brooks, Denita Brooks and Tami Paris.

â??I went to Haiti again to help bring basic healthcare to the people of Thomazeau, but more importantly so they knew others cared about them,â?? said Dr. Ted Haas. â??This year I saw tremendous progress toward teaching Haitians better agriculture methods so they will be able to feed themselves.â??

â??It was such a blessing being with all different people from universities, hospitals and states trying to help however they can from medical to agriculture,â?? said Denita Brooks. â??It was such a joy to go out to the villages to see how much some of the people have improved over the past year.â??

This project with LiveBeyond is ongoing and ORHC will continue to send team members each year to help in the clinic and with the project.