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Media Contact: Susan Griffiths
sgriffit@adventisthealthcare.com
240-826-6618

Published on March 20, 2010

Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland Team Provides Therapy to Earthquake Victims

Haitian native and Adventist employee lends a helping hand to medical volunteers

A team of rehabilitation experts from Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland spent one week in earthquake-ravished Haiti providing therapy and rehabilitative care to patients with amputations, spinal cord injuries and orthopedic injuries from January's earthquake.

The team departed on March 12, volunteering at MediShare Project's 500-bed tent hospital in Port-au-Prince, just outside the airport, where 250 beds were dedicated to rehabilitation.

The experienced and skilled team included Matchelle Bristol, a native Haitian and admissions manager for Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital, headquartered in Rockville, Md. This trip was particularly meaningful to Bristol, who helped to lead the team with her native tongue, Kreyol.

"It's really such a great experience, especially since it is my native country," Bristol said. "I wanted to do something to help and this was the perfect opportunity to help my people. It was hard to see the devastation and, because I understand the language, I felt what they were feeling."
The team of medical volunteers from Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland also included: Dr. Terrence Sheehan, chief medical officer, Sandy Shehadeh, a physical therapist, Raymond Pharaoh, an occupational therapist, Kathy Inglefield, a registered nurse, Andra Henning, an occupational therapist, Parveen Peter, a registered nurse and her husband Robin Peter, who works in the radiology department at Washington Adventist Hospital.
"It was such a blessing to travel to Haiti with the team members we had," Dr. Sheehan said. "They didn't need to be told what to do or where to go once they got there. They just found their own ways to all the areas of need that they possibly could and did their best for these people. They exemplified our mission and our standards of excellence, but most importantly, they shared their compassion and dedication with those in Haiti."

At night, the team worked on designing and building a set of parallel bars for future medical teams to teach Haiti's amputees how to walk with prostheses.

Adventist HealthCare also donated medical supplies such as vaccines, scrubs and bandages for the trip. The team also brought with them crutches, splints and catheters.

Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland is the first and only acute rehabilitation hospital in Montgomery County. It offers comprehensive rehabilitation programs for traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes, amputations, orthopedic injuries and surgeries, sports related injuries, work-related injuries, cardiopulmonary conditions and neurological disorders. Our Mission is to demonstrate God's care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.

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