HAS employs approximately 500 people, 98% of whom are Haitian and from the hospital’s service area. HAS is also an economic engine for the community. For many entrepreneurs in the Artibonite Valley, HAS and the people employed by HAS are key customers.
Marc Gerard moved to Deschapelles in 1976 in the hope of starting his own business.
“My family was poor when I was younger,” he says, “so I had to find a way to provide for my family.”
He launched a bottled drinks shop located along the HAS hospital “corridor,” the road linking the main road to the hospital. After a few years, he had saved enough to move to a location closer to the hospital, and now runs one of the most successful bottled drinks businesses in the area.
When asked how he would advise entrepreneurs trying to start a business, Marc Gerard emphasizes the value of hard work, organization, and perseverance. He goes to the local market every day to sell, while managing inventory out of his home. He is always working.
Marc Gerard says, “If the hospital weren’t here, I would never sell anything.”
For Marc Gerard and so many others, the impact of HAS reaches far beyond the hospital walls. Retail shops near the hospital sell hot meals, toiletries, clothing, lumber, gasoline, and electronics. A local outdoor market features fresh foods. There is even an art gallery featuring works by local artists.
All are frequented by hospital staff, patients’ families, and outpatients.
Whether it is through life-saving healthcare, stable employment at the hospital, or serving as a catalyst for business, HAS is proud to collaborate with the communities we serve to improve their health and quality of life.