Four members of Health4Haiti from Pueblo, Colorado were among 8 people honored this weekend in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for humanitarian service to the country after the severe hurricane devastation in September of 2008 by four hurricanes and tropical storms.
Dr. James Smith, Dr. Benjamin Massey, Eric Miller, RN, and Ms. Carrie Smith traveled to Haiti to receive the awards at a banquet given in their honor at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince Saturday evening, November 14th, 2009. Other honorees included Ms. Tiziana Dearing, President of Catholic Charities of Boston, Ms. Nancy Rivard, President of Airline Ambassadors International, and Mme. Solange Chatelain of Port-au-Prince.
The awards were presented by the FDU (Federation for the Development of Universities and Research in Haiti) “For commendable acts of kindness” delivered in the aftermath of the hurricanes in 2008, which included delivery of over 50 tons of food, aid, and anesthesia and medical equipment and supplies donated from St Mary-Corwin Hospital, Parkview Medical Center, Parkwest Surgical Center, Pueblo Surgery Center, Project Cure in Denver, LDS Charities, Mattel toys, Crocs shoes, and Food for the Poor as well as over 500,000 dollars donated from the Boston area. American Airlines lent an A-300 aircraft for delivery of a portion of the aid. Health4Haiti of Pueblo using funds provided through a grant by Catholic Health Initiatives of Denver shipped the remainder.
The keynote address for the evening was delivered by the Archbishop Bernardito C. Auza, the apostolic nuncio, (or ambassador from the Vatican to Haiti), who is the chief diplomat in Haiti. Other dignitaries included the Honorable Jacque Edouard Alexis, former Prime Minister of Haiti, who was in Pueblo last month as the keynote speaker for the annual Health4Haiti fundraising dinner.
Other Puebloans who flew to Port-au-Prince, Haiti for recognition of their efforts included Ginger Vaughn, MD of Southern Colorado Family Medicine.
Dr. Roger R. Jean-Charles, MD of Haiti founded the FDU, who sponsored the ceremony along with departments of the Haiti Government.