Children’s Hospital Reads Together: The Impact of the Haitian Earthquake

On Tuesday we were lucky enough to have Dennis Rosen, MD and Nancy Joseph, RN speak about their clinical work in post-earthquake Haiti and their reaction to Edwidge Danticat’s book, Brother, I’m Dying at the Children’s Hospital in Haiti Panel Discussion.  Both speakers had traveled to Haiti twice since the 2010 earthquake to deliver much-needed medical care to the Haitian people, who continue to suffer the consequences of the devastating natural disaster and from the lack of infrastructure that still impedes recovery.  Nancy Joseph spoke about providing the most basic nursing care to patients, often without the necessary supplies or even electricity while Dr. Rosen reflected on the ethical issues the medical teams faced while in Haiti and the signs of hope and resilience in the Haitian people.   

The library has copies of recent articles from Dennis Rosen and Stella Harrington, RN (who unfortunately could not make the discussion because she had to attend a last-minute operation) regarding their clinical work in Haiti.  In addition, the library has a transcript of the recent Children’s Hospital Work in Haiti oral history project, which includes interviews with five Children’s employees who traveled to Haiti after the earthquake to provide medical care.  Please contact Alison Clapp or Heather O’Leary to request copies of any of these documents.  Thank you again to our speakers and to those who were able to attend this great program!

On a related note—2010 Children’s Hospital Reads Together author, Junot Diaz, was interviewed by Tom Ashbrook on NPR’s On Point last night.  Diaz, who wrote the 2010 Children’s Hospital Reads Together featured book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, spoke about his recent article, “Apocalypse: What Disasters Reveal,” which ran in the May/June issue of the Boston Review.  The article describes the 2010 Haitian earthquake, and other recent catastrophic events, such as the Japanese tsunami, as “apocalypses” and states that humanity can either ignore these humanitarian crises or “begin collectively to take responsibility for the world we’re creating.”

Don’t forget to register for A Taste of Haiti, our last Children’s Hospital Reads Together program for 2011.  During this program, which will take place on Monday, May 23rd from  4 – 5pm in the Gamble Room, Head Chef Jim Boyd will demonstrate how to prepare a few simple but delicious Haitian dishes and the library will raffle off a copy of a few popular Haitian cookbooks to several of the lucky participants.  Hope you see you there!

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