While I wish that I had ALL of the details to share on this current project in development, what I DO have to share is quite exciting!
For several years I have been in communication off & on with Nadene Brunck, the founder of Midwives for Haiti. Initially it was for imformation I needed on a mock up midwifery care grant-writing project for a course I was taking at the time. Over the past year she has been a wise voice on my journey into maternity care here as well as my plans for midwifery school, which God willing I'll begin in the fall.
While I had already hoped to meet up with her while she was in Haiti this past month, the circumstances took a turn. We arrived in Hinche without the list of specific questions that I had in mind and instead just absorbed our experiences at the local hospital where MFH provides clinical experience to their students. We soaked up rural life in Haiti and we talked about all that we had on our hearts and then listened to Nadene and her co-workers do the same. It was more information than we could process in 2 days, but we've kept the line of communication open on how we might work together and bring more Haitian babies into this world safely and keep their moms healthy & alive to care for them.
Last week a great opportunity rose to the surface & Nadene & I began discussing my taking leadership of a project that her organization just can't get to at the moment.
Opening & managing...A BIRTHING CENTER!!
Hopital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) is located up north in Deschapelles. It has been providing care and saving lives in the Artibonite Valley for nearly 60 years.
While it is a project still being "hatched", the idea is that our ministry will partner with HAS & Midwives for Haiti (MFH) to start a free-standing birthing center on their campus compound. While they do already provide maternity care, it is more than they can handle. They have been asking MFH to do open this center, as they would like to move all of the low risk births there for the skilled birth attendants to provide care & focus on hihg risk maternity cases in the hospital. They would also like to have a MFH training program at their location eventually.
While I DREAM of starting community birthing centers throughout the country, I couldn't ASK for a more nurturing situation to learn and grow and gain my first birthing center administrative experience in, while I attend school.
The birthing center will be staffed by two nurses with obstetrical specialty that have recently graduated from MFH's World Health Organization approved skilled birth attendant training program. I will pitch in with supportive patient care when I am onsite & the rest of the time oversee the details of operation.
We are hoping to get things moving by summer, so watch for more news on this upcoming project & details on the many ways that you can help support it!
KNOWN Ministry/Project NEEDS:
I AM currently looking for MIDWIVES, L&D, Mother/Baby and NICU RN's who might be interested in working in Haiti either for a short -term trip, or partnering with us as long-term ministry field staff.
I am ALSO looking for a clinical site in the U.S. to complete my CNM skills requirements in 2016. It does seem early, but the school recommends finding a clinical site and preceptor before you even begin!
Again, thank you for your interest & support of the work that God has laid out before us-