This January 14, HAS celebrates the birthday of one of the inspirations for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS): Albert Schweitzer himself. Born in Germany in 1875, Schweitzer was a talented musician, philosopher, and medical missionary who founded and sustained a hospital in West Africa, along with winning the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for works on his philosophy of “Reverence for Life.” Though he passed away in 1965, Schweitzer’s ideas have inspired many others, including HAS founders Dr. Larimer and Gwen Grant Mellon.
Moved by an article he read about Albert Schweitzer in Life magazine in 1947, Larry Mellon began a correspondence with Schweitzer that continued until Schweitzer’s death. Through their letters, Dr. Mellon became devoted to establishing a hospital for those in dire need and promoting Schweitzer’s ideals. In June 1956 the doors to the hospital, etched with the motto “Reverence Pour la Vie,” were opened, and HAS began offering its services to the Haitians of the surrounding Artibonite Valley.
With its dedication to hope, care and healing, HAS strives to honor these founding ideals every day through our work in the Artibonite Valley. We are thankful for the influence of Albert Schweitzer and the passion he provoked in our founders, and in so many others around the world.