Mercy Health Mission Trip 2019
Since 2017, CMMB and Mercy Health have partnered together to send highly qualified health professionals on mission trips to the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Center for Health (BJSH). These mission trips support and strengthen the quality of care provided at the hospital and build the skills and confidence of local healthcare providers.
Our relationship with Mercy Health dates back to 2003 when a commitment was made to strengthen Haiti’s struggling health system, specifically in Côtes-de-Fer. That commitment culminated in the construction of BJSH and our ongoing dedication to ensure that the hospital is able to provide the highest possible level of care. Meet the latest medical mission team from Mercy Health who traveled to Côtes-de-Fer.
This past May, Mercy Health sent their fourth team of highly skilled medical professionals to BJSH. The purpose of their visit: to continue improving the quality of care provided to the Côtes-de-Fer community and to assess new opportunities for development and growth.
Over the course of 8 days, this diverse group of professionals took on a variety of roles, including providing patient care, facilitating training and mentoring sessions for local healthcare professionals, and conducting home visits in the surrounding community.
Meet the Team!
Dr. Zach Henz earned his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Toledo and pursued an acute care residency at the University of Toledo Medical Center. He is currently a clinical pharmacist in emergency medicine at Springfield Regional Medical Center in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio.
Zach’s responsibilities during the mission trip included:
- Assessing pharmacy operations while strategizing and sharing methods for improvement.
- Connecting and consulting with current pharmacy staff for strategy implementation.
- Researching and assessing pharmacy management software for more efficient tracking methods.
- Identifying additional opportunities to increase operational efficiency.
“I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Zach Henz, the pharmacist on the Mercy Health Medical Mission team. He took the time to ask me what I thought he could do to help improve the quality of work performed at the hospital. He is a very courteous, kind, understanding and patient person. His presence was very beneficial for our pharmacy because he shared his professional and personal experiences with us.” – Dr. Demar Riphat, pharmacist at BJSH.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Tracy Rock is an acute care nurse practitioner with Mercy Health in Youngstown, Ohio. She has over 15 years of clinical experience in neurosurgical ICU, emergency, and trauma, and with transplant populations. Tracy received her master’s in nursing from Kent State University.
Tracy’s responsibilities at BJSH included:
- The provision of high quality care through patient consultations.
- Capacity building through presentations and trainings that covered emergency response, cardiac life support, first aid, and CPR.
- Mentoring of current ER nurses while identifying operational areas for improvement
“I worked all week with Tracy Rock, the clinical nurse on the Mercy Health Medical Mission team. Her training on cardiac resuscitation was helpful to us all and we are looking forward to the return of another medial team so we can continue to learn more” – Miss Nadia Payen, nurse at BJSH.
Dr. Stephen Feagins graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. From there he went on to specialize in general internal medicine. His dedication for service is evident through his previous experience as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and Honor Flight program, which caters to the veterans of various wars. He has more than 21 years of medical experience and some mission trip experience with the U. S. Air Force.
Dr. Stephen was part of the inaugural medical mission trip to BJSH at its opening in March 2017. During this most recent trip, Dr. Stephen saw on average, 40 patients per day — three of which were patients he treated once before during his visit in 2017.
Dr. Stephen’s responsibilities included:
- Performing in-patient and out-patient rounds with hospital staff.
- Building capacity through presentations on shoulder and knee patient assessments and infection control.
- Presenting “re-freshers” on topics covered by previous mission groups.
- Taking on a mentorship role to local physicians.
“During the Mercy Health staff visit, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Stephen. His support was very beneficial. We learned from his trainings on the proper examination of patients with shoulder pain and resuscitation using new defibrillators. I hope to be able to learn more through future training sessions.” -Dr. Jean Chilles Wilnes, staff at BJSH
Building capacity to ensure quality care was a critical part of the team’s visit. During their time, they facilitated four 60-minute training sessions with local staff members at the hospital. The Mercy Health team provided in-depth trainings on a variety of topics related to their respective expertise. The majority of information shared during these sessions focused on topics requested by the current members of the BJSH team. This is great, because you never learn more than when what is being taught is of interest and importance to you!
Presentation topics included:
- Tremor treatment
- Proper practice for shoulder exams
- Stabilizing patients in emergency situations
- The use of cardio version, defibrillators
- Medicine Safety
“It was so inspiring to see staff members so actively engaged, taking photos and notes for later referral!” – Dr. Zach
In addition to staff trainings, the medical mission team spent time shadowing staff members and assisting with patient consultations.
Dr. Stephen shared the following observations with Mercy Health about his experience, “Obstetrics was the busiest service. The hospital delivers 3-5 babies a day and has ultrasound and crash C-section capability. About 40% of general surgery procedures are hernia repairs.”
Tracy also spent many dedicated hours treating patients at BJSH. She shared the following about her time at BJSH, “This hospital gives their workers a purpose greater than themselves. It gives them hope and the opportunity to better themselves, their families, and their community.”
- The team emphasized best practices whether in pharmacy management or patient care during each presentation, consultation, and training session.
- Hospital staff were successfully educated on proper use of an Automated External Defibrillator.
- The team saw patients on a daily basis, made diagnosis, and provided prescriptions.
- The team educated patients on the proper use of medications, once diagnosed.
- Hospital staff were invited to join in-depth discussions on particular medical topics of interest to staff.
What the Team Learned Along the Way
1) The hospital is trusted by the community. The community is confident in local staff members and in the level of care they receive at the hospital.
2) The hospital pharmacy is sufficiently stocked with medication and they have access to an adequate supply chain when requesting more medications or supplies. (Mercy Health generously donated two suitcases full of medications to support the BJSH Pharmacy.)
3) Education and trainings are key to ensure the hospital provides the best possible care. The Mercy Health team realized that staff members lack confidence using some of the equipment available at the hospital. Team members facilitated trainings in these areas and stress the importance of continuing education and trainings with staff to build confidence and give the best possible care to the patients at BJSH.
4) There is a need for stereoscopes. Staff members have access to an EKG, however, additional supplies including stereoscopes, paper, and bleeds are needed.
5) Staff make good use of the ultrasound equipment for obstetrics and gynecology.
6) A high number of patients were in pediatrics and obstetrician.
7) The hospital and surrounding areas felt very safe. The streets were quiet and very well looked after.
8) The people of Haiti are rich in spirit, faith and community.
A Special Reflection, by Tracy Rock
“BJSH has strong support by the people of Côtes-de-Fer with true community buy-in. People come from miles away to seek care. The reputation of the hospital is strong. The church service demonstrated this as the priest recognized the Mercy Health team to the congregation, welcoming us into their community. The church provided its full support for our work which, was especially significant as this priest is recognized as a community leader. Another example includes meeting a gentleman on the beach whose daughter is studying medicine in Port-au-Prince. The gentleman shared that it is his dream to have his daughter become a physician and work at BJSH. This is another testament of how the hospital is a symbol of hope and dreams.”
A very special thank you to Dr. Zach Henz, Tracy Rock, and Dr. Stephen Feagins for helping continue our efforts to support and strengthen the quality of care at BJSH. And to Mercy Health, for their dedication to improving the health of the poor and marginalized, and their ongoing commitment to send highly skilled and compassionate professionals to serve at BJSH.