Monday, January 18, 2010

Why we chose to give to Partners In Health for the Haiti Earthquake relief effort

Like many, we have been touched here in Butte, Montana by the effects of the earthquake in Haiti that occurred last Tuesday, leaving many Haitians dead, more critically injured, and many more without the basic necessities of food, water, and shelter.  Haiti is in our thoughts often.

My family considers ourselves lucky to be able to give a little to the relief effort. We found that there are many great organizations that can do much with monetary support (see USAID for some suggestions).  I'm grateful because just a few years ago I had the opportunity to read "Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World ," by Tracy Kidder for a city-wide book event in Bozeman, Montana.  This book tells the tale of Dr. Paul Farmer and his goal to provide quality healthcare to the world's desperately poor.  Farmer and his associate Jim Yong Kim started a movement to lower prices for the second-line drugs necessary to treat resistant tuberculosis and successfully lobbied the World Health Organization for changes in treatment recommendations for tuberculosis.  They founded Partners in Health (PIH) which has now been in Haiti for almost 25 years, is run in partnership with Haitian doctors and Haitian staff, and is most likely the largest non-governmental health care provider in the country.  I know PIH to be a reliable and well-established organization; The New Yorker and Meryl Streep agree.

If you are able please consider donating what you can to Partners in Health to assist in the relief effort.  It will help them to respond to the critical health needs of the those affected by the earthquake and continue to establish good health care practices in Haiti.  Their website is

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Reader's Circle) 

More about Partners in Health (from their website):

PIH has been working on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years. We urgently need your support to help those affected by the recent earthquake.
Partners In Health (PIH) works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world.
Based in Boston, PIH employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, including doctors, nurses and community health workers. The vast majority of PIH staff are local nationals based in the communities we serve.

Thank you -
Catherine @ Reading In Montana 

01/19/2010 Update: Here is a link to an article (1/19/2010) in The New Yorker, "A Doctor in the Rubble," posted by Tracy Kidder. Profits from sales of prints of the cover of this week's (1/25/2010) New Yorker will be donated to Partners In Health. You can buy a print here.