Jan 26 Haiti: Change Comes Suddenly


For nearly the past two weeks I've been working as hard as I know how to get King's Hospital up and running with two functioning ORs that could simultaneously do surgery on three patients. We met that goal about 48 hours after we started it. After reaching that goal,  we then began to focus our attention on the tent cities and other places where we might extend our work to reach more people. We began to partner with the Baptist Mission, Grace Tabernacle and Haiti One as we sought to understand the needs of the tent cities. Our plan was to use those places as outreach "clinics" to meet the needs of the patients there and, if needed, transfer patients via Haiti One's ambulance to King's Hospital for surgery or more advanced care. Today, Dr. Junie informed us that she wanted to return to business as usual at her hospital. In other words, now that her hospital was running again, she wanted to use her staff to manage the hospital and take care of the patients. This could turn out to be a great thing. It will free us up to meet more needs elsewhere. Therefore, today we did a 3D-Evaluation and decided that we should pack up and move from a hospital focus to a field focus. It only took us about 2 hours to gather our supplies and load the large cage truck. We are going to use the guest house as our base of operations. Tomorrow will be a new and exciting day of opportunity to meet the needs of more patients. I determined to look at the experience today from an ETA perspective. We understood the problem, we tried some ideas, we gathered some feedback and we started the process over again. To assume "failure" and become offended because Dr. Junie wanted return to business as usual would have blocked me from learning. It was in the Assess Learning phase that I realized that it was not a failure but a tremendous success that we were able to come along, get the hospital up and running, save and help a bunch of patients and then enable the local physicians and staff to get back on their feet to the point that they didn't need our assistance any longer. In a sense, we worked our way out of a job at the hospital.

Because of the commitment to adapt and learn we are now able to refocus and once again challenge ourselves to "Define the Problem", "Determine the Gap" and "Derive Different Options".

It was a good day and a day with a good deal of change.