CHI is a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization that helps provide continuous primary healthcare to rural villages of Haiti. Our mission is to work in solidarity to create healthy, empowered, and self-directed communities in Haiti.
The Community Health Initiative is a venture started by two medical school classmates and emergency medicine doctors, Chris Buresh and Josh White, who had traveled to Haiti to provide short-term medical care to those in the city and in villages nearby. They decided that they could best make a long-term impact by establishing continuity of medical care in a limited number of rural villages.
Every three months, multiple teams consisting of physicians, nurses, and students travel to three main villages for ten days and run a medical clinic. During our traditional missions, patients are provided with vitamins, treated for parasites, and screened for malnutrition as well as other chronic conditions. We perform minor surgical procedures when appropriate, in addition to treating a number of acute diseases like pneumonia, malaria, typhoid fever, and dysentery that might otherwise be fatal.
CHI has been working towards teaching local Haitian women to become Community Health Workers in an effort to induce more self-sustainability in the area. Their responsibilities include recognizing and treating common ailments as well as educating others about public health issues. As of February 16, 2012, the first class of CHW’s graduated in Arcahaie.
Working as partners with the Haitian people, CHI conducts assessments in order to understand the most pressing needs of the community. Travelers may spend up to 10 weeks going from house to house collecting information about the local economy, education, health care, water sources, and sanitation. This data is used to direct future projects and make long-term goals for the area.