Group of Portland, Maine, health care professionals, business people, and other interested parties are called together by founders Dr. Michael and Wendy Taylor to meet and discuss their shared desire to work on building a sustainable health system in a community somewhere in the developing world.
Greater Portland International Health Initiative established as a non-profit organization with a vision of partnering with an existing public health system in an underserved community whose citizens have limited access to health care.
Following site visits to Cap-Haitien, Haiti, GPIHI establishes a partnership in November with Justinien University Hospital (JUH), the second-largest teaching hospital in Haiti.
Name changed to Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership to more accurately reflect group’s mission. Volunteers travel to Cap-Haitien to work with Haitian colleagues on strengthening the health system and improving access to health care. On-site work includes:
First shipping container of medical supplies and equipment packed in Maine for shipment to Cap-Haitien, beginning a service that continues to this day (in addition to regular, smaller shipments). Content value averages $150,000 per 40-foot container.
Sister City relationship established between Portland and Cap-Haitien.
Relationships established with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP).
First internet access installed and supported at JUH.
Salary support and training provided for director of resident education at JUH internal medicine department.
First USAID grant received via Management Sciences for Health (MSH).
Formal partner relationship established with Fort Saint Michel Health Center (FSM) in Cap-Haitien.
Maine office established; executive director and operations manager hired.
Relationship established with School of Nursing at JUH.
Feeding and nutrition program re-established in JUH Department of Pediatrics.
Training funded for five agents de santé (community health workers), two of whom are hired to work at FSM with KS support; the first to serve the area.
Women’s health study conducted with support from the Conservation, Food and Health Foundation; leads to formation of a women’s health committee in Cap-Haitien.
Pediatric outpatient clinic built at JUH.
Permanent Haiti office established at JUH; in-country program manager hired.
Evaluation of KS Cap-Haitian on-site program activities conducted by global public health professionals from Harvard University, Boston University, and Johns Hopkins University.
Installation of x-ray equipment and development of business plan for Radiology Service at JUH, resulting in years of uninterrupted imaging service.
Pan American Health Foundation Grant received to improve infection control process at JUH.
Relationship established with Direct Relief International to donate essential medicines to JUH.
First inventory supply system created at JUH, including salary support for depot manager and funds to equip central depot.
Neonatal unit built at JUH Department of Pediatrics with funding from Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation.
Organization of monthly meetings for traditional birth attendants in FSM area to strengthen skills for safer home delivery and to encourage referrals to health facilities.
Research conducted in partnership with Ministry of Health results in communitywide treatment for hookworm, reducing anemia among reproductive-age women.
KS provides educational scholarships for three surgeons from JUH to train at Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Konbit Sante becomes a legally recognized organization in Haiti.
FSM expanded to provide obstetrical care with assistance from KS.
KS helps JUH pediatric service institute weekly mortality and morbidity reviews, resulting in changes that increase survival rates for newborns and children; reviews continue to this day.
Scholarship secured to HINARI, a World Health Organization database providing instant online access to thousands of professional research journals; JUH staff trained on how to use HINARI.
Salary support and training provided for supply chain coordinator in Haiti office and nurse supervisor of agents de santé (community health workers) at FSM.
Phase I of KS water project completed, including new pump house, additional well, and repaired distribution channels at JUH. Project increases water available to hospital six-fold.
Catastrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake followed by cholera outbreak devastates Haiti. Konbit Sante sets up Earthquake Response Fund and coordinates disaster relief for earthquake victims and cholera patients with the Haitian Ministry of Health and its partners while working alongside other nonprofit government organizations (NGOs) for delivery of supplies and support, water testing, preventive education, and more. In addition, Konbit Sante makes several strategic decisions to increase its impact, including:
First annual Maine Walks with Haiti 5K fundraiser held in Portland.
Konbit Sante continues to address the still-raging cholera epidemic, including:
With support from KS, Hope Health Action completes construction of 20-bed rehabilitation facility at HCBH to aid earthquake victims with spinal cord injuries.
Major expansion and renovation completed at FSM with funding from MINUSTAH and Chemonics/USAID.
Training conference room added to KS office in Cap-Haitien. Room includes ability to teleconference, increasing capacity to train and meet with others globally.
Partnership established with Unité de Lutte pour la Santé (ULS) in Bande du Nord.
Full engineering evaluation of electrical system at JUH funded by USAID and conducted by KS; leads to complete rewiring of hospital.
Konbit Sante participates in nationwide effort to train community health workers in new curriculum developed by Haitian Ministry of Health.
KS’ original concept paper and preliminary architectural design work for new pediatric facility at JUH funded by USAID for construction by professional contractors.
KS collaborates with HHA and HCBH on multi-year project funded by British government to improve maternity care and birth outcomes.
Konbit Sante provides monetary and technical assistance on sustainability planning to HCBH when the latter is threatened with closure. HCBH has since become more self-sustaining and able to expand its services to Quartier Morin.
Architectural design site plan work completed for new clinic facility for ULS.
KS facilitates partnership with Smile Train to train and support clef palate and lip repair at JUH.
KS volunteers provide training in neonatal resuscitation and essential newborn care for pediatric and maternity residents and nurses.
Final planning conducted for demolition of pediatrics building at JUH and construction of new facility.
Konbit Sante’s professional electrical evaluation of JUH serves as catalyst and basis for major upgrade to electrical distribution system financed by USAID.
KS helps ULS and another local disabilities organization secure two-year grants from Inter-American Foundation, and provides technical assistance to both.
KS approved by MSPP to purchase medicines from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) medical supply program PROMESS, which allows the purchase of critical supplies at deeply discounted rates.
KS supports salary of stock manager and develops procurement plan at JUH pediatric service to assure emergency medications needed to save lives are available on-site 24/7.
Program created at FSM to provide free prenatal care to expectant mothers who cannot pay.
Research into preventable deaths of newborns at JUH results in ongoing effort to reduce mortality rate via improvements to supply chain, training, and education, resulting in more than 50% drop by 2018.
KS funds community-based rehabilitation worker at HCBH to support children with disabilities.
Construction of new pediatric building completed at JUH; new facility is five times the size of its predecessor and allows more room for examinations, space between beds, and an interior connection with separate maternity building.
Konbit Sante provides assistance with relief efforts in response to damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines and training provided to staff at JUH and HCBH in partnership with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, which further reduces deaths of moderately premature newborns.
Bioengineering student volunteers help set up medical equipment database at JUH (and later at HCBH) to assist with maintenance and repair of medical equipment, and with procurement of needed parts. JUH biotechnicians receive intensive training on repair.
KS initiates quality improvement initiative at prenatal clinics at FSM to assure all women receive all the elements of a high-quality visit.
Konbit Sante raises more than $200,000 for new ULS clinic in Bande du Nord; excavation and building construction nearly completed.
New series of research seminars for JUH residents launched in partnership with Haiti Medical Education Project, as is a 10-month course initiated to help residents use research methods for quality improvements.
Leadership Circle of healthcare professionals established to strengthen capacity of leaders and managers at partner facilities.
Medicine procurement pilot begun with HCBH to make medicines more affordable for their patients and improve HCBH revenues.
KS consigns four additional containers and shipments for medications, hospital supplies, anesthesia machines, and 175 wheelchairs.
Local Cap-Haitien youths engaged to volunteer at materials depot at JUH.
Funded by more than $215,000 in donations from Konbit Sante, a new ULS clinic opens in Bande du Nord, providing primary care for more than 25,000 people.