Local medical team at work in Haiti

Local medical team at work in Haiti

January 20th, 2010 by Perla Trevizo in News

Classrooms converted into operating rooms are where three local medical professionals now work.

An Erlanger nurse and two local doctors arrived in Haiti Monday night to assist in the relief efforts after last week's catastrophic earthquake that hit the capital and surrounding areas.

The group includes Jennifer Ohle, surgical nurse and preoperative services director for Erlanger Health System; Dr. Chris Young, an anesthesiologist with Anesthesiology Consultants Exchange; and Dr. Chris Moore, developer of the Odyssey Company on Lookout Mountain. The three have previous experience working in disaster zones, including Haiti and Nicaragua, according to an Erlanger press release.

The hospital's employees and medical staff responded in large numbers to a call last week for a surgical team to serve in Haiti, Erlanger officials said.

But because of travel and support problems in the devastated area and the need for people with experience in medical relief efforts, the number of local volunteers was limited, the release said.

With the help of Global Outreach International, a missionary organization headquartered in Tupelo, Miss., the Erlanger team and donated medical supplies were transported 15 miles north of the Port-au-Prince airport to a medical compound that was once a burn center, the news release states.

Brenda Cooper, who works at Memorial Hospital, and Sandra Holland, a nurse at Gordon Hospital, also will travel on a medical mission trip to Haiti on Feb. 11.

Mrs. Cooper, a LaFayette, Ga., resident and respiratory therapist, founded Haiti Helpers with her husband, Michael, and has traveled to the Caribbean country 21 times since 2000.

On their next trip, they will take medical equipment and supplies and continue going every three months to help with the relief effort, she said.

Memorial Hospital is raising money to be donated to Catholic relief agencies already on the ground in Haiti, hospital spokesman Brian Lazenby said in an e-mail.

Parkridge Medical Center's parent company, HCA, has committed $1 million for direct relief to Haiti, said spokeswoman Pat Holloway.

Staff writer Emily Bregel contributed to this article.