From Vision to Reality: Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais

Partners In Health celebrates new hospital, built in partnership with Haiti’s government, community leaders, and countless supporters

Contact: Jeff Marvin, Media Relations

BOSTON, (April 26, 2013)—“Men anpil, chay pa lou,” a Haitian proverb meaning “many hands make the load light,” embodies the spirit that helped build Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (University Hospital), just 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The vision for University Hospital grew after the country’s 2010 earthquake, when the Haitian Ministry of Health asked Partners In Heath (PIH) and its sister organization, Zanmi Lasante, to revamp existing plans for a small community-based hospital. PIH looked to hundreds of people and organizations in Haiti, the United States, and around the world to make this hospital a reality.

“This hospital underlines our commitment to the country and people of Haiti, which is stronger than ever after the earthquake,” said Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of PIH.

Now the largest reconstruction project completed in Haiti’s public health sector, University Hospital is the result of countless supporters sharing one goal: to build a top-tier teaching hospital in Haiti’s Central Plateau.

On Sunday, April 28, individual, corporate, and foundation donors will gather in Mirebalais, Haiti, to celebrate the hospital and see the impact of their contributions on those already receiving outpatient care at University Hospital.

“Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais will not only provide world-class health care to the people of Haiti, but will contribute to the country’s sustainable future with significant employment opportunities,” said Ben Stiller, co-founder with David Zwirner of Artists for Haiti, which contributed $2.7 million to cover University Hospital’s start-up costs.

“Paul Farmer has been a huge source of inspiration behind Artists for Haiti, and we are excited to support Partners In Health in its continued efforts to bring quality health care to the country,” Zwirner said.

University Hospital is a public Ministry of Health facility, built in partnership with Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante.

“This state-of-the-art ‘green’ facility represents a significant investment in the quality of health services for the Haitian people,” said David Meltzer, chief international officer and general counsel for the American Red Cross, which contributed $5.5 million to help fund construction. "We recognize that there is an immediate need to repair the pipeline of medical professionals in Haiti, and this hospital addresses the crucial demand for state-of-the-art in-country training."

In addition to making high-quality medical care accessible to Haitians in the Central Plateau, University Hospital will continue strengthening Haiti’s public health infrastructure through medical education for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

“This hospital is proof that through public-private partnerships, we can provide sustainable, quality healthcare to a region that needs it most,” said Bob Corcoran, president and chairman of the GE Foundation. GE Foundation provided training and medical equipment for maternity cases, trauma, and acute illnesses, as well as a cutting-edge teaching environment to train practitioners.

Several classrooms on the hospital’s second floor are equipped with high-speed Internet and video-conferencing capabilities that will enable Haitian nursing and medical students to participate in lectures at U.S. medical schools.

“The best medical advice from healthcare experts around the world will be available at the click of a mouse,” said Gabi Zedlmayer, vice president Sustainability and Social Innovation at HP. Funding from HP allowed PIH to outfit the hospital with a high-capacity server rack that provides connectivity across the campus via thin clients, wireless access points, and VoIP phones. Twelve HP workstations are situated throughout the hospital, equipped with 27-inch monitors to enable teaching opportunities in the operating rooms and optimum radiology image viewing.

University Hospital’s high-tech infrastructure and communications systems will not only improve medical care and education, but will ensure that future generations of Haitian doctors and nurses are highly trained.

Click here to download a media package (press release, PIH logo, University Hospital photos, and corporate and foundation fact sheet)

Highlights of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais

  • The 300-bed hospital has more than 30 outpatient consulting rooms and six operating suites—capable of serving 500 patients a day.
  • University Hospital will offer HIV/AIDS and TB care, treatment for noncommunicable diseases, prenatal care, primary care, and dental services, along with secondary level services that include mental health, emergency medicine, and general and orthopedic surgery.
  • Based on publicly available data, University Hospital is the largest solar-powered hospital in the world capable of producing more than 100 percent of its energy needs during peak daylight hours. Any excess energy generated by the hospital’s 1,800 rooftop solar panels is fed back into the power grid, helping to strengthen the local infrastructure.
  • University Hospital is the first public hospital in Haiti to have a CT scanner. The portable CT scanner manufactured by NeuroLogica—originally developed for resource-poor settings—is now being used in U.S. hospitals.
  • Medical gas is piped throughout the walls, providing doctors and nurses quick and reliable access to oxygen. University Hospital has its own oxygen concentrator, a device that produces medical-grade oxygen by removing nitrogen from the air.

Read more about Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais

About Partners In Health: Partners In Health is a global health organization relentlessly committed to improving the health of the poor and marginalized. We build local capacity and work closely with impoverished communities to deliver high-quality health care, address the root causes of illness, train providers, advance research and advocate for global policy change. Ninety-three percent of the funds we raise go to our programs in the 10 countries where we work, including Haiti, Rwanda, Russia, Peru and the United States.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

About Artists for Haiti: Artists for Haiti was founded by Ben Stiller and David Zwirner following a joint trip to Haiti in January 2011, a year after the devastating earthquake. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supports the work of NGOs and foundations that are helping Haiti to recover from the damage caused by the earthquake and build back better.

About GE Foundation: The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. With its partners, the GE Foundation focuses its efforts in the areas of health, education, the environment and disaster relief. In 2011, the GE family invested more than $198 million to global community and educational needs.


Please send donations to: Partners In Health, PO Box 996, Frederick, MD 21705-9942