Yesterday was the Grand Opening of the Clinique San Basile Le Grande, Gonaives. The ceremony was attended by a crowd of around 100 guests, parishioners, and school children, and 14 members of the Health4haiti team. An elementary school girl read from the Bible, hymns were sung, and speeches were made by Dr Jim Smith and Msr. Christof Chery, engineer. Also recognized was Lisa Carpenter, an architect and member of the H4H team, who designed the bright, beautiful open-space building. (First medical clinic in Gonaives actually designed and built to be a clinic). Pere Max Accime conducted the service, and Blessed the new clinic in the absence of the Bishop, who was detained by a road blockage between Port-au-Prince and Gonaives. Dr Jim cut the ribbon and proclaimed the clinic officially open. A luncheon was held immediately following. After that the Haitian nurse and medical assistant who will be operating the clinic permanently saw patients with the American medical team for the rest of the day.
A special tribute was paid to Drs Gretchen and Warren Berggren, lifetime contributors to the improvement of community health in Haiti. A plaque now hangs in the new clinic with their names on it.
Another plaque hangs in the clinic proclaiming it as a gift to the people of St Basile Episcopal Church and of Gonaives from Ascension Episcopal Church and St Mary-Corwin Hospital of Pueblo, Colorado and Catholic Health Initiatives.