Adeline Azrack has been an invaluable member of the HAS family for the last 12 years, both as an employee and as a board member since 2013. Her dedication to resilient public health systems makes her uniquely situated to analyze our programs and drive them to fulfill their potential.
Adeline began her public health career at HAS in 2006. As a master’s student in public health, she spent time in Haiti at HAS analyzing a program that connected patients with HIV medications and support services. At the time, many of our patients were not taking the medications they were being provided. Probing deeper, Adeline and her team discovered that patients were seeing traditional healers in addition to their doctors at the hospital. They were experiencing more support and relief from the traditional healers than they were from the medications and doctor visits. Instead of writing the patients off as “uncooperative,” the team worked together with the local healers to train them as HIV outreach workers, or “accompagnateurs” so that they could provide patients with a wider array of healing options, reaching the patients more effectively than hospital-centered medical interventions. Adeline has taken this experience and the work she did at HAS and woven it into her working and volunteer life.
She returned to HAS in 2007 and stayed for a year and a half, working with our monitoring and evaluations team to track the outcomes of the hospital’s medical and public health interventions. Following her time as HAS’s director of monitoring and evaluation, she worked for the UN as a specialist in global maternal and child health, lending her years of public health expertise and logistics coordination to medical systems across the globe.
One of the things that she finds most impactful about HAS is that it manages to be a truly impactful integrated public health system. On why she has remained involved with HAS over the course of her career, she answered: “what brings me back to HAS is the hope that it provides me for integrated health systems around the world. If we can make it work and we can keep making it work on a realistic budget and with an almost exclusively Haitian workforce, we can use it as a model for systems around the world.”
To do this, she argues, HAS needs to continue to grow its pool of unrestricted donations. When programs are run based on restricted donations, organizations have less flexibility to offer their constituents the services they most need and maintain operational efficiency. HAS’s current model allows a woman to receive care for herself, her children, and her older family members all at once, and often from a single practitioner. Whether she visits a mobile clinic, health clinic or the central hospital, her care is coordinated. This level of integration would not be possible if our vaccination programs were siloed from our maternal health programs from our malnutrition programs. As we continue to grow our programs and drive them to be the best they can be, unrestricted support will be paramount to maintaining our standards of customer service and care.
Adeline is now the US Program Director for Fondation CHANEL, which works to improve the health and living conditions of women and girls all over the world. The foundation prides itself on providing flexible and often unrestricted funding to organizations which are doing human rights-centric work. As Adeline says, “there is power and importance in investing in the operational efficiency of nonprofit organizations. Of all the work I have done as a funder, the projects that have the strongest effect are those which have requested well-targeted and timely operational support.” We are so grateful to Adeline for her wisdom over the years and look forward to her continued involvement over many years to come.
To make an unrestricted donation to HAS please visit hashaiti.org/donate.