It has been one year since the devastating earthquake struck Haiti and decimated a population that was already reeling from recent political upheaval and rampant poverty. Although work progresses, they are nowhere near re-building to the level before the quake—let alone re-building to the standards enjoyed in most of the western hemisphere. The Haiti Children’s Hospital will have a major impact on the reconstruction of the country and the future prosperity of the population. This effort is led by The Evangelical Alliance of Haiti, an organization founded by Dr. Jean Rigaud A. Antoine together with Sustainable Healthcare Haiti (SHH), a non-profit organization, (501c3 status pending).
This Boston based non-profit includes specialties such as healthcare planning and programming; architecture; structural, mechanical, electrical and waterworks engineering; sustainable design technologies; along with bricks and mortar construction. SHH is dedicated to helping Haiti through its long-term plan to build a Community Health Clinic (Phase I), an operating room and imaging suite (Phase II), and a 64-bed Children’s Hospital (Phase III). The master plan also includes construction of remote housing specifically for those suffering from easily transmitted diseases, or who have been orphaned—both are commonplace occurrences in a post earthquake Haiti. This multi-phased project will be built in Jerusalem, a suburb located on the outskirts just north of Port-au-Prince.
SHH is comprised of experts from the following firms: Foundation for Fundamentals, Payette, The Bristol Consulting Group, Carol R. Johnson Associates, Columbia Construction Company, Diversified Project Management, Fletcher Thompson, Steffian Bradley Architects, Buro Happold and various product and system manufacture’s and suppliers.
The project goals are:
- Provide high-quality healthcare to children and young adults in Haiti
- Provide equal access to healthcare for all Haitian children
- Identify health issues affecting children and young adults; assist families in overcoming these issues for long-term health
- Provide support spaces for both clinicians and researchers who are working outside of Haiti on childhood diseases and who would benefit from access to a particular patient population
- Create a building that responds to its context through the use of local Haitian natural resources
- Create jobs by identifying and employing the Haitian people where appropriate and feasible, during the planning, design and construction processes
The project is currently in the preliminary design phase:
Although located just outside of Port-au-Prince, the site is located in an underdeveloped and relatively remote location at the base of the Chaine des Matheux. The location allows very limited options for municipal infrastructure—therefore the project seeks to use passive sustainable strategies such as rain water collection, passive cooling, and local materials to provide a site specific solution.
Unique to the local needs, the project also includes space for families (who often travel for long distances and need to stay with their children), a community well, visiting staff facilities, and easily converted outdoor spaces that can be used to manage large scale health crisis.
An additional goal for SHH is the short-term and long-term creation of jobs to facilitate economic development in the area. The use of local labor, building techniques and available materials with the employment of local artisans and craftsmen are important aspects to the project. This also includes opportunities for local entrepreneurs to establish their own construction and support businesses that hopefully reach beyond the scope of the project itself.
Payette’s Sho-Ping Chin and other members of SHH have planned a trip in mind this January to assess the site and establish local relationships to further advance the project. The next steps include:
- Develop a schedule and a budget based on financial commitments
- Establish protocols for communication, public health conferences, OSHA, ADA, and other means and methods of design and construction where needed
- Begin site development and infrastructure planning
- Identify local professionals for the design and construction process
- Identify and establish a transition team who will assist with the operational issues and future management of the facility
- Identifiy medical equipment budget and funding sources
- Verify budget and schedule
- Occupancy and facility operations
Sho-Ping Chin will be blogging live from the field in Haiti in the coming days, so stay tuned!