Progress in Haiti

Friday 11 Nov 2011

Work begins on crucial rehabilitation hospital for those with disabilities in St. Marc, Haiti

A milestone has been reached in a landmark project by a collaborative group in St. Marc, Haiti. Partners in Health (PIH), Zanmi Lasante (PIH’s Haitian sister organisation), Partners HealthCare, architects Shepley Bulfinch, MASS Design Group, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network have designed a rehabilitation hospital to cater for the 10% of Haitians living with disabilities and work has just commenced onsite.

The project was announced back in June 2011 and if work stays on schedule the facility will be up and running this coming April, just over two years after the country’s devastating earthquake. Director of Rehabilitation Services for Partners in Health, Koji Nakashima MD explains: “For me the most powerful aspect of The Center for Rehabilitation and Excellence is the dignity it will create for people in Haiti. The ability to move freely - or to simply bathe when you choose - is incredibly empowering.”

The modest 6,700 sq ft hospital will not only treat those living with disabilities through immediate and long-term care, but will instigate a rehabilitation training programme to education technicians on how best to aid patients going forward. While construction is taking place, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network will formulate a nine-month programme based on materials developed by Health Volunteers Overseas to solidify the centre’s mission.

Shepley Bulfinch designed the hospital and MASS Design Group will oversee the construction period. Internally the most important area of the building will be the gymnasium which will be the centre-point for most physical therapy sessions. Additional training facilities on the second floor will be accessed via an integrated wrap system which extends around three sides of the building’s exterior. The entire complex is designed to be earthquake and hurricane resistant.

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