Microsoft word - helpful hints jan 09 word[1].doc

Helpful Hints
362 Sewall St./P.O. Box 804, Ludlow, MA 01056 Dear Volunteer,
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at
My advice to you as you embark on this adventure is
CRUDEM’s Hôpital Sacré Coeur (HSC) in Milot, Haiti.
to go with an open mind and heart. Enjoy the friendly
We are looking forward to working with you!
welcome of the Haitian people. It is important to
spend time observing and absorbing the
The purpose of this Helpful Hints booklet is to give
surroundings when one approaches a new country
you a comprehensive overview of the preparations
and culture. In the face of trying and desperate
needed in advance of your trip and what to expect on
circumstances, the patience and resilience of the
your visit. We would like to ensure that you have a
Haitian people is remarkable. Be patient and
very positive and rewarding experience. If you have
adaptable, things may not run as smoothly as you are
any questions or concerns please contact us.
used to! And very importantly, become an
ambassador for Haiti when you return home.
As you know, Haiti is the poorest country in the
western hemisphere with approximately 80% of the
On behalf of the board and staff of the CRUDEM
population living in dire poverty. Hôpital Sacré Coeur
Foundation, Hôpital Sacré Coeur, and most
has been a beacon of hope for the people of Northern
importantly, the people of Northern Haiti, we thank
Haiti for the past 23 years. The hospital currently
you for your time, talent and commitment in helping
serves approximately 65,000 patients onsite annually
us to improve one life at a time.
and reaches 150,000 with vaccinations, prenatal care
and other community health services.
Best regards,
This incredible work would not be possible without
our wonderful and faithful donors, our skilled Haitian
staff and the support of the many volunteers that
come every year. In recent years, not only do the
Denise Kelly
visiting medical teams perform surgeries and treat
patients themselves but they also spend a lot of their
Executive Director,
time teaching and mentoring the Haitian staff. It truly
CRUDEM Foundation
is a collaborative effort and a learning experience for
all involved.
At the time of your reservation, Lynx will ask for your
name, address, date of birth, passport number and
your weight. Yes, I know. It is a smaller sized plane
Flights to Haiti fill up FAST! Once you have decided to
and total weight is important so it is in your best
visit and a CRUDEM official has confirmed your dates
interest to be accurate. And, might as well tell you the
of stay, please book your flights. Here are the
rest.before getting on the plane, Lynx weighs you.
(Tip: You can ask them to communicate i.e. shout out
that information to the other Lynx employee in
Lynx Air International
Reservations: 888-596-9247 or 954-722-9808
Lynx can send you an email confirmation upon
request. Payment in full is expected 30 days prior to
Medical personnel are encouraged to plan their visits
your flight. Upon payment, Lynx will send you an
from Saturday to Saturday. You would arrive in the
email confirmation with a reservation number. Please
morning allowing for a clinic to commence late
bring that with you to the gate. Lynx flight times can
morning. This would permit the selection and
be very unpredictable! You should call to confirm
screening of potential surgical cases so that you can
your flight time the night before and should plan to
begin work on Monday morning.
arrive at the airline gate two hours prior to your flight
time. If you are scheduling a connecting flight for
Hôpital Sacré Coeur/CRUDEM has established
your return home, allow at least four to six hours
procedures and protocols for specialty clinics and
between your scheduled arrival time in Florida and
surgery. Please follow these guidelines. If a patient
your connecting flight.
asks you for a consultation in the courtyard, please
refer them to the clinic. The clinics function on an
appointment basis and patients are seen in the order
are no bathrooms or snacks given on Lynx flights. The
in which they were registered.
flight lasts 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending upon the need
for refueling.
Depending upon the day of the week and/or demand
Lynx flies a 19 seat plane from either Ft. Lauderdale
Lynx allows each passenger to carry 50 lbs of
or Miami to Cap Haitien. As of January 2009, a round
baggage free of charge. There is an additional $2.00
trip flight costs around $450. Lynx offers group
charge for each additional pound. Your carry on bag
discounts for groups of ten or more. Please contact
should be extremely small such as a handbag or
Lynx for details.
briefcase; backpacks and even small duffle bags will
be checked and not allowed on board.
the hospital. Likewise, a hospital staff member will
The plane engines are extremely loud. You might
drive you back to Cap Haitien for your return flight.
bring earplugs for your comfort. The early morning
flight can be chilly so a light sweater or jacket is
NOTE: You MUST keep the bottom portion of the
blue/green form that Customs stamps for you with
your passport and turn it into the Customs Agent
Ft. Lauderdale flights depart and return from
upon departure.
Terminal #4, located downstairs in the commuter
area. Miami flights depart from Concourse E and
return to the US Customs area.
Don’t spend all your cash in Haiti! You will need $36
American Airlines
(as of Jan. 2009 but subject to change so check
before you leave.) exact change to pay the Haiti
Airport Departure Tax at the airport upon your
American Airlines flies to Providenciales, Turks &
departure. If you do not have exact US$, you may
Caicos from both New York and Miami. Once there,
receive your change in Haitian gourdes.
you can take a flight to Cap Haitien on Turks & Caicos
Air. Their phone number is 649-946-4999. The flight
Six Weeks Before Visit
is only 30 minutes but leaves the following morning.
There is a Comfort Inn by the airport.
Check Your Passport
You will need a Passport BOOK to travel to Haiti.
Passport Cards are not accepted for air travel. Be
Send us an email with your travel information and we
sure that your passport book is current. If you need to
will be sure to log you in properly on our master
secure or update your passport, visit a local US Post
calendar. You can access the master calendar online
Office. For safety, make two copies of your passport.
at Then search for
Take one copy with you and keep in another place
crudemvolunteers and join the group.
separate from your original passport and leave the
other copy with friend or family.
Someone from the hospital will be waiting at the
airport to greet you. The airport is small with only a
Submit Volunteer Forms
flight arriving at a time so you will be easily spotted.
The staff member will then drive you and any other
Yes, yes we know it is tedious, time-consuming and
visitors from your flight the 12 miles, one hour trip to
just one more thing on your list of a gazillion things to
do. Alas, we cannot be flexible on this requirement.
a frequent visitor, you need to fill out the form yearly.
All volunteers need to be registered. You are
If your medical license has expired since your last
traveling to and working in a hospital outside the
visit, we need a copy of your new one. If the last
United States. Common sense prevails!
passport photo you submitted no longer looks like
you, we need a recent one.
If you are a medical professional, please remember
that licensing and protocols are the same as in the
Mail credentials and forms to:
United States, so prior to your visit, we need copies of
your medical credentials.
The CRUDEM Foundation, Inc.
P. O. Box 804
Everyone, medical or not, needs to send in the
Ludlow, MA 01056
Catholic Medical Mission Board form. CMMB provides
generous and comprehensive insurance coverage —
international malpractice, evacuation, and liability —
to any CRUDEM volunteer who is registered with
Malaria prevention is advised. Chloraquine can be
them. This coverage is at no cost to you or to
prescribed by your physician and should be taken
CRUDEM. If a medical emergency arises that would
two weeks prior to your trip and continue during your
require your evacuation, the hospital could arrange
time in Haiti and for four weeks after returning. Bring
for that with the assistance of the CMMB. We hope
enough medication with you in case your departure is
you never need to use it but if something
delayed. Your tetanus immunization should be up to
happens.we will all be glad the insurance is in place!
date. Some feel hepatitis A and B vaccine are also
wise. For Hep A vaccine (2 doses total) get at least
So again… at least SIX Weeks before your visit:
the first one before going and the second dose in six
months. The Hep B vaccine requires three doses
Submit Volunteer Forms. Seriously.
total. Get at least one dose before going to Haiti. If
you are interested in taking a Typhoid vaccine (oral) it
Our Volunteer Coordinator will be happy to answer
requires three doses, taken two days apart. Take two
your questions and will provide you with frequent
weeks before leaving. Polio and MMR are
reminders (Count on it!) to get your forms in on time.
recommended if they have not previously been given.
Medical personnel should practice universal
“Hey, I've already been to Haiti and filled out the
precautions for contact with patients. Exam gloves
are available in the clinic and frequent use of hand
sanitizer is recommended. Bring small bottles of
OK, the CMMB form is good for ONE YEAR. If you are
sanitizer for your own use throughout the day.
If you are presently on medications, bring adequate
We recommend that you also bring a money belt or
supplies to cover all possibilities for some delay in
“fanny” pack to carry necessities, hat, sun block, bug
your schedule. It is recommended that you bring
repellant, toiletries, handi-wipes or Purel, flash light,
some Cipro and Lomotil in case you need them.
batteries, alarm clock, 1 medium water bottle,
Medication for headache, fever and colds, antacids,
sunglasses, mosquito net for sleeping. Other helpful
Neosporin, benedryl and hydrocortisone are also
items include: flip flops for trips to the shower, small
useful to have on hand.
alcohol cleanser to use at the hospital or feeding
center, and latex gloves.
Laundry services are NOT provided. The resident
staff will launder scrubs, towels and linens only so
No matter the time of year, the weather in Haiti is
bring sufficient clothing for your trip. If you do not
always warm, 75 F - 95 F in summer, 65 F - 85 F in
wish to bring your clothes back with you, please do
winter. Bring casual, lightweight clothing. Long
not give the clothing away but leave them in the
pants, capris and loose fitting skirts are culturally residence. There is a conference of the St. Vincent de
appropriate for women. Shorts and mini-shirks are
Paul Society in the parish and all donated clothing
not appropriate. Casual long pants in light fabric are
items will be given to them to distribute to those most
appropriate for men. Comfortable shoes i.e. good
pair of tennis shoes and a back up pair, socks,
underwear, casual lightweight shirts work for daily
No doubt, you will want to bring a camera but please
activities. Scrub suits are available for use by our
respect the dignity and privacy of the Haitian people.
visitors and they are appropriate on the hospital
If you want to take someone’s picture, ASK them for
campus. Lightweight jackets are not needed in Haiti
permission! If they look unhappy about it then do not
but you may want to have one available for your plane
take their picture.
trips. Rain is possible so a poncho or umbrella is
useful. If you plan on attending a Sunday Mass or
other Sunday church services, please do not wear
shorts or scrubs. The people regard this as an
U.S. cell phones work if they have special
occasion to wear their best clothes and we would like
international coverage that includes Haiti. There is a
to respect this tradition.
cell phone in the medical housing area that can be
used to call the US. Telephone cards can be
You are visiting an area of extreme poverty. Please do
purchased in the store on the hospital campus. Cost
not bring or wear expensive watches or jewelry. This
per minute to the U.S. is approximately 50 cents per
is not just a security issue; it is a matter of
appropriate image and courtesy.
The phone number at the visitor’s residence is:
made two weeks in advance of your stay.
Internet is available at the hospital specific times.
Please mail your checks, made out to, Mission House
However telephone and internet signals are not
always available. It may be best to inform family and
Betty Flynn
friends that you may not be in regular contact during
39 Old Studio Road
your stay.
New Canaan, CT 06840
If an emergency occurs and your family and/or friend
There is a VCR and DVD player in the Doctors’
need to get in touch with you, please have them
Residence. Please feel free to bring some tapes or
contact the CRUDEM Ludlow office by phone or
DVDs for your entertainment. Some are available.
email. Both are monitored daily.
Electricity is provided by hospital generators. An
inverter system provides electricity from 7 PM to 7
AM. Electrical adaptors are not required for US type
instruments. Hairdryers are not recommended due to
Medical personnel will stay in the Doctors’
their electricity use.
Residence, simple yet adequate accommodation.
Double occupancy rooms are available for 13 people
All bedrooms have keys to the doors. Keys to the
with one single. The Doctor’s residence does not
front doors are also provided. Both bedrooms and
usually have a problem with mosquitoes but feel free
front doors should be locked when you leave the
to bring a net if you have one available. There are
buildings. Please leave your keys behind you when
some available at the residence also. There is no
you depart the country!
need to treat clothing with DEET before going. Lotion
is adequate.
Medical personnel are not charged a fee for room and
board, if volunteers would like to give a donation to
You will not starve!!! The cuisine at CRUDEM is
the CRUDEM Foundation to help cover these costs it
freshly prepared and you will have three delicious
would be much appreciated but is not expected.
meals a day that offer a variety of food choices. If you
have special dietary requirements, please email the
Non-medical volunteers and medical personnel
hospital ahead of time (address listed elsewhere in
overflow ONLY will stay at Mission House.
this booklet.) The staff is quite accommodating.
Eating elsewhere is not recommended! If you do
The cost per day for Mission House is $45 per person
decide to do this, be very careful, especially of
and includes room and board. Payment must be
uncooked vegetables, fruit and ice.
Feel free to bring snacks if you desire. A word of
area. We have never had any concerning incidents
caution if you are fond of hard candies, the heat will
involving volunteers! We advise you to use the same
often turn them into melted masses. If you chew gum,
common sense you would use in your own city or
bring only the kinds that are in bubble packs. Please
keep all snacks in the refrigerator.
The common language is Creole, although some
There is a water cooler with filtered water in the
Haitians speak French and even a little English. Be
residences. Both residences provide bottled sodas
aware of this when having confidential discussions.
and beer. A donation of 50 cents per soda and $1 per
Interpreters are provided in the hospital clinics.
beer is recommended. Sodas are not diet so if you
want it you will need to bring it. Coffee is high test;
bring your own instant decaf. If you prefer artificial
sweetener you will need to bring that as well. Juice is
Haiti is on Eastern Standard Time year round. They
always fresh and seasonal e.g. grapefruit juice.
currently do not use daylight saving time.
Meals are offered at 7:30, 12:30 and 6:30.
Please come on time to meals. The usual menu
includes: meat/chicken, tossed salad, cabbage/
carrots/potatoes and bread for the main meal.
The local currency is gourdes. The rate varies but is
Breakfast may include the following: grapefruit,
usually around 40 gourdes for US$1.00 or
bananas, egg/toast, and French toast. Seasonal
approximates 8 Haitian dollars is US$1. American
fruits include: grapefruit, pineapples, mangoes,
Dollars are generally accepted. Bring small change of
guavas, breadfruit and oranges.
$100, 40 one dollar bills would be useful along with $5
and $10 dollar bills for purchases of souvenirs and
your exit tax. Have exact change when making
purchases. You will be frequently asked for money
The hospital and related buildings all have security
but it is not a good idea to give money to anyone.
people. There are night watchmen and dogs at the
compound. The Haitian people are a very friendly,
The hospital charges for services on a sliding scale
generous people who are gracious hosts. Although
according to one’s ability to pay. The Haitian belief is
some areas of Haiti do have security concerns, the
that care or medicine offered without charge is
North of Haiti, where you are going, is a peaceful
worthless. Please allow the hospital staff to make all
decisions regarding charges for care as they are well
as possible, vendors are prohibited from entering.
acquainted with the system.
You may buy from them at the market place near the
palace or elsewhere in the village. Often, vendors set
The hospital staff receives a competitive salary;
up across the street. If you prefer not to be constantly
please do not give tips or gratuities to individuals at
approached by vendors you may tell them that you
the hospital. It is not only the staff with whom you
intend to make all your purchases on the final day of
have direct contact that make your stay and your
your trip. Negotiating the price of an item is
work possible, there are many others who work
acceptable practice. Cottage industry goods such as
behind the scenes.
embroidered table cloths and cards are available for
purchase at CRUDEM, please ask the resident
Direct tipping is appropriate at the end of your stay to
CRUDEM volunteer for more information.
the following: we suggest these amounts FROM THE
ENTIRE GROUP; for the driver US$20 total covering
both trips, head cook US$30, helpers in the kitchen
and servers US$20 each, housekeeper US$20. The
suggested amount to put in the “kitty” is $20 per
A trip to see the Citadel and Sans Souci Palace is a
visitor. The amounts suggested above will obviously
must! The Citadel is a major tourist site as well as a
not be expected from a small group so adjust
pilgrimage site for many Haitians. The Citadel is a
accordingly. If the group is large and there is money
large mountaintop fortress located about 7 miles from
left over after the above are distributed then it should
Milot. It is the largest fortress in the Western
be given to the CRUDEM resident volunteer or
Hemisphere and was designated by UNESCO as a
Delnatus at the hospital. These excess tips from all of
World Heritage Site - along with the nearby Sans
the visiting teams are pooled into an “Education
Souci Palace. The Citadel was built by Henri
Fund” and distributed to all the staff equally before
Christophe, a key leader during the Haitian slave
school starts in the fall. School expenses are
rebellion, after Haiti gained independence from
particularly burdensome to most and the help is most
France in 1804.
If you would like to visit these sites, arrangements
should be made through the hospital/CRUDEM
personnel. They will also inform you of the costs
Vendors selling crafts, paintings, jewelry and food
involved; usually $60 US to rent a vehicle, $4 each
are ever present. You will be approached constantly
way by mule from the parking lot to the summit.
to buy wares. In order to keep entrance ways to the
Payment is made when the trip ends. The entrance
hospital and residence as free flowing and stress free
fee and museum fee is included in the fee of the guide
approximately $5 per person roundtrip. You should
use the guide recommended by the hospital
personnel. It is advisable that you bring plenty of
For information about long term volunteer
water with you for the trip.
opportunities, donations, fundraising and special
projects, please contact:
Denise Kelly, Executive Director
Please leave your contact information on the sheet
For questions about medical groups, medical
provided at the CRUDEM residence.
facilities and protocols, and to schedule a visit,
please contact: Peter J. Kelly, M.D., President
Please do not give out your last name, address,
phone number or email address to anyone except
For questions about forms, credentials, travel
hospital administration. Please do not promise to do
logistics and the nitty-gritty on day to day living for
or send anything after you return home.
medical volunteers, please contact:
Please do not invite local residents to visit the
Deb Paine-Motyl, R.N., Medical Volunteer Coordinator
campus where you are staying.
If you are not sure about something or have a
For questions about forms, credentials, travel and
question, please ask before you act!
living logistics for non-medical volunteers, please
contact: Betty Flynn, Mission House Coordinator
For questions about shipping, shipping approvals, in-
kind and other donations, educational materials and
fundraising please contact:
Joni M. Paterson, Ph.D., Administrative Services
For questions on clinics, group membership, arrival
times and special needs, please contact Islane
Raymond at Hopital Sacre Coeur


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