CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 8 Medical teams from Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) will soon be headed to Haiti. Through an agreement with the Department of the Navy, CHS is organizing volunteer groups who will spend two weeks at a time providing care to victims of the January earthquake.
The first contingent of 10 licensed providers is expected to deploy in mid-February and will remain in Haiti for two weeks. Navy medical officials will determine the make-up of each contingent, but each will include one or more physicians plus other medical personnel including mid-level providers, nurses, respiratory therapists, and physical and occupational therapists. They will work in a field hospital attached to the American hospital ship Comfort.
"Since the devastating earthquake in January I have heard from many of our colleagues and teammates," said CHS Chief Executive Officer Michael Tarwater. "They desperately want to help with Haiti relief efforts. They see that the need continues to be overwhelming and they are deeply concerned that opportunities to provide healing have been impeded by the many challenging conditions on the ground. Now, in conjunction with the Navy, we have a means for them to directly apply their skills in ways that will make a difference."
Dr. Michael Bosse, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Carolinas Medical Center and retired Navy Captain, was instrumental in making contact with Navy officials. Dr. Bosse traveled to Haiti separately as part of a contingent from the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, a national organization.
Additionally several other Carolinas HealthCare caregivers have gone or will soon travel to Haiti to work with relief agencies there.
"I am grateful every day for the commitment of all 44,000 members of our team who enable us to provide care for communities across the Carolinas and the region," said Mr. Tarwater. "I am not at all surprised at the groundswell of interest in helping others beyond our borders, and I am certainly very proud. Since the moment the disaster in Haiti occurred, our employees have also donated thousands of dollars to charitable organizations providing relief. Thanks to the Department of the Navy, some of us, working as a team, can also join numerous others who are providing hands-on healing."
CHS includes 32 affiliated hospitals in North and South Carolina. As one of the leading healthcare systems in the Southeast, Carolinas HealthCare employs some 1,400 physicians and serves patients at more than 500 care locations including physician practices, nursing homes, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies and other facilities. These operations comprise more than 6,300 licensed beds and employ some 44,000 people.
CHS's flagship facility is Carolinas Medical Center (www.carolinasmedicalcenter.org), an 874-bed hospital in Charlotte that includes a Level I Trauma Center, a research institute and numerous specialty units (heart, cancer, organ transplant, behavioral health, etc.). CMC also serves as one of North Carolina's five Academic Medical Center Teaching Hospitals, providing graduate medical education for more than 250 physicians in 18 specialties.
SOURCE Carolinas HealthCare System