Health Workforce Innovations in Response to the COVID Pandemic
Disaster response in a pediatric field hospital in Haiti
The University of Miami's Global Institute and Project Medishare (UMPM), an organization with a presence in Haiti since 1993, arrived within 24 hours. The Miami Children's Hospital (MCH) administration went on a fact-finding mission to the UMPM facility on January 18 and the following day committed to providing 6 weeks of pediatric support.
An institution-wide call for volunteers went out, and the medical staff office formulated 9 multidisciplinary teams sequentially deployed for 5 to 6 days. 225 nonphysician MCH employees responded including 201 registered nurses (26% of the nursing staff). Seventy-one physicians (11% of the medical staff) applied to serve. Employees took unpaid leave and traveled as Project Medishare volunteers, not as part of a formal MCH program. Of 318 volunteers, 112 (35%) ultimately served.
The first 4 teams were composed to cover multiple fields of expertise. By 6 weeks after the earthquake, physician requirements clearly shifted as the percentage of surgical patients fell. A transition to a pediatrician team leader came at about this time. More pediatricians were required, with expertise in intensive care indispensable.
Solidarity staffing (eg deployments to/from other jurisdictions)
Housing for front-line workers
Medical Imaging Workers
Nurses - Licensed Practical
Nurses - Registered
Physicians - Emergency
Physicians - Intensive Care
Physicians - Primary/Family
Physicians - Specialists
Other Health Care Workers
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti affected more than 3 million people, leaving 300,000 injured, 230,000 dead, and more than a million homeless. Hospitals in Port-au-Prince were either structurally incompetent or ill equipped to handle the necessary medical surge capacity.
Emergency Medical Services
The medical staff office handled all logistics, including the required licensure check and transportation.
A major shortcoming in staffing was the initial omission of a pharmacist dedicated to the peds tent.
Burnweit, C., & Stylianos, S. (2011). Disaster response in a pediatric field hospital: lessons learned in Haiti. Journal of pediatric surgery, 46(6), 1131–1139.