By John Sauter, MD, anesthesiologist, LMC
Main Line Health staff members recently returned from a surgical mission to Haiti, as part of the Blue Sky Surgical Team. Blue Sky is a group of health care professionals and logistics staff that was organized in 2006 by former BMH Chief of Surgery Tony Coletta, MD. The team is dedicated to providing surgical services to an indigent and underserved population in Haiti.
With 21 US-based volunteer physicians, nurses, and support persons along with our Haitian physician and nurse colleagues, Blue Sky provided general and pediatric surgical care to 109 patients! Many of these patients had large hernias and hydroceles, some of which were life threatening.
Lankenau Medical Center and Bryn Mawr Hospital are among Blue Sky’s hospital partners. Without that support, our work would not be possible.
Blue Sky Team members include Barb Thompson, Mary Jo Verzella, Cherie Salamy, Patty Snyder, Kristen Weis, Meg Hauser, Yvon Lebrun, and Deb McTamney. Each of these fine professionals was essential contributors to our most successful mission so far. I also wish to thank MLH Materials Management, Supply Chain and Storeroom Staffers Chris Torres, James Childs, Dan Benson, Anthony Carlucci, Nick Sica and Tom McGee for their help with acquiring the donated supplies. Other important Blue Sky Surgical partners include United Anesthesia Services, Holy Redeemer Hospital, Chester County Hospital, AmeriCares, MedShare, Abbott Medical, ARC Medical and many private individuals.