Helping Haiti

Students, administrators, and alumni send support
April 1, 2010
Haiti

CHESNOT/SIPA/AP

The Duke community is responding to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti that resulted from January's devastating earthquake. In the weeks following the disaster, students, faculty and staff members, and alumni offered their support in a variety of ways.

Administrators convened a task force and steering committee to coordinate the university's response. The medical center has sent supplies to Haiti, and large-scale deployment of a disaster relief crew has been coordinated with the federal government.

In February, a benefit concert was held in Page Auditorium, with proceeds going to Hearts for Haiti and the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Athletics teams are wearing patches to raise awareness of the relief effort as well.

Students have volunteered time with a number of organizations, packaging meals and other supplies. And through a program organized by student affairs, campus groups are able to direct donations made with their DukeCards to a student- controlled fund.

The Duke Global Health Institute, which was operating in Haiti before the quake, sent a team to Haiti led by David Walmer, chief of reproductive endocrinology and fertility at the medical center. Walmer is the founder of Family Health Ministries, a nonprofit that seeks to improve community health care in Haiti.

A class in Haitian Creole developed by Deborah Jenson, professor of Romance studies, is being taught this spring. It is targeted toward educating medical-response teams, missionary workers, and other rapid-response service providers (see page 80).

A number of Duke alumni, including trustee Paul Farmer '82, cofounder of Partners In Health, are also working on the relief effort in Haiti as physicians or as staff members of a variety of aid organizations.