An important part of VHF’s mission and purpose is to provide and promote healthcare education. Even though this effort is currently limited by space restrictions, our educational activities still encompass a wide number of distinct programs including the following:
Morning Healthcare Lecture
Most mornings, our patients gather on covered portico at the clinic’s entrance as they await registration. During this time one of the clinic’s staff members will greet them and make a presentation on some relevant topic. Examples are: hand washing to prevent infections, nutrition, the importance of vaccinations, malaria prevention, safe food preparation, and so forth. Improvements needed are flat-screen displays, a DVD player, and microphoned audio.
Three mornings a week (Tues – Thurs), a staff members is assigned a topic to research and present to the others in our conference room. PowerPoint based presentations are encouraged using our projector. Questions and dialogue are encouraged. A log book, starting in 2009, documents the various topics and presenters. Improvements needed are more notebooks computers to assist preparation and a flat screen in the conference room.
Community Radio Broadcasts
Periodically our staff participates in call-in radio broadcasts on the local FM community radio station. A variety of topics have been discussed including HIV, cholera prevention, the care of infants, and the development plans of VHCH. Usually, many phone calls are received with questions and comments. In addition, our staff makes pre-recorded announcements that are broadcast on the station.
Living with Chronic Disease Seminars
Many of VHCH’s patients live with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, HIV and others. Periodically, our medical director organizes an in-depth morning seminar on controlling chronic diseases and living with them. These seminars are well attended and fill our clinic’s main space. We video record these seminars for future use. The space is not ideal for these presentations; it’s too bright to use a projector and lacks other audio/visual equipment. VHCH needs a dedicated learning center with video recording and presentation equipment.
Training Resident Doctors and Nurses.
Every year, the Haitian Ministry of Population and Public Health (MSPP) assigns to VHCH three or four newly graduated doctors or nurses to spend one year as social service residents. This becomes their final year of training and they learn how to practice medicine using the high standards of VHCH. We receive many compliments from our former social service staff regarding the quality of training they received.
Interchange with International Visitors
VHCH hosts teams of visiting US medical professionals each year. These doctors, nurses and technicians bring to our patients specialized services such as pediatric surgery, PAP testing, mobile missions to schools to screen children, and pediatric and adult dentistry. In addition, we have visiting doctors and nurse who come to work in the clinic alongside our Haitian staff.