The Flora Family Foundation, established in 1998 by the family of William R. Hewlett (co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company) and his late wife, Flora Lamson Hewlett, has awarded Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS) a two-year $90,000 grant to support the healthcare mission of the hospital. HAS has been providing life-saving healthcare and working to improve public health in Haiti for nearly 60 years.
The grant is the latest awarded to HAS this year by major U.S.-based foundations. HAS won grants earlier this year from the Ford Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Foundation, and Richard King Mellon Foundation.
“We are most grateful to the Flora Family Foundation for this significant support,” said HAS Board Chairman John Walton. “The hallmark of the Flora Family Foundation is flexibility and responsiveness to needs and opportunities, and HAS is honored to be partnering with the foundation to address the growing need in Haiti for trauma care, high-risk maternity care, and care for pre-term infants.”
“In considering candidates for grants, we were impressed by HAS’s argument that the path to a self-sustaining Haiti must begin with a focus on public health. A rural population plagued by malnutrition, chronic illness, and poor maternal care cannot be expected to thrive,” said Steve Toben, president of the Flora Family Foundation. “HAS has long been a pillar of stability in rural Haiti. No institution in the region compares with HAS’s history of promoting public health, providing good jobs, and buttressing the region’s basic infrastructure.”
HAS, founded in 1956 by Pittsburgh native Dr. Larimer Mellon and his wife Gwen, serves a largely rural population with critical care hospital services and community-based prevention and care in central Haiti. HAS has succeeded in eradicating diseases, such as measles, polio and tetanus, in its service area through its collaboration with communities to educate citizens on the importance of immunizations, good nutrition, clean water and sanitary practices to stay healthy.
The 131-bed Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti is the only 24/7 full-service hospital serving a population roughly the size of that in the city of Pittsburgh — more than 350,000 people.
It is the only facility within a 610-square-mile area that provides a full range of care, including care for women with high-risk pregnancies, for children with serious illness and malnutrition, for people who need trauma care and surgery, and for those with infectious and non-communicable diseases. The most complicated cases seen in regional clinics and other medical facilities are referred to HAS routinely.
HAS Haiti specializes in caring for infants, children, and mothers. The HAS Department of Pediatrics and pediatric surgery program, made possible in large part through the efforts and support of partner organization the Swiss Schweizer Partnerschaft, are crucial resources for families throughout Haiti, who turn to HAS for specialized care. Children come to HAS with health conditions other clinics have been unable to diagnose, and for surgeries that other facilities cannot handle.
A neonatal intensive care unit like the one at HAS is rare in Haiti, as is HAS’s policy to never turn away patients and families in need. The HAS social services program, also supported by Switzerland’s Schweizer Partnerschaft, ensures that particularly vulnerable patients, especially those from the remote mountain regions, who tend to be the most impoverished, will receive the health care they need.