Nine Main Line Health (MLH) staff members recently returned from a surgical mission to Haiti, as part of the Blue Sky Surgical Team, a group of health care professionals and logistics staff. The team was originally organized in 2006 by former Bryn Mawr Hospital Chief of Surgery Dr. Tony Coletta, and is dedicated to providing surgical services to an indigent and underserved population in Haiti.
Blue Sky recently provided surgical care to approximately 80 patients at the Double Harvest Clinic near Port-au-Prince during the week of February 1–8. Approximately half of the patients were less than 10 years old, including a number of orphans. General, pediatric and breast surgeons performed these surgeries.
“The importance of the support given by Lankenau Medical Center and Bryn Mawr Hospital for the success of this effort cannot be overstated,” said John Sauter, MD, anesthesiologist, MLH. “Blue Sky's ability to provide care to our patients in Haiti that is equivalent to the care our patients receive at Main Line Health is dependent on the supplies provided by the Main Line Health System. Sharing some of the blessings of good health care with our less fortunate neighbors in Haiti is truly gratifying.”
Medical missions like this one to the third world can only occur when supported by private institutions, charitable organizations, and individuals that generously donate supplies, time and money. Mission participants donated their time and provided their own funding for airfare, meals and lodging. Blue Sky is supported via donations from Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, United Anesthesia Services, Holy Redeemer Hospital, AmeriCares, Medshare and private individuals.
In Photo: The Main Line Health team members who brought important skills vital to the mission included (from left): Barb Tudor, Bryn Mawr nurse; Mike Fleck, Lankenau Biomedical Equipment technician III; Leslie Bunch-Edwards, CRNA, Lankenau and Paoli; John Sauter; Barb Thompson, PACU/Pre-Op coordinator, Bryn Mawr; Cate McKee, OR nurse, Lankenau; Lisa Czyzewski, Nurse Manager, OR, Pre-Op, PACU, Bryn Mawr; and Deb McTamney, CRNA, Lankenau and Riddle. Kneeling is Yvon LeBrun, translator, ORA, Bryn Mawr.