Partnering with Thiotte

to Improve Health

Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin, Inc.

Our History and Building Local Capacity


Our commitment to improving the health of the people of Thiotte, in southeast Haiti, began in 1997.  Since then, HMMW has made over 60 trips to Thiotte, made up of volunteer teams of 8-12 health care professionals and non-medical volunteers, to provide general and specialized medical care and surgery to the area's 32,000 people.  In 2001, HMMW built and furnished a medical clinic, Centre de Santé Sacré-Cœur de Thiotte (CSST), and began treating patients there in 2002.  HMMW's presence in Thiotte and our ability to facilitate relationships between the local Haitian people and other US and international organizations interested in providing assistance to Haiti, has resulted in the people of Thiotte receiving considerably more assistance than our organization could have provided alone.  Now, Thiotte also possesses a hospital and continuous medical care is available through Centre de Santé Sacré-Cœur de Thiotte (CSST).  With support from HMMW, the clinic and hospital together currently employ a staff of approximately 18 Haitians, including: a family practice physician, nurses, community healthcare workers, a lab and eye technician, clinic administrator and support assistants.

Over the years, HMMW volunteers have provided care to 22,200 patients.  Included among the thousands of hours of specialized medical care our medical mission volunteers have provided:

  •  850 General Surgeries, including hernias, hydroceles, breast tumors, lipomas, minor growths and caesarean sections

  •   290 Eye Surgeries, including pterygium and cataract surgeries

  • 2,500 Vision Screenings combined with lens distribution, if required

For 17 years, HMMW has stimulated the Haitian, and specifically Thiotte's economy, with $630,000 dollars of direct financial assistance targeted to positively impact the determinants of health and build local capacity to provide health care.

Current Efforts

HMMW strives to send about 6 medical mission team to Thiotte each year.  We contribute funds toward Centre de Santé Sacré-Cœur de Thiotte (CSST) staff salaries, and add to clinic medications, supplies and equipment.  

Thus far during 2014, HMMW volunteers treated over 1,400 patients, of whom 50 received general surgery, 37 sight-saving eye surgery, and 456 prescription lenses or readers.   

Our 2013 volunteer teams, worked in collaboration with our Haitian partners to provide medical care to 2,632 individuals. Among these 2,632 patients, 88 patients received vital general surgery, 48 patients received sight saving eye surgery, 503 people received vision screening and glasses if prescribed. 

2013 also marked our first recent dental mission trip.  This team, laid the groundwork for expanding our dental health care program in Thiotte and provided dental care to 60 patients, including 139 extractions.  The dental team also reached out to  220 local school children by providing dental hygiene education and supplies.  We learned from recent meetings with Haitian dentists, including Dr. Jean Marius LaFond, that dental health services, can not only provide much needed care, but also aide in providing access to other health care services as well.  We are working with our Haitian partners to bring more regular dental health care to Thiotte in the future.  There is a dental mission trip planned for 2015. 

Our volunteer medical mission teams compliment the fine care provided in our absence by Dr. Jean Judeson and the CSST staff.  Our eye health team, partners with Dr. Reynold Monsanto, Dr. Franz Large, and the Haitian Society of Ophthalmology to provide sight saving care.


 Haitian Driven 
Collaborative Partnerships

HMMW continually strives to be more Haitian driven and to take actions which help build local capacity and stimulate the Haitian economy; thereby, advancing local resiliency and sustainability.  Toward that goal, we purchase in Haiti most of the medications and many of the supplies for our medical mission work.  Anything that we require, which can be purchased locally, is acquired from within Haiti. 

HMMW is continually working to better identify, access and collaborate with our Haitian partners to more effectively assess, meet and anticipate the health care needs of the people of Thiotte and the surrounding area.  We strive to hold annual, in-person meetings with our Haitian partners, including the Ministry of Health (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population - MSPP), to discuss specific opportunities for collaboration and means for integrating Haitian identified goals into our organizational work plans and budget. During autumn 2013 meetings, MSPP South East Department Director, Dr. Ted Lazarre, asked HMMW to help facilitate the development of a comprehensive community health project plan for the Thiotte region. This effort his been sanctioned by both Dr. Lazarre and Bishop Launay Saturné.  This agreement illustrates how HMMW is working to assist the CSST staff in networking with and sharing resources, knowledge and skills, among their Haitian peers and others to support and expand local capacity for positively impacting and improving the determinants of health.