VHF was founded in 1999 with a mission to provide competent and compassionate healthcare to the people of southwest Haiti and to empower them with resources to pursue their basic right to health and health education.
Our initial project was to create the site, infrastructure and buildings for a rural hospital and clinic in one of the most widely underserved areas of Haiti, in the Nippes Department. In January 2008, the first part of this goal was realized with the completion and opening of Visitation Clinic. Visitation Clinic has become a model for creating transformative healthcare in rural Haiti. The clinic is an architecturally innovative, energy-efficient building with first-rate medical infrastructure including a medical laboratory, full-service dental clinic, radiology, pharmacy, electronic medical record system, solar power and satellite internet. Its flexible interior space can be divided into separate exam and procedure rooms or can be opened for an emergency care of ward patients. During the cholera epidemic that swept throughout the country in the aftermath of the devastating January 2010 earthquake, Visitation Clinic treated over 70 critically ill patients who fell ill with cholera. All patients who made it to the clinic survived.
The bulk of our medical services are provided by a full-time, all-Haitian medical and administrative staff. They operate the clinic every weekday and provide routine, low-cost, subsidized healthcare to over 1,000 patients per month. In addition, Visitation Clinic was designed to accommodate visiting specialists. These teams assist with general primary care duties, but also hold special clinics, including eye exams, dental exams, cervical cancer screening, and other services. These visiting teams interact and collaborate with their Haitian medical peers resulting in a natural, organic exchange of ideas and realistic practices.
Visitation Clinic has also become a base for public health outreach to the rural areas of the region. VHF has launched programs and groups that have conducted mobile clinics, child de-worming programs in schools, mobile eye clinics, cholera prevention programs, HIV/AIDS prevention and education classes, and the employment of a community health worker to work with persons living with HIV/AIDS. Visitation Clinic has even become an assembly and distribution center for single-family, bucket based water filtration system. To date, Visitation Clinic has provided water filtration systems to over 16,000 people.
Since Visitation Clinic opened in 2008, we have treated over 94,000 patient cases. The clinic has gained a reputation throughout the country as a leading healthcare provider for the population.
Visitation Hospital Foundation’s ultimate goal, as part of a five-phase approach, is to construct a full-service hospital that will serve the region. The new facility will include 12 inpatient beds including four L & D, two surgical suites, an ER and digital radiography services. Our capital campaign launched in January 2013 and has raised over $400,000 for thus far. We look forward to continuing our campaign in 2014 so that we can continue to advance our mission and provide high-quality, compassionate healthcare to the Haitian people.