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Trip to Haiti

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The earthquake in Haiti, in January 2010, was particularly devastating for the profession of nursing.  The nursing school in Port-au-Prince was leveled, killing 92 students and many faculty members.  The faculty at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing was aware, not only of this tragedy, but also of Haiti's very poor health statistics, including the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere.  Knowing that one way to improve health in Haiti is to train nurses to provide a more advanced level of care (the school in Port-au-Prince is a diploma school),  three faculty members, Professors Carol Roye, Steven Baumann and Joanna Hofmann and an alumna, Dr. Carmelle Bellefleur, traveled to Haiti in June to get a better understanding of the current status of the School of Nursing in Port-au-Prince, and to discuss how we can collaborate to rebuild the school and advance nursing education by developing baccalaureate education and eventually Master's level programs.  They met with a number of key officials in nursing and health, including the Director of the Ministry of Health, the Director of the National School of Nursing in Port-au-Prince, the Head of the Haitian Nurses' Association,  the  Administrative Director of the main hospital in Port-au-Prince, and the Director of Professional Education, who  were eager to work with the Hunter team to develop baccalaureate level education.  Plans are currently being developed to move forward in this endeavor.