Supporting Haiti: Help with Basic Needs
through Major Agencies
January 28, 2010
The hearts and minds of Academy members and the world have been with the people of Haiti as they
work to recover from the devastating earthquake damage earlier this month. As many of you may
know, the Academy’s Education and Volunteers Abroad Committee has been active in Haiti for many
years, primarily engaged in the dermatologic education of local medical personnel to help foster a self-
sustainable program for dermatologic care.
Led by Academy members James J. Nordlund, MD, FAAD, and James O. Ertle, MD, FAAD, Education
and Volunteers Abroad Committee member volunteers have made 10 visits to Leogane, Haiti (about
20 miles from Port-Au-Prince) to help to create a dermatologic pharmacy at the Cardinal Leger hospital
(http://www.aad.org/members/publications/dermworld/_doc/DW_08_Jan.PDF#page=22 ), set up
donated microscopes in the hospital and the city’s nursing school (www.aad.org/members/publications/
dermworld/_doc/DW0509_web.pdf#page=18 ), and conduct other educational activities.
As you can imagine, just after the earthquake, it was extremely difficult to find out information about
the condition of the Cardinal Leger hospital and pharmacy. We regretfully report that they were both
destroyed. We had hoped to be able to directly assist our colleagues in the hospital and pharmacy in
which we were working and were patiently waiting to hear from them before communicating with you.
However, the people with whom we worked and those institutions are just trying to get their basic needs
met and are not ready to handle direct support just yet.
While immediate aid to the Cardinal Leger hospital awaits direction, our members and the Academy
have been able to assist in other critical ways:
• To help provide medical care, one of our members who serves in the military, LCDR Kenneth J.
Galeckas, MD, FAAD, has deployed for Haiti with the USS Comfort, the Navy’s hospital ship based
• In response to a member inquiry about providing sunscreen for the US troops and other personnel
who have been sent to Haiti to help with the relief efforts, the Academy conducted a targeted appeal
to industry. We are pleased to let you know that La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmaceutique is
shipping more than 23,000 full-size tubes of sunscreen to Haiti via the USO/Fort Eustis. This in-kind
donation is valued at nearly $700,000. La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmaceutique has agreed
that the use of the sunscreen may be expanded beyond the soldiers to other relief workers and
those directly impacted by the earthquake.
When the institutions and people with whom we were working are better able to direct us about their
needs, the Academy will provide direct support and will let you know how you can amplify the donation.
In the meantime, we encourage Academy members to support the recovery effort in Haiti through other
agencies. According to Health Volunteers Overseas (www.hvousa.org ), the best way you can help is to
contribute to those organizations which have been based in Haiti and are delivering services. A list of
such organizations is available through InterAction (www.interaction.org/article/interaction-members-
respond-earthquake-haiti) or you can make a contribution through Global Impact’s Haiti Earthquake
Relief Fund (www.charity.org ) and the funds will be given to agencies providing assistance.
Before the Haitian earthquake, Committee members had been discussing plans for a visit in early
2010, but those plans have been put on hold for the moment. While we are grateful that their safety
was not at risk at the time of the earthquake, we know they desperately want to help their colleagues
in Haiti. Please consider giving generously.
Sincerely, American Academy of
930 East Woodfield Road
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173
David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD Fax: 847.330.0050
President, American Academy of Dermatology Web site: www.aad.org