HHF began operations in Jérémie in 1985, fueled with the desire to provide excellent services to meet the health and dental care needs of the area it serves with five focused areas: 1) primary care, 2) illness prevention 3) health promotion 4) community capacity building, and 5) service integration. Today, HHF not only provides health and dental care, but also sustainable community development strategies, education assistance, and relief services to more than 250,000 people in over 100 rural villages.
HHF's healthcare strategies ensure access to either free or affordable health care that include: perinatal and well-baby care; residential care for severely malnourished children and women with high-risk pregnancies; disease prevention and management; HIV/TB prevention and management, diabetes management; and mental and dental health services, including an extensive school-based oral health education and prevention program. HHF also made it a priority to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes in the Grande-Anse, working with the local Ministry of Health, with main objectives to improve maternal and newborn care, to increase exclusive breastfeeding, to increase the number of women using family planning methods, to strengthen local organizations' and communities' institutional capacity to implement effective maternal and child health activities, and to advocate for community-based maternal and newborn interventions coupled with a community-supported emergency evacuation system. HHF addresses the principal causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality through maternal/newborn care, breastfeeding and child spacing.
HHF's education program strives to make education a top priority and to expand access to education for the most vulnerable children and young adults in the greater Jeremie region. The program works by directly paying a child's accredited primary school, secondary school, university or trade school tuition and eligible fees.
HHF's development program strives to work collaboratively with women, families, and others who traditionally have no voice to build vibrant communities across the greater Jeremie area. This is achieved through the promotion of cleaner, safer construction of housing, distribution of goats for the purpose of food security and micro-enterprising, sustainable agriculture strategies and micro lending.
HHF has a strong physical presence with 2 main physical structures in Jérémie and satellite clinics in four locations. The HHF clinic in Jérémie is a fully equipped, 27,000-square-foot structure providing outpatient, dental and mental health, X-ray, and pharmacy services to more than 120,000 patients a year. The clinic building also houses administrative offices, including a three-person finance office and a well-equipped information technology department with remote access from the US. The Center of Hope (COH), HHF's child and maternal health facility in Jérémie, provides prenatal and postnatal services and access to health care on both a residential and walk-in basis. The residential program provides care to women who are diagnosed with: high blood pressure in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension, toxemia); gestational diabetes or glucose intolerance in pregnancy; a history of premature or multiple births; teen pregnancy; a positive diagnosis for HIV/AIDS infection; or advanced age. HHF also admits all severe cases of kwashiorkor into this unit. The malnourished children are often identified at health posts conducted by the community health team and/or after examination at COH. All are provided with nutrients per WHO protocols and the mothers are educated on nutrition, hygiene, and family planning.
HHF provides obstetric emergency transportation services in the mountain areas where women access care during labor only with difficulty. Two HHF ambulances are stocked with medicine and equipment and manned by staff trained to respond to emergencies in the field.
HHF has established an excellent network, with a presence in many mountain villages and 48 staff members actually living and working in the villages.
HHF has earned the trust of the community it serves, which is a significant asset when disaster strikes such as Hurricane Matthew. All HHF attempts to meet the community's immediate needs were successful and without violence or unrest.
HHF shares experiences and lessons learned nationally and internationally. An effective and effectively documented approach to primary healthcare as well as to citizen participation, rigorous use of health care data at all levels, and open communication have yielded opportunities for professional outreach.
HHF has an unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of the community it serves through high quality performance. HHF has invested resources solely in the greater area of Jeremie since 1985. We have an equally committed team of 187 employees (99% Haitian), many who have worked for HHF for at least 10+ years and “Health Agents" who live and work in the villages they serve, and are trusted and respected by the villagers.
HHF's discipline to think strategically and promote leadership with an ability to inspire a culture of individual and organizational excellence, create a shared vision and successfully manage community and organizational change to attain the organization's strategic goals and successful performance. HHF has the people with the right skills to deliver its strategic goals, including identifying and addressing capability gaps. Yearly, the performance of the staff is aligned with HHF's strategic priorities.
As stated previously, Haiti is a country of many challenges, and HHF has demonstrated its ability to adapt to great changes, including having to give up processes and technologies to create new skills and approaches to ensure its continuous survival and success.
A guiding philosophy upon which all HHF endeavors are based is the importance of the individuals who participate in and contribute to its various programs. For example, the people served by HHF in the Jeremie area are encouraged to participate in all areas of HHF activities, including planning, preventive education, community development, and utilization of services, along with other efforts intended for the improvement of individual, family and community well-being. Also, volunteers from the US with medical and other skills or expertise are encouraged to work closely with their Haitian counterparts in the sharing of information and methodologies. This rapport enhances the cultural experience of the volunteers while providing continuing education for Haitian professionals.
HHF's values of respect, honesty, compassion, and commitment that are aligned with personal and organizational ethical and professional code of conduct, including a responsibility to the patient and community.
HHF has an excellent reputation and is looked to by other service providers, organizations and the Haitian government as a leader, including the provision of technical assistance to other NGO's. HHF enjoys an excellent relationship with local authorities, including the Ministry of Health, and work hard to maintain the trust established among the people we serve.
HHF has a strong financial foundation with highly committed donors for decades.
Haiti is a country of many challenges, and sometimes it is difficult to see accomplishments on a daily basis. Some progress is at the individual level – a malnourished child being returned to health; some at the family level, such as a family receiving a newly constructed house; and some at the village level, such as a community Cooperative group working together to establish small businesses through our Microlending program.
HHF provides the basic packet of health services for our population. We have specific indicators and strategies for all of our major initiatives - vaccinations, maternal health care, breastfeeding encouragement, nutrition surveillance, etc…
• High quality healthcare services including our outpatient clinic, mental health, the only X-Ray services in the Grand'Anse, sonography, laboratory, and pharmacy. HHF's plan is to continue scaling up its access to primary healthcare services in the remote areas of Jeremie. For example, HHF is currently building a community health center to serve a catchment area of 45,000+ patients.
• A full service dental clinic with school-based dental disease prevention programs, including fluoride and emergency treatment. HHF is currently scaling up such services to schools in the remote villages through dental health clinics with mobile equipment.
• Established Haiti's first maternal waiting home, which continues to serve as a residential facility for women with high-risk pregnancies within the Center of Hope.
• A family assistance program known as “Save a Family" which provides tuition and other school-related expenses, housing and medical costs for over 450 vulnerable families.
• Thousands of children have had and continue to have access to formal education, including higher education.
• A housing project that has built over 3000 houses and repaired more than 800 houses. With private donations, HHF will continue to build and repair houses.
• A sustainable sanitation-building project – microflush toilets in rural areas.
• A goat-donation project with organized community groups.
• Significant reduction in malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women and children under five years old. HHF will continue expanding its education and malnutrition relief program for hundreds of malnourished children as well as its surveillance and referral systems to identify and refer children with Kwashiorkor to the Center of Hope.
• Public health outreach to approximately 200,000 people in four counties.