Here's a Hope Update from Paul S. Moore, President of CitiHope International--our partner in the Haiti Relief Mission:
More than two dozen staff and volunteers worked over the weekend to pack the supplies and send our first truck on its way yesterday at 3:30pm, driven by Mike and Peggy DiBenedetto, volunteers and field representatives from CitiHope's response to Hurricane Katrina. They will arrive at Saint Simons Island, GA this afternoon with CHI's initial primary response aid, and will coordinate loading our planes as they arrive and depart for Barahona over the coming days.
The Le Bon Samaritan Hospital in Jimani, Dominican Republic, and chief administrator Dr. Marc Pinard is preparing to receive CHI's deliveries in support of the overwhelming needs he and his dedicated staff, supplemented by 60 + volunteer physicians and caregivers from the USA and abroad.
Chris Keylon, Executive Director of the Chadasha Foundation, is coordinating CitiHope's initial deliveries at the hospital site, while CHI's Dominican Republic Representative Tim Tuccelli manages the Barahona Airport, offloads supplies as they arrive, and secures them for forwarding on to Jimani.
CitiHope has obtained the service of 4 Pilatus PC-12 aircraft with volunteer pilots to airlift our supplies over the next four days to Barahona. Our first flight left Huntsville, Alabama this morning with two partners from Chadasha Foundation, carrying 4 GATR Deployable Satellite Telecom Systems, 10 water purifier systems, and selection of essential medicines including anesthesia, antibiotics, casting materials, etc. Touchdown in Barahona is projected for 4 PM today.
Josie Dittrich, CHI's flight logistics coordinator has arranged for two airport hangers, and landing/take off privileges on Saint Simons Island, GA. She has lined up 3 additional Pilatus PC-12 aircraft for the next 3 days, to carry in 6,000lbs. of CHI commodity to Barahona, DR. These planes are the best possible for getting into and out of challenging landing sites carrying up to 2,000lbs. (one ton) of cargo.
Paul Moore II, CHI's Senior VP and Chief Operations Officer will be on Wednesday's flight to DR, and will be based in Jimani, performing border assessment visits to Haiti (just 8 miles away) also. By week's end we will have $500,000 in emergency medical aid in the hands of doctors in Jimani. After receiving Paul's assessment feedback, we will coordinate another $500,000 in aid keyed to an updated priority list from the field. CitiHope will ensure what we send will make the greatest impact for those suffering and in need of continuing medical care.
We believe it was God's providence that led CitiHope to choose delivering our humanitarian assistance through the DR corridor, given the chaos and confusion in Port-au-Prince, lack of roads, ensuing security concerns and the viable opportunity to work with the Jimani Hospital. There, 500 plus patients have been arriving daily from PAP/Haiti, many by US military helicopter. This is clearly a site where our aid holds promise to make the greatest near-term impact.
Please check back on the CitiHope website for daily updates and for stewardship reports to you and all those who have made this rapid, compassionate response possible. Your prayers and continued support for the people of Haiti so traumatized by this disaster are appreciated. www.citihope.org