Four Maine Endeavors Aiding

Haiti Recognized With

Hanley Center Honors

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On November 30, 2010, four endeavors aiding Haiti were recognized by the Hanley Center Honors for Leadership in Medical and Humanitarian Relief at a dinner held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.  These four recipients were Dr. Chiedza Jokonya of Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency of Augusta, Elizabeth McLellan of Partners for World Health, Konbit Sante

Cap Haitien Health Partnership, and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

The Hanley Center’s 2010 Honors For Medical and Humanitarian Service recognize not only extraordinary service, but also exceptional leadership, collaboration and impact.  The Center’s 2010 honorees included a wide range of Maine caregivers and organizations that have provided critically important healthcare services over the course of many years to people around the globe who suffer from poverty, illness and the aftermath of natural and man-disasters.

Brief descriptions of the work of each of these four recipients as shared on the Hanley Center website appear below.  More detailed profiles and photos of all four of these endeavors can be found on the Maine Friends of  Haiti website.


Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency, Augusta

Since joining the faculty at Maine-Dartmouth in 2007, Dr. Chiedza

“Chi” Jokonya has played a key leadership role in coordinating and

participating in bi-annual trips to Haiti with family medicine residents

and fellow faculty members. Just two weeks ago Dr. Jokonya and her

colleagues were in the center of Haiti’s dangerous cholera outbreak,

caring for patients in the midst of rioting and other threats. Between

trips, Dr. Jokonya works to increase community awareness of the

situation in Haiti, receiving donations to help support their efforts

there. The trips last 7-10 days and provide the residents with an

international health experience early in their training, in hopes that

they will contribute again after their training is done. A native of 

Zimbabwe. Dr. Jokoyna has extensive work and volunteer experience

abroad, having served as pediatric medical officer in Namibia and

Zimbabwe and Chief Medical Officer for the Medical Air Rescue

Services in Lilongwe, Malawi from 1999-2002. In 2007 Dr. Jokonya

helped found the TJB Jokonya Rural Development Trust in

Zimbabwe to support and help facilitate social and development

programs, with an emphasis on health and education.


Partners for World Health, Portland

Elizabeth McLellan is the Founder and President of Partners for

World Health, a non-profit organization that helps salvage unused

medical supplies from Maine hospitals that would have otherwise been

discarded and donates them to those who need them around the

world. She is currently a nurse administrator at Maine Medical Center.

While working overseas in the early 1990s, Elizabeth traveled to many

hospitals in developing countries to recruit nurses. Before her trips,

she would fill large duffel bags with unused medical supplies from her

hospital that would otherwise have gone to landfills. She then donated

these supplies to facilities in places like Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and

the Philippines. After returning to her native Maine, she rallied

supporters at Maine Medical Center to participate in Partners for

World Health’s efforts. Staff set aside useful, clean medical supplies in

special bins on each unit after patients are discharged. Volunteers then

pick up the supplies, deliver them to a warehouse and prepare the

supplies for delivery overseas. In its first year of operation, PWH

collected 11,000 pounds of supplies. Today, PWH’s partners include

hospitals, nursing homes and community health centers in Maine.

Supplies from PWH have been sent to Haiti, countries in Africa,

Central America and Southeast Asia. Current PWH programs include

two-week trips to deliver supplies (soon to include a consistent clinical

component) and a monthly Global Health Education Series.




Konbit Sante is a Maine-based volunteer partnership founded in 2000

to save lives and improve healthcare in northern Haiti. Konbit Sante

works in collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Health and other

partners to build local capacity in all aspects of the health system. This

organization chose to accept the challenge to work to strengthen the

whole public health care system, not to replace or displace it, with a

focus on working to build Haitian capacity. Konbit Sante works at the

community level by providing general health education such as the

detection and treatment of tuberculosis, vaccinations and education.

Since Konbit Sante began working in Haiti, the government has fallen

and the public systems have almost entirely collapsed. There has been

an earthquake, and three major fires including one that destroyed the

organization’s own office. Every day, Konbit Sante staff in face

challenges of sporadic electricity, government worker strikes that close

the health facilities because of lack of pay for months on end, and lack

of adequate water and sanitation. In Maine, Konbit Sante has

partnerships with Maine Medical Center, Mercy Hospital, Partners for

World Health, Orthopaedic Associates and the USM School of

Nursing. These partners provide in-kind donations and educational

support for Haitian partners/colleagues who come to Maine to learn

clinical updates so that they can bring that knowledge back to Haiti.

Konbit Sante has been highly engaged in helping the citizens of Haiti

during the country’s cholera outbreak.



For 22 years, St. Mary’s has partnered with organizations in Haiti to

provide much needed medical relief and humanitarian assistance.

“Helping Haiti” is embedded in the culture at St. Mary’s as a way the

organization is able to support its mission to promote healing and care 

for the poor. Each year the hospital sends a team to Haiti. Throughout

the year, the hospital supports these trips through charitable giving

campaign as well as other annual fundraising events. Shortly after the

devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, a volunteer medical team

traveled to that country where they worked under enormously challenging

conditions. St. Mary’s has a long-term relationship with St. Boniface

Hospital in Fond des Blancs, Pwoje Espwa (Father Marc Boisvert’s

orphanage) in Les Cayes, and the Sisters of Charity in Port au Prince.

Over the past two decades, St. Mary’s has incorporated an ongoing

humanitarian program which includes mentoring medical staff from St.

Boniface Hospital, participating in health care clinics including blood

pressure screenings and immunizations, building, painting and gardening

at Pwoje Espwa, an orphanage for boys; and providing free medical care

to Haitians.

Congratulations go out to Dr. Chiedza Jokonya, Elizabeth McLellan, Konbit Sante Cap Haitien Health Partnership, and St.  Mary’s Regional Medical Center for being recognized for their efforts in Haiti.  Also recognized were : Dr. Jennifer Morton of the University of New England for her work in Ghana Health Partnerships, Dr. Constance Adler for her work with Franklin  Health Women’s Care in Farmington, Dr. Hector Tarraza for his work with Global Health Ministry in Portland, and Project Guatemala and the work of Safe Passage.

Click on the above picture to view

the program for the Nov. 30, 2010,

Hanley Center Honors dinner.