PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives from Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met today in the new offices for those working to rebuild Haiti's public health infrastructure, three years after an earthquake devastated the country.
On January 12, 2010, a major earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing an estimated 200,000 people. The aftermath drove tens of thousands of people from their homes and left the country's already fragile public health infrastructure in tatters.
Kaiser Permanente made a pledge to the CDC Foundation's earthquake response efforts in its drive to support public health department assistance in Haiti. Kaiser Permanente's donation provided a new building ( http://kpdispatchesfrom.wordpress.com/) with offices for Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population ( Ministere de la Sante Publique et de la Population or MSPP).
"Public health departments are a critical infrastructure for communities, not only in times of a natural disaster, but for the ongoing protection of a community's health over time," said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, Kaiser Permanente's senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "Without a proper place to work, it would be extremely difficult to coordinate efforts to rebuild Haiti's public health infrastructure and respond to the country's ongoing public health needs."Kaiser Permanente's donation affirmed the organization's longstanding partnership with the CDC to protect the public's health. The funding also provided furnishings, fixtures, electronics, computers, printers, and internet connectivity at the new building. Kaiser Permanente is joined in Haiti with the Honorable Pamela White (U.S. Ambassador to Haiti), Florence Guillaume, MD ( Haiti's Minister of Public Health and Population), Tom Frieden, MD (director of the CDC) and Charles Stokes (president and CEO of the CDC Foundation). "These investments are another positive action helping to move Haiti's public health system from the disaster and recovery phase into a longer-term solution. Importantly, these two new buildings have encouraged additional investments," Dr. Guillaume said. "As an example, the investments by the CDC Foundation's partners in our new MSPP building helped leverage additional support from the United Nations and USAID for an expanded MSPP complex. When this complex opens, it will include an additional 11 buildings to house 250 Haitian public health workers. Altogether, these investments will create synergies to better serve the public health needs of the Haitian people." "We are grateful that our partners recognized the need for a comprehensive response to the earthquake in Haiti and for their generous contributions to build these new facilities," said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "Kaiser Permanente's support for the Ministry of Public Health and Population's central office in Haiti was critical to making this building a reality for the people of Haiti. This effort is an example of how public-private partnerships can make significant contributions to benefit public health." In addition to the CDC Foundation donation, Kaiser Permanente supported four nonprofit agencies in 2010 that were already on the ground providing much-needed aid to the people of Haiti. ( http://www.cdcfoundation.org/haiti) Kaiser Permanente physicians and nurses trained in disaster relief immediately departed to Haiti following the earthquake on behalf of aid organizations with which they had been affiliated. ( http://kphaitirelief.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/how-on-earth-will-we-find-them-in-time/) Kaiser Permanente and the CDC Foundation also partnered during the relief phase of Hurricane Katrina to support public health departments impacted by the storm and by evacuees seeking care after leaving their homes in Gulf Coast communities. Together, the organizations helped provide modular buildings for two public health departments in Mississippi, which has supported the long-term recovery for public health in the region. About Kaiser PermanenteKaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/newscenter. Media contact: Kyra Nead (510) 504-5048 SOURCE Kaiser Permanente