Since 1994, the University of Miami's Project Medishare has provided human and technical medical resources to promote quality healthcare in Haiti. When a devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck outside of the capital of Port-Au-Prince on January 12, 2010, a small cleft palate clinic was converted into a large tent hospital. As of May, the hospital had over 100 beds, three ICU’s, and three operating rooms, and was staffed by a few long-term volunteers, local Haitians, and over 100 volunteers who arrive every Saturday for stays of a week or more. This make-shift facility functions primarily as a “Level 1” trauma center, as there are very few hospitals remaining in the area that can handle such cases. All aspects of modern health care are represented within the hospital, including physical and occupational therapists, social workers, nurses, pharmacists, wound care/ostomy specialists, pediatricians, intensivists, internists, radiology and laboratory technicians, surgeons, and surgical technicians.
Dr. Eric Halvorson, with UNC's Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division, volunteered with Project Medishare for one week in May 2010 and served as the hospital's chief of surgery. Dr. Halvorson explained the work he did while volunteering with the hospital: “We handled all forms of acute care general surgery, orthopedic trauma, craniofacial trauma including neurosurgery, urology, OB/GYN, and plastic surgery. We performed over 20 cases per day and slept two nights out of seven.”