Recent disaster relief efforts in Haiti have highlighted the need for ongoing support for communities in need in the 3rd world. For the first 14 years of his life, Dr. Michael Weinberg, a caring cosmetic plastic surgeon with Toronto and Mississauga offices, grew up in Zimbabwe, Africa. He has always maintained a strong attachment to his birthplace. Six years ago he decided it was his time to try to help his troubled homeland. He began looking for a project to help alleviate the terrible shortage of medical supplies and care in that impoverished nation. Together with his cousin Bert Amato he settled on a small rural hospital run by a Canadian salvation army physician, Dr. Paul Thistle, and they began attempting to send some donated medical equipment.
What started as a small grassroots organization, just the 2 cousins working together, steadily grew, and through their tireless lobbying and tremendous enthusiasm they managed to coopt family, friends and colleagues into helping. They gradually expanded their shipments of supplies many fold and their mandate grew. They eventually partnered with the salvation army and the team at their plastic surgery clinic in Toronto and Mississauga. The group is now directly responsible for shipping several 40-foot containers annually, full to the brim with medical equipment such as infant incubators and ultrasound machines, much needed drugs like antibiotics and surgical supplies like sutures and dressings. In 2009 they shipped approximately $3,000,000 worth of supplies.
They have also taken on the hospital's orphanage and school and have shipped shoes, clothes, books, toys and supplied salaries for nurses and teachers. The hospital services roughly 280,000 people and is responsible for 140,000 patient visits yearly. Thanks to the amazing efforts of everyone involved in this project the hospital is now well equipped to dispense it's duties, with programs for neonatal and maternal health, out patient clinics, and community outreach programs.
Dr. Weinberg is enormously passionate about and proud of this organization's achievements and is tremendously grateful to everyone who has donated time, supplies and funds to make it a success. If you would like to learn more about the Howard Hospital project and find out how you can help, contact Dr. Weinberg.