lundi 9 mai 2011

Local doctor helping in Haiti.- He aids hospital with rebuilding

By Alyssa Sunkin
Times Herald-Record
Published: 2:00 AM - 05/09/11
Nearly 16 months ago, when orthopedic surgeon Ronald Israelski heard of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti, he knew what he needed to do.
The Goshen resident stuffed 10 large duffle bags with equipment from Orange Regional Medical Center, Catskill Orange Orthopaedics and Crystal Run Healthcare.
Then, about 19 days after the quake that killed more than 230,000 people and injured 300,000 others, he left his wife and three children behind and set out for the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
There, he set up shop for seven days at Hopital de l' Universite d'Etat d'Haiti — the nation's largest hospital and its teaching hospital — reduced to rubble by the quake. There were no X-rays. No sterile environment. No overhead lighting.
He amputated limbs. He closed deep gashes. He watched an 18-month-old toddler, with flies swarming around his eyes, die in front of him.
"The howling and crying of the family members was almost unbearable," recalled Israelski, 51, Orange Regional's director of education and founder of its bone and joint center. "This poor young child staring out into space, flies on his eyelids, never had a chance to even have a semblance of a real life."
As the son of Holocaust survivors, the Haiti disaster struck a chord with him. "When I saw the piles of bodies and heard the unprecedented suffering, it was the closest — with the sights, sounds and smells — that my parents and dead relatives witnessed in the Holocaust," he said.
He's submitted a business plan to hospital administrators in Haiti detailing six steps he believes will help rehabilitate the orthopedic services department.
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, orthopedic surgeon
Ronald Israelski of Goshen went to help. He's shown in a
 medical  tent in Port-au-Prince that served as a treatment
center after Haiti's largest hospital was damaged. He
now  hopes  to rebuild the hospital's orthopedic
services department with  the help  of our local hospitals
Israelski hopes that by rebuilding the department's infrastructure and obtaining equipment, then sending down teams from our area hospitals once a month and establishing a permanent affiliation, he can jump-start the operation.
He has since been back to Haiti three more times — totalling about two weeks — talking to hospital orthopedic residents, administrators and others about his agenda.
He's sent down portable X-ray and ultrasound machines and other equipment, courtesy of Radiologists Without Borders, Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgical Center and the Fox Hill Community in Walden.
And he plans to establish a nonprofit, Do The Right Thing, for which he'll soon apply for
501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Once that's set up, he hopes to collect donations to fund his efforts.
"Having seen the entire department, hospital operating rooms and infrastructure in shambles," he said, "it has become extremely important to me to try to make an impact."

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