Today was our last full day in Haiti and we spent most of it visiting Partners in Health's newest hospital in Mirebalais, an hour-long bus ride from the orphanage where we've been staying.
Before it was built 2 years ago, anyone who lived in the mountains had to travel hours to reach the PIH hospital in Port-au-Prince.
Last year, we visited the hospital after it had just opened. It was a beautiful, but almost empty building, save for a few people waiting to be seen in their outpatient clinic. When I was asked what I thought of the hospital, I remember answering that I wanted to wait and see what would happen first. Would there be sufficient staffing and need to make it a full-fledged hospital or would it remain a nice, but underutilized facility?
I'm happy to report that it has come a long way in the past year. The inpatient units are mostly full and the outpatient clinics see 700+ patients a day. They have a large pharmacy, a CT scanner, a teleradiology program, residency training programs in internal medicine, surgery and OB/Gyn and they even have a physiatrist (rehabilitation medicine physician) on staff !
On the Rehab front, they have a small inpatient unit with adjacent gym located on one of the wards, but noting an increase in trauma patients, the unit will increase in size to 10 beds and will move to a brand new building currently being built on the hospital grounds (see the photos of the current program and it's future home below).
I plan to get in touch with their current rehab doctor to discuss possible collaborations between them and the department of PM&R at UNC (some telemedicine educational programs? A future resident elective? We'll see.)
We celebrated the end of our trip with dinner at Pizza Amour, a restaurant run out of the home of some ex-pats that has the best pizza in Port-au-Prince.
Now it's time to pack up for our return flight tomorrow morning.