(WEAU) - Three years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, a group of health care workers from the area are heading there once again to help.
Led by Marshfield Clinic infectious disease nurse, Kathy Kivlin, a 22 person team will spend a week in Haiti from February 6th through February 13th.
Organizer Kathy Kivlin and Marshfield Clinic pediatrician Dr. Oludayo Sarumi joined Sarah Stokes for an interview during WEAU 13 News at Five on Thursday.
Marshfield Clinic Press Release
Medical missions to the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti have become an annual tradition for a growing number of Marshfield Clinic providers and 2013 is no different.
A record number of employees, including seven physicians, will take part in this year’s trip. The Marshfield Clinic contingent will be in Haiti from Feb. 6-13.
The 22-member group includes nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Kathy Kivlin, an infectious disease nurse based at the Clinic’s Eau Claire Center, continues to spearhead the trip.
Joining Kivlin is a team of physicians able to treat both children and adults. The team includes Drs. Somsak Tanawattanacharoen and Martha Hidalgo, internists at the Eau Claire Center; and Dr. Oludayo Sarumi a pediatrician at the Eau Claire Center.
Dr. Mary Ocwieja and her husband, Dr. Bill Smith, family medicine physicians at Rice Lake Center, along with Dr. Kathy Michalk, an obstetrician/gynecologist who previously worked at Marshfield Clinic, round out the medical team.
Kivlin, who has made seven previous relief trips to Haiti, said residents are continuing to recover from the earthquake that struck three years ago.
“There seems to be very little visible progress, post-earthquake,” Kivlin said. “In fact, it’s difficult to distinguish buildings that are pre- and post-earthquake.”
Marshfield Clinic providers will follow up on a pilot project they began during last year’s medical mission. The project focused on Haitians suffering from high blood pressure. During the past year, Marshfield Clinic providers have monitored those patients’ progress from Eau Claire. This visit will reunite providers with those patients.
Kivlin often is asked why the team keeps going back to Haiti year after year. Her response is simple: she and her colleagues believe it makes a positive difference in the lives of Haitians, who desperately need the medical help.