Fort Saint Michel Health Center (FSM)

In 2003 we expanded our work beyond Justinian Hospital into the community by establishing a supportive relationship with Fort St. Michel Health Center. This public facility serves an impoverished neighborhood of approximately forty thousand people on the edge of Cap-Haïtien, near the airport. There is little electrical service, and sanitation and potable water options are limited. Much of the housing in the community consists of very simple, and sometimes fragile, dwellings constructed on refuse and very vulnerable to flooding when it rains. Tuberculosis is the leading infectious cause of death among adults in Haiti and is one of a number of serious health problems in the Fort St. Michel neighborhood.

cimg2962-250x188FSM floods when it rainsFort St. Michel Health Center was a small community dispensary operated by the Ministry of Health that had been open for only two years when we began our relationship with them. At that time they provided basic primary care, TB testing and treatment, immunizations, and family planning services. In recent years it has undergone a major expansion, to include a birthing center, OR, dental, and HIV services. While the facilities have expanded considerably, and there is a small, but dedicated, medical and nursing staff, it continues to be under-equipped and understaffed to adequately deal with the many health problems in the community.

Our community health and women’s health initiatives are based at Fort St. Michel Health Center. Over the years, we have added considerably to the capacity at the health center by employing a team of community health workers, nurse supervisors, and an OB/GYN who work together to do disease and risk surveillance as well as health education in the community. They play a very important role by offering preventative care, and ensure individuals in the community who need care know how and where to go to get it.gone a major expansion, to include a birthing center, OR, dental, and HIV services. While the facilities have expanded considerably, and there is a small, but dedicated, medical and nursing staff, it continues to be under-equipped and understaffed to adequately deal with the many health problems in the community. Our community health and women’s health initiatives are based at Fort St. Michel Health Center. Over the years, we have added considerably to the capacity at the health center by employing a team of community health workers, nurse supervisors, and an OB/GYN who work together to do disease and risk surveillance as well as health education in the community. They play a very important role by offering preventative care, and ensure individuals in the community who need care know how and where to go to get it.