ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — A Minnesota medical team is traveling thousands of miles away from home to a mountain village in Haiti. Their mission: provide needed health care to rural communities.
The team is part of a non-profit called CHAMPs, or Connecting Hope and Medicine to People in Haiti which organized after a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean country in 2010, affecting an estimated 3 million people. It’s made up of 15 to 17 medical professionals from Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, and Northwest Dental.
Kay Anderson first stepped foot in Haiti about five months after the earthquake as part of a Christian mission trip to help with relief efforts.
“The level of destruction and the chaos, you could almost smell the chaos,” said Kay Anderson, president of CHAMPs. “It got me, it really got to me.”
She as so moved by what she experienced, she vowed to return and created CHAMPs.
“All of these people that we see now today, had absolutely no access. They’ve never seen a dentist before, they never saw a physician,” she said.
Since then, the organization has served more than 6,000 people in mobile clinics. Last year, it opened a medical clinic in Triano, a village northeast of Port-au-Prince. The free clinic is open twice a month and run by a Haitian medical doctor, dentist, and two assistants staff the clinic.
“Our goal is to bring a group of local doctors, RNs and some lay people to accommodate larger clinic volumes up to three times a year, and the local staff is now asking for expanding hours to fully serve the incredible needs there,” said Anderson.
The money raised will go towards clinic staff salaries, medication, and supplies.