News

Vassar Haiti Project holds annual Art and Soul reception to fund medical center in Chermaitre, Haiti, May 4, 2016

The Vassar Haiti Project’s (VHP) fourth annual Art and Soul reception and fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, May 4th at the Vassar College Alumnae House. All proceeds from the event fund the staffing, supply, and operation of a medical center in northwest Haiti that serves thousands of local residents.

Art and Soul will feature beautiful, vibrant Haitian art, live entertainment from Vassar student musicians, and fabulous cuisine from the Poughkeepsie restaurant, Twisted Soul. The program runs from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, and is open to the public. Tickets are $65 each and can be purchased online. Art and Soul is presented by the Vassar Haiti Project’s Medical Advisory Board.

The clinic’s medical director, Dr. Guieslin Joassainvil, will be a special guest at the event and will be speaking with doctors from the mid-Hudson Valley about his work in Chermaitre.

The Chermaitre medical center fills a crucial need in the mountain village. For many residents, this is the first accessible medical care in their lifetime.

"Nowhere does a dollar go further or mean so much as it does to the people of Chermaitre and Fiervil,” said VHP’s Medical Advisory Board chair, Dr. Daniel Aronzon.

Board member and Hudson Valley physician Dr. Daniel Katz, who has traveled to Haiti twice with VHP, most recently this past January, echoed those sentiments. “Pictures and stories don't do justice to the goodness of what the Medical Advisory Board has done for the people of Chermaitre - seeing the smiles and tears, hearing the laughter and crying and healing their sickness, does. So much has been accomplished, but much more can be done. Water, electricity (solar power), increased patient follow up, and electronic health records would be transformational.”

Vassar College students meet doctors in the medical profession in Poughkeepsie and work closely with them to determine areas of need for the clinic. Clairiola Etienne, class of ‘18, and VHP’s health initiative director says,  “Being successful in having the clinic operate everyday has been rewarding. The villagers now have access to healthcare whenever they need it. Our concern to maintain the clinic’s operations is increasing day by day as patients are showing need for vaccines and other lab work.”

Proceeds from the Art and Soul Reception will help support the operation of the medical center for the coming year.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, April 12, 2016