Rollins School of Public Health describes Haiti experiences

Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health recently collected stories of experiences that students and faculty had in Haiti after the earthquake, and the contributions were featured in the newest Emory Public Health magazine. Read excerpts and view a video below.


  • Although he became an American citizen three years ago, “part of my heart will always belong to my fellow Haitians,” says Jean Cadet, 10MPH, a student in behavioral sciences and health education. The Haitian-trained doctor returns home twice a year on medical missions. After the earthquake, Cadet and Madsen Beau de Rochars, another Haitian physician studying in the RSPH, wanted to return as soon as possible to care for the injured and check on their families. Members of Cadet’s church paid for his airline ticket. Rollins students held a fund-raiser, donating money and basic medical supplies. He flew to Miami and on to Santo ­Domingo, Dominican Republic, and then settled in for a seven-hour bus ride to Port-au-Prince. His destination was the Église Adventiste de l’Auditorium de la Bible, a church that he knew as a boy.
  • Madsen Beau de Rochars, 10MPH, heard the news from a friend: “Haiti has been devastated.” He tried to phone family and friends there but to no avail. As he watched the television pictures come in on CNN, he decided to go to Haiti right away to help. Before becoming a William H. Foege Global Health Fellow at Rollins in 2008, Beau de Rochars directed the lymphatic filariasis program at the Hôpital Sainte Croix in Léogâne, about 18 miles west of Port-au-Prince. He knew then the many challenges that Haiti faced and that he eventually would return.
  • Michael Ritter, 08MPH, has worked for Deep Springs International in Haiti since summer 2008, running a household water treatment program. His work is vital to improving living conditions in a country that ranks as the western hemisphere’s poorest. After the quake, his program made the difference between life and death. On January 12, he was standing on the second floor of a rectory building in the mountains outside Léogâne, where he is stationed. The building shook violently back and forth but did not collapse. He and a Haitian colleague went out onto the porch and heard screams nearby.
  • Nicole Dionne, 10MPH, was in a car stopped outside a hospital office in Port-au-Prince on January 12. She was on her way back to the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, about 40 miles north. A second-year MPH student in global health, Dionne was researching her thesis, a descriptive overview of diabetic patients and comparison of the hospital’s treatment to the standards set by the International Diabetes Foundation. Her work would serve as a guide for future development of community-based preventive programs.

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