Monday, April 29, 2013

A New Hospital for La Gonave

Dear Friends,

Your time is precious so I’ll get right to it.  I have just learned of a significant, but brief opportunity to help put the fundraising over the top for the new hospital on the island of La Gonave. Lemon Aid, the Scottish charity behind the build, just informed us of a $90,000 matching grant which will match every gift, dollar-for-dollar.

The old hospital, the one that I started coming down to work in twenty years ago, is condemn-able. Open wiring. Crumbling, leaky ceilings. It is sad. I have personally seen, on my hands and knees, the earthquake crack at the base of its walls, literally separating the structure from its foundation. Truth told, the current hospital is not safe. But it’s currently all we’ve got.

Just across the road from this difficult situation, a remarkable scene has been playing out... the rising up of a new and better hospital, one that will carry forward its 50-plus year legacy of being a place where the love of Christ is fleshed out in compassionate medical caregiving. With significant, (though not 100%) funds needed in hand, construction began in early 2012, on faith that the money would continue to come in. And it has.

Aerial view of hospital construction site
So here’s where we are. Tremendous progress has been made. Today, with the end in sight, construction had to be suspended until the final funds to be raised (just under $200,000) is received. The target date for completion (in September) will have to be moved back if we can’t quickly generate the funds and finish this off.

But here’s the deal, folks. Amazingly, a $90,000 matching grant has just been offered up, a grant which, if taken full advantage of, will put the project over the top.  And I’m asking... would you help me seize the day and this opportunity to help La Gonave get their hospital?

The new hospital build is not Starfysh’s project (most of our work is currently in the more rural regions of the island). But we are convinced that the hospital will provide tremendous lift to the entire island. We see it as a critical infrastructural step in our collective vision to see La Gonave rise up out of her desperate poverty.

Thank you. Every gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $90,000.  If it comes in quickly, construction can continue at a pace to have a grand opening dedication ceremony in late September.

If you are prompted to give, you can do so securely online at or by check. Simply write “New Hospital” in the comments section (online) or in the memo line of your check. Send your check to Starfysh  6757 Cascade Rd. SE  #207  Grand Rapids, MI  49546.

Thanks all!  May God bless you richly.

Hopital Wesleyen d' La Gonave : Old vs. New

Inpatient Capacity
Old hospital: 35 patients, including those laying on stretchers in the hallways.
New hospital:  44 patients, including an infectious diseases unit

Emergency Room
Old hospital: One tiny, cramped room with one stretcher.
New hospital: An entire ER department with 8 patient capacity

Old hospital: One major surgery suite. One minor surgery room.
New hospital: Two major surgery suites. One minor surgery room.

Old hospital: Two beds.
100% Haitian labor force for the hospital build
New hospital: Four beds.

Family Waiting
Old hospital: No area for family waiting.
New hospital: Large family waiting area.

Old hospital:  X-Ray off site. No room for surgery prep. No morgue.
New hospital:  X-Ray in hospital. Designated dressing rooms for surgery prep. Morgue.

Old hospital:  One sink with running water. No flush toilets. Unsafe in an earthquake.
New hospital:  Running water throughout entire hospital. Earthquake safe.

Old hospital: Diesel generator,  $50,000 yearly fuel cost
New hospital:  Solar energy, $0 yearly fuel cost

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