October 2010

Serving With Heart Recognizes Pharmacist’s Work in Haiti


In February 2010, Cindy Parks, RPh, two nurses and a pediatrician from the all-volunteer Oregon Disaster Medical Team were deployed to augment an International Medical Surgical Response Team in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. "Part of the reason the four of us were chosen to go was that we had served on medical missions in Haiti before," said Parks, a pharmacist at St. Anthony Hospital, Pendleton, OR. "We knew that along with the hot, humid climate, we would probably be without electricity or running water. With Haiti's ongoing political situation, especially now that Port-au-Prince lay in shambles, safety would also be an issue."

In Haiti, the team set up a field hospital on the grounds of the Gheskio Clinic in Port-au-Prince. The soccer field next door had become a makeshift tent city of sticks, tarps and cardboard that some 7,000 displaced Haitians now called home. "Many residents of the tent city became our patients as the overcrowded living conditions, piled garbage, human waste and swampy ground led to infected wounds, sepsis, tuberculosis, tetanus and malaria," said Parks. "Gangrenous limbs that had to be amputated were common. In between gunshot wounds, surgeries, sutures and rehydration therapies, we delivered a few babies."

Parks is the latest recipient of Serving with Heart, a recognition for members of the CHI family who make extraordinary efforts to serve the needs of patients, colleagues, neighbors, strangers or entire communities, either where they live or in other places where they are needed. CHI employees with access to Inside CHI can read her entire story on Inside CHI. For more information or to make a nomination, contact Lauren Walker, communication manager for CHI.