By Jay Behrke
PORT-AU-PRINCE – Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ron Israelski first recognized the ongoing, desperate need for emergency medical services in Haiti when a magnitude 7 earthquake killed roughly 250,000 Haitians in 2010. He responded by founding Orthopaedic Relief Services International, and just returned from his 25th trip to Haiti, having transporting thousands of pounds of equipment and crucial medication exactly as he has done his two dozen previous visits.
“No country has ever experienced more natural or political disasters,” noted Israelski, who is also medical education director at Orange Regional Medical Center. The dedicated surgeon managed to work his magic once again in the Haitian capital this past week, miraculously imposing triumph over tragedy despite the dire circumstances.
O.R.S.I.’s mission to strengthen and rebuild Haiti’s devastated infrastructure, install and maintain more modern and effective clinical capabilities, and educate regional doctors on state-of-the-art medical practices has largely been granted through the ongoing financial aid and support of both New York University and O.R.M.C. O.R.S.I. is also responsible for installing the first X-ray machine at the country’s largest health facility, Hopital Universite D’Etat d’Haiti, in Port-au-Prince, the capital.
“You need the environment to do surgery and to teach, so I’ve sent well over $1 million dollars of equipment over the past almost seven years,”said Israelski, who predicted thousands more would eventually die from the delayed effects of October’s category 5 hurricane Matthew, whose squalor and decay has enabled diseases like cholera to thrive.
“I really pray for a better future for Haiti,” said the doctor, who certainly does far more than pray for this ravaged country and its neglected people.
For more information, click the link below for my previous story detailing this remarkable man’s altruistic endeavors: