A first at the PHH 4th Annual Fundraiser

A first at the PHH 4th Annual Fundraiser by H-O


Promoting Health in Haiti (PHH) had a surprise for the guests at the 4th annual fundraising gala last October 25. Some students of the group of 19 who graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing last July were at the event. And one of them, Miriame Charles, gave the keynote address, speaking on behalf of all the Nurse Practitioners. In an accented English, well mastered, she thanked all who have made it possible for them to get the training to help in the field of health, so neglected in Haiti.

Welcoming the attendees was the President of PHH, Carol Roye, EdD. RN, CPNP, FAAN. She thanked all who have been supportive of PHH and who showed it again by their presence at the event. She turned to the organization’s Vice-president, Henri Desrosiers, RN, MSN, FNP, who acted as Master of Ceremony.

As usual, the evening at the Vetro restaurant started with a cocktail hour that lasted from 6:30 to 7:30 followed by festivities until dinner was served. Congratulations are in order for the folks at Vetro both for their excellent service and their fine cuisine. Music by the Unik group of Buyu Ambroise greatly added to the festive mood.

Since PHH started the advanced degree program in 2013, thirty-four (34) young men and women have graduated in a program that is unique in the Caribbean and Latin America region. Indeed, Haiti and Jamaica are first in providing training at a higher education level toward a Master’s degree in nursing for those who have become Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs).

The January 12, 2010 earthquake had devastated Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince and surroundings, killing some 100 nurses, including professors. When Haitian-born nurses in the New York area wanted to do something for Haiti, Dr. Carmelle Bellefleur, of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Nassau Community College, quickly arranged with other interested colleagues for a trip to Haiti. In their fact-finding mission they visited various hospitals and health centers, observed the practices, spoke to nurses at different facilities, to administrators and staff to gather information. That’s when it became clear to the fact-finding team that an advanced degree in nursing would have a greater impact on health care delivery in Haiti.

In collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Health and Population as well as with the State University of Haiti (UEH), PHH established the Rose Court School of Nursing in the Christ Roy neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Since then, the program has collaborated with other institutions, such as the Episcopal Hospital in Leogâne, the Lumière Hospital in Bonne Fin in the south and the Pignon Hospital in the north. What began as a mercy mission is now a full-fledged program officially recognized and supported by the UEH. And the graduates are readily employed.

PHH efforts are being encouraged. The organization is grateful to the Kellogg Foundation which has become a sponsor. Consider also that the Haiti Ministry of Health sponsored the visit to New York of 15 new graduates who were here in New York as observers of Nurse Practitioners in practice in three hospital institutions: Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Kings County Hospital Center, and Interfaith Medical Center. Certainly, after their two-week visit here, these young women will be further energized to deliver their professional services in Haiti.

Back to the soirée of October 25. There were two honorees: Dr. Bernard Fialkoff, DDS and Valerie Pazmino, MA, CHES. Dr. Fialkoff, born in 1954 in Havana, Cuba, came to the U.S. with his parents, fleeing the Castro dictatorship. In 1982, he graduated first in his class from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. A practicing dentist, Dr. Fialkoff specializes in dental implants, periodontics and laser surgery. Dr, Fialkoff is the chairman and founder of Drug Free World, New York Chapter, a program with branches around the world including various countries in Latin America, Haiti and Africa.

The other honoree, Ms. Valerie Pazmino, was born in Long Island and raised by a registered nurse mother, who is her role model. After a B.A degree in Communications, with a focus on Community and Public Relations, Ms. Pazmino furthered her education at Adelphi University where she obtained a Master’s in Public Health Education. Through her employment at Colgene Corporation, she has been able to provide educational presentations and support at meetings of the PHH Board. Colgene, a sponsor of the gala, has an uplifting motto: “Committed to improving the lives of patients worldwide.”

PHH is grateful to the Rector of the State University of Haiti, Mr. Fritz Deshommes, for his arduous work and support, as well as to Mme Irma Bois, the Chief Nursing Officer at the Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population. The Board of Directors of PHH thanks those who come every year and donate to keep the program going. Special thanks to Colgene Pharmaceutical Co, Elizabeth Salazer and Kris Pocaro, the administrative body of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Kings County Hospital Center, and Interfaith Medical Center for their support for Haiti.

Considering that the cost of one year per student is $15, – 000.00, the generosity of people like you reading this article is very important. If you were unable to attend the gala, you may still help by visiting the web site of promotinghealthinhaiti.org and make a donation.

Haiti-Observateur, November 7, 2018

this article published by the weekly newspaper Haïti-Observateur edition of novenber 7 2018 will be found in P. 16 at : http://haiti-observateur.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/H-O-07-nov-2018.pdf