Vermont Medical Team Visits Haiti To Plan Mission for New, Permanent Union-Run Clinic
Contact: Mari Cordes, RN 802.989.9267
Heather Riemer 802.343.1705
A team of medical professionals from Vermont traveled to Haiti July 27th to gather information on healthcare needs in order to establish a union-run clinic and to provide healthcare skills training, in collaboration with the global union federation, Public Services International (PSI) and its affiliate in Haiti, the Confederation of Workers in the Public and Private Sectors.
The team is made up of members of the Vermont Medical Response Team (VMRT), which came out of the work done by the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (VFNHP) in response to the earthquake in Haiti. Working together with CTSP they will conduct a healthcare needs assessment and review potential locations and other arrangements to establish a union-run clinic.
More than 110 nurses, paramedics and EMTs organized by VFNHP traveled to Haiti in various teams over the last six months to provide medical assistance in the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit the country on January 12, 2010. The proposed workers’ clinic and the training are part of the long-term commitment to contribute to Haiti’s healthcare needs.
This project involving the unions from Vermont, the U.S. and Haiti is an example of practical solidarity. It builds union strength, capacity and influence—and demonstrates the important role of quality public services in ensuring social justice and sustainable development. The initial focus of the clinic will be on providing primary care, including maternal care, infant care and immunizations.
“Our members responded to the desperate calls for help immediately after the earthquake,” said Jennifer Henry, VFNHP President. “Now we want to continue to assist with Haiti’s healthcare needs as the nation moves forward from this tragedy.” Vermonters who want to help with this project through donations of money or skills should contact VMRT at VMRT802@gmail.com or at PO Box 1286, Burlington VT 05402.
Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals is part of United Professions AFT Vermont which represents over 3000 professional workers in Vermont at Fletcher Allen, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, UVM, Vermont State Colleges, Mill River High School and Early Childhood Educators.