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October 6, 2015

Volunteer/Non-Profit - Florida Newsmakers of the Year

Art Levy | 1/1/2011

University of Miami Neurosurgeon

Volunteer hospital in Haiti
Dr. Barth A. Green and his University of Miami team arrived in Haiti within a day of the earthquake and began working to assist the injured. They treated more than 400 in the first three days. [Photo: University of Miami]

Dr. Barth A. Green
[Photo: University of Miami]
Within 20 hours of the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, Dr. Barth A. Green's chartered airplane landed at the damaged Port-au-Prince airport. Within five minutes of his arrival, the neurosurgeon and his team of physicians were already treating some of the most critically wounded, victims with severed limbs, open fractures, head injuries, flesh wounds and internal injuries. They worked through the night, treating the nearly 250 patients waiting for them at a makeshift trauma ward.

"We began doing surgical amputations on a converted kitchen table outside the tent with the very crudest of resources," Green says.

Among the first foreign doctors to arrive after the earthquake, Green's team included Dr. Enrique Ginzburg, Dr. Edgar Pierre and Dr. Daniel Pust, all colleagues of Green at UM's Miller School of Medicine. The group included Leo Harris, a neurotrauma physician assistant at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Green was able to get his team to Haiti so quickly and elude the red tape that delayed others because he had been leading missions to Haiti as co-founder of Project Medishare since 1994. Project Medishare also has medical facilities in place in Haiti, including some that were damaged during the earthquake.

UM surgeons
[Photo: University of Miami]
Later in 2010, UM and Project Medishare physicians gathered again to help address the island country's cholera outbreak, which had killed more than 1,800 people by early December. Testifying last summer before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Green told lawmakers "we are not moving fast enough to help Haiti."

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