We often say that HAS is more than a hospital; it’s a community of big-hearted, dedicated people. We have been so fortunate over the years to welcome such wonderful individuals to the hospital from all over the world. Each leaves an undeniable mark on HAS through their compassion, their expertise, and good humor.
We remember the dear friends we lost in the past year.
Dr. John Judson (July 14, 1939 – November 29, 2020)
Dr. John Judson first traveled to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in 1968 as part of his surgery residency at Yale University. In his career as a general and cardiothoracic surgeon in Harrisburg, he had a tireless commitment to medicine and his patients. For over 50 years John volunteered at Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti, serving as the Medical Director from 1997-1999, alongside his wife Ann Marie. When the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Dr. Judson was there to help – first to perform surgeries and later to work in the cholera ward. When interviewed by HAS in 2018, he revealed, “My heart is in that country.”
Dr. Wade Walker Burnside, Jr. (March 8, 1929 – December 15, 2019)
Wade served two short stints as pediatrician at HAS in 1972 and 1983. He attended Tulane Medical School, graduating one year after Dr. Mellon. Wade worked in private practice as a pediatrician in Fayetteville, Arkansas for 20 years, finishing out his career at the University of Arkansas Student Health Services. In retirement, he enjoyed serving the community as a volunteer with numerous organizations. He left a very generous bequest to HAS. Learn more about Wade here.
Hertha Isaac Kornhaus (September 19, 1939 – Apr 2, 2020)
Many people knew Hertha as a kind, cheerful, giving person with a compassion for others and a deep love for Haiti and its people. In the 1960s, Hertha served as Secretary to HAS Medical Director, Dr. Frank Lepreau. She spent several years working as an administrative assistant at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer both in Haiti and in the former Sarasota, Florida office, where she made many life-long friends. She died in Sarasota, FL on April 3, 2020. You can learn more about Hertha here and view her Memorial Service.
Ron Forgham (January 5, 1951 – January 2, 2020)
Ron grew up in Port-au-Prince Haiti. His family would visit Deschapelles to buy artisan furniture, and it was there that his parents became good friends with Dr. and Mrs. Mellon. They frequently visited HAS. Ron helped at his father’s Coca-Cola bottling company, Brasserie La Couronne, and later traveled all over the Caribbean as a Field Representative with Coca-Cola. He eventually settled in Sebastian, Florida. Ron is remembered for his generosity, his hearty laugh, and love of people. In 2009, Ron got to return to HAS with his sister, Patti, and his niece and nephew to enjoy a tour of HAS and lunch at the Mellon House. Ron generously included HAS in his will.
Carolyn Langfitt (1928 – 2020)
Carolyn Payne Langfitt, 92, a civic and charitable leader in Philadelphia, passed away on November 17 in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Her charitable work included counseling domestic abuse victims, helping poor students in Philadelphia, and the sick in Haiti. Carolyn supported and worked annually at HAS, where she developed a close friendship with co-founder Gwen Mellon. As Gwen’s eyesight deteriorated, she read books to her in the evening by lamplight. Carolyn’s husband, Tom, her brother John, an ophthalmologist, and her son John, a neuropsychologist, all donated their skills to the hospital. Her grandson, Daniel, lived at the hospital for two years, helping the community grow crops amongst trees to prevent soil erosion. Read more about Carolyn’s life here.
Dr. Kathi Nelz (Died March 29, 2020)
Dr. Kathi Nelz was a beloved HAS pediatrician from Switzerland. Sandra Wadley Rice said, “Kathi was a free spirit….She had a joie de vivre that she delighted in sharing with others….She loved her work, her long standing (late) friend Dan, her friends, the outdoors, the beach, the Greek Isles. She was a wonderful pediatrician who loved working in Haiti, especially at HAS, where surrounded by friends, she was in her element.”
Dr. Ed Reynolds (Died June 4, 2020)
Dr. Harry Edward “Ed” Reynolds, of Boise, supported HAS for many years, along with his wife Mary Ann. He first heard about HAS in a surgical journal. Ed contributed his skills as a general surgeon at HAS for six weeks in 1986 and remained a generous supporter for all the decades that followed, helping fund high-risk obstetrics and gynecology.
Dr. William H. Stouch (February 6, 1936 – February 6, 2020)
Dr. Stouch was a stalwart HAS supporter, from Beverly, MA. Dr. Stouch came to HAS via his wife, Miny Baaker Stouch, who was a member of the Dutch contingent of nurses serving at HAS in the late 60’s and 70’s. He and Miny were founding members of the HAS Alumni Association which held its first three reunions in Burlington, VT. Bill was appreciated for his level-headed counsel, loyalty and stoicism in adversity. He is survived by his wife, Miny, two children and six grandchildren. You can read Dr. Stouch’s obituary here.