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Quick Response: Ross University School of Medicine Faculty Member Travels to Haiti with Healthcare Team

02/18/10

Dr. Peter Gutierrez and team members.

Dr. Peter Gutierrez and team members.

North Brunswick, NJ–February  18, 2010—Less than two weeks after a catastrophic earthquake struck southern Haiti, Peter Gutierrez, MD, faculty member at Ross University School of Medicine and founder and medical director of the Miami Rescue Mission Clinic, brought a group of 30 healthcare professionals and several hundred pounds of donated medical supplies to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

No stranger to the country, Gutierrez has made regular medical service trips to Haiti over the last several years. For this trip, he was able to provide transportation from the airport and lodging for his team in a bakery that was owned by a friend.

“We slept on the floor,” he said. “Not that there was much time to rest. We hardly stopped the whole five days we were there.”

Dividing his team among three local clinics, Gutierrez travelled between the groups to keep things running smoothly. The majority of their time was spent treating patients with trauma to their legs, such as cuts and amputations.

According to Gutierrez, although much of the city has been devastated, he was encouraged by the resilient spirit of the Haitian people.

“It was both sad and rewarding to be able to go and help the Haitian people—sad to see the amount of poverty, which existed even before the earthquake, and the amount of destruction—but rewarding to see the resilience of the city. Before we left, vendors were selling their wares in the streets and getting things back to normal. They are some of the friendliest and most caring people I have ever had the privilege of meeting.”  

Gutierrez hopes to return in April to establish a permanent clinic, which would include a living space for medical students who elect to fulfill four- to six-week rotations there.  

“Once the volunteer doctors and media leave, there is going to be a tremendous need for permanent healthcare services,” he said. “It would be a wonderful opportunity for students as well. Several Ross students were devastated that they couldn’t join me on the initial trip. I’m hoping to bring them with me the next time.”

About Ross University School of Medicine
Ross University was founded in 1978 and is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. Located in Dominica, West Indies, the School of Medicine places more graduates into US residencies annually than any other medical school in the world and has clinical education centers in Miami, FL, Saginaw, MI, and Freeport, Grand Bahama. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.

Ross University’s administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ. For more information about Ross University, visit www.RossU.edu or call 732.509.4600/877.ROSS.EDU.

 

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