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For Release: January 25, 2010
David Corriveau, Media Relations Officer, Dartmouth Medical School, at or 603-653-0771

DMS Responds to Haiti Crisis

Lebanon, N.H.—Nearly two weeks after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake destroyed much of Haiti's capital city and surrounding towns and killed tens of thousands of residents, Dartmouth Medical School (DMS), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and Dartmouth College continue to work at a hectic pace to provide relief to the survivors.

While a team of surgical specialists from DMS and DHMC prepares to return home, and a squad of nurses continues treating survivors in collaboration with Partners in Health (PIH), medical students are collecting and packing medical supplies for shipment to Haiti, and beating the drums to collect money in support of the relief efforts. This coming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (January 26-28) in conjunction with students from the DMS Committee for Haitian Relief, the Three Tomatoes restaurant chain in New Hampshire and Vermont will divert $5 from each entree ordered to PIH and to Pure Water for the World.

"I spoke with Three Tomatoes' owner on Wednesday (January 20), and he was very keen to work with us," second-year medical student Stephanie Rolin said. "From there, the event came together quickly, almost overnight."

As did much of the Dartmouth medical community's effort. On Thursday, January 14, with the scope of the disaster coming into daunting focus, Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim called together leaders from DMS and DHMC. He asked them to assemble teams of physicians and nurses to work with his former colleagues at PIH, whose existing staff and facilities in rural Haiti mostly withstood the earthquake.

"I'd like you to carry the Dartmouth flag here," the president told the gathering. "We'll get you in, and get people working right away."

Less than 48 hours after President Kim's call to action, the first medical team of nine was taking off with medical supplies, under the leadership of trauma surgeon Rajan Gupta, M.D., an assistant professor of surgery at DMS.

On Tuesday, January 19, a second group flew south with more supplies and expertise. Leading the Dartmouth reinforcements, mostly nurses, is James Geiling, M.D., chief of medical services at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in nearby White River Junction, Vt., and an associate professor of medicine at DMS.

And on Thursday, January 21, kidney specialist Brian Remillard, M.D., arrived in Port au Prince with another 2,600 pounds of supplies and began providing dialysis support. He is an associate professor of medicine at DMS and section chief for nephrology and hypertension at DHMC.

"I am so impressed with the DMS/DHMC/VA/DC response," Joseph F. O'Donnell, M.D., DMS's senior advising dean and director of community programs, wrote in his weekly newsletter on January 21. "This tragedy is bringing out the best in people."

For updates about and background on the coordinated Dartmouth response to the Haiti crisis, visit these links. They include contact information for key personnel, links to media coverage of the Dartmouth effort, photographs and audio feeds from the Dartmouth teams, video of student efforts on-campus, President Kim's two messages to the community, and a transcript of an interview President Kim granted to the Chronicle of Higher Education on January 14, and an audio clip of Geiling's interview with New Hampshire Public Radio from Haiti:


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