San Diego — A group of Scripps physicians and nurses are serving a one-week medical mission at Hospital Saint Francois de Sales in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The 10-person Scripps Medical Response Team (SMRT) includes trauma surgeons and trauma nurses, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists and support personnel — all with disaster experience. The crew will include Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder and Chief Medical Officer Brent Eastman, MD, who just returned from a four-day trip to Haiti. While there, they determined the medical needs and were invited by Hospital Saint Francois de Salesto to bring back a team of doctors and nurses.
In addition to providing much-needed humanitarian relief, the Scripps team will bring back valuable lessons on post-earthquake health care needs from their mission in Haiti.
“There are people suffering in Haiti, and we have an opportunity to help in a very real way because of our expertise and experience after Hurricane Katrina, to care for those in desperate need of medical attention,” said Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder, who will join the first Scripps team to Haiti.
See our Haiti news page for more information on the mission, and to read journal dispatches.
Scripps is actively involved in disaster preparedness. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Scripps Health established an office of disaster preparedness, which deploys the SMRT in times of medical emergency.
- In 2005, 78 SMRT members spent three weeks in Houston providing free medical services to Hurricane Katrina evacuees, treating approximately 5,000 patients. Scripps’ support marked the first time the federal government asked a private health care organization for long-term support for a nationally organized disaster relief plan.
- In October 2007, SMRT was deployed to Rancho Bernardo at the request of the San Diego Fire Department to set up a mobile field clinic for those affected by wildfires. Over the course of 11 days, 121 physicians, nurses and support staff provided breathing treatments, basic first aid, flu shots, prescription writing and grief counseling and support to more than 700 patients.