Since 1956, HAS Haiti has weathered political instability and governmental regime changes, economic downturns, epidemics such as cholera and zika, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and droughts. All the while, the hospital has never closed its doors.
HAS founder Larry Mellon reads an article in LIFE magazine profiling Dr. Albert Schweitzer, a medical missionary operating in Gabon, Africa.
Larry Mellon enters medical school at the age of 39. His wife Gwen studies to be a laboratory technician specializing in tropical medicine.
The Mellons visit Haiti, looking for an area that lacks access to modern medicine where they feel they can make a long-term positive impact. They settle on the Lower Artibonite Valley in central Haiti, an area that is agriculturally and economically important to the entire country.
Gwen breaks ground in Deschapelles, Haiti
Hopital Albert Schweitzer Haiti opens its doors on Larry's 46th birthday. At the first day of outpatient clinic, Dr. Mellon sees 62 patients.
In a groundswell of populist and black nationalist support, François Duvalier (Papa Doc)--a practicing physician with training in public health and infectious disease-- is elected as President of Haiti. His regime rapidly becomes "totalitarian and despotic," and will remain so for decades. Upon his death in 1971, Duvalier is succeeded by his son Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc"), who stays in power until his self-imposed exile in 1986.
Larry Mellon realizes that if public health interventions are not made, real, lasting progress will never be made for the communities served by the hospital. He begins working on ditch, latrine, and spring capping projects to bring safe, potable water to communities at risk for waterborne disease.
Public health researchers, including Warren and Gretchen Berggren of Harvard University, perform groundbreaking public health research at HAS. Their work on vaccine promotion and education is estimated to have saved the lives of tens of millions of children around the world.
Drs. Larry Mellon and Lucien Rousseau create the first traditional midwife-training program in the western hemisphere, teaching proper delivery techniques, cord-cutting, and avoidance of contamination.
Larry Mellon dies at the age of 79 at his home in Deschapelles.
Opens community health centers in remote mountain regions
HAS initiates new strategies to control syphilis, initiating epidemiologic studies to understand economic & social issues that influence transmission—as well as the relationship between syphilis and fertility--with plans to apply this information to prevention strategies.
The hospital serves 2,500 patients and 50,000 outpatients.
Gwen Grant Mellon, co-founder of HAS, dies at the age of 89
Embarks upon a project to plants saplings and other sustainable and shade plants. To date, HAS has planted over 2 million trees.
A devastating 7.0 point earthquake devastates Haiti, with its epicenter near the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Within hours, HAS begins receiving critically injured patients at the hospital. Doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers work round-the-clock for many weeks.
Medi for Help establishes the largest prosthetics lab in the Caribbean at HAS.
HAS receives a USAID ASHA grant to extensively renovate OR and triage unit.