Good Samaritan Hospital in Jimani - An Overview

01/20/10

Jimani, Dominican Republic – Surrounded by graceful mountains and a vast grassland, the bright white buildings stand out as a grand presence—especially in the midst of this devastation in Haiti. Usually an eye clinic and a small hospital, the building was built and is supported and staffed by International Medical Alliance, a non-denominational and non-political organization that provides access to medical care in underserved and vulnerable communities through short-term medical mission trips.

Dr. Dorothy Davison seems to run the eye clinic currently. Soon after Haiti’s earthquake, this quiet hospital quickly became a destination for those in dire need of treatment. Dorothy stands about 5 feet tall and by her somewhat calm demeanor, it is obvious she’s lived and worked in the Dominican Republic for quite some time. Keeping her stress level at a minimum, she is grateful for all the help she can get. Her volunteer staff range from young to old and are running a fairly organized operation that goes something like this:

Building #1: Triage—patients enter and wait to be seen by a doctor. If their need is minor (an ER-type case), they are treated there. If they need surgery, they are sent to building #2, first floor.

Building #2: Here, there are six operating rooms that are currently in constant use. After surgery or any other treatments, patients are sent to the outdoor church.

Outdoor Church: A covered area about 100 feet away, where patients recover. Once they are determined okay, they are taken to a refugee camp in Haiti to provide room for others.
The compound area is made up of doctors from all over the world who have somehow come to serve for a period of time. We saw them eating dinner, just out of an operation, preparing to go in, or sitting exhausted from three days of nonstop work. It can be encouraging, but also disheartening as some major surgeries they just don’t have the means to do, such as spinal or hip operations. “So [those] people are just dying,” one surgeon told us today.

Dorothy spoke of the need of a night shift—imagine 300 injured people with no help for eight hours. “Last night was horrible,” she said.

With the makeshift helicopter landing pad "X" painted on the grass out front of the clinic, helicopters land frequently—bringing either those injured from Haiti or doctors to help.
Now, doctors such as our Children of the Nations (COTN) medical team, will not only have to face the great number of people, but also the issue of dealing with wounds that are now six days old.

But Dorothy is hopeful—her energy, surely running on adrenaline now, she utilizes to direct and lead people and to continue to get the job done. COTN is eager to join her and her colleagues in this fight.