Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy degree programs in Haiti at UNEPH



About UNEPH and FSRL

FSRL (Faculté des Sciences Réhabilitation d’ Léogâne) is a new department offering degrees in occupational and physical therapy at the Episcopal University of Haiti (UNEPH) campus in Léogâne.

Mission

The purpose of the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation Incorporated is to promote the education of providers of rehabilitation services in Haiti.

MAKING HISTORY IN HAITI

Occupational and Physical Therapists from many countries have visited Haiti for decades, bringing the vision and skills that are needed to give people with disabilities new possibilities for their lives. However, there are limits to what any foreign therapist can accomplish during a short visit. Professional education in Haiti for Haitian OTs and PTs has been a distant dream, but that dream is now a reality!

Haitians are now able to receive a four-year professional therapy education without having to leave the country. The Episcopal University of Haiti (UNEPH) has enrolled Occupational and Physical Therapy students in a newly-formed Rehabilitation Department (FSRL), beginning in October of 2015. UNEPH is not a U.S. university: it is a Haitian university, investing in its work of building capacity for and by Haitians.

A four-year degree is required to meet the international standards of the World Federation of Occupational Therapy and the World Confederation of Physical Therapy. One unique feature of the program at the Episcopal University of Haiti is that the students will earn distinct degrees but will also participate in interprofessional education and practice, learning how to collaborate as team members once they enter the field of practice.

This emerging program offers a unique opportunity to support an historic first: the first four-year academic degree programs at one university for Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Physical Therapists (PTs). The first class of therapy students at FSRL will graduate in December 2019!

FAQ

Does Haiti need therapists?

YES! Here is an excerpt from the Pan American Health Organization’s report on Health in Haiti as of 2016:

Pan American Health Organization 2016 report

Health of the Disabled

The Haitian government estimated a total of 894,235 people living with disabilities before the earthquake of January 2010. This number increased by about 4,000 after the earthquake. Disabled people live without any special protections and have limited access to basic services. Physical infrastructure is rarely adapted for the disabled.

Mental Health

For decades, the people of Haiti have experienced trauma related to political violence, socioeconomic hardship, a series of catastrophic natural disasters, and finally, the cholera epidemic. The prevalence of mental health problems is not really known. There are only two public, specialized mental health institutions, providing 180 beds (a ratio of 1.7 beds per 100,000 inhabitants). The staff dedicated to the care of people with mental illness is very small, a ratio of 0.028 psychiatrists, 0.014 general practitioners, 0.038 nurses, and 0.086 social workers per 10,000 population (22). Very few psychologists are available.”

Human resources for health remains a major challenge for Haiti; the country has no policy for human resources in health.” (Italics added)

Please note that Occupational Therapists, who work with people affected by mental illness, do not yet appear in this list of mental health providers.
Prospects

[....]

The main challenges are: vulnerability of the physical and human environment, dependence on international assistance, poor access to quality health services, weak health information and monitoring systems, prevention and control of NCDs, development of activities to strengthen maternal and child health care, and the limited resilience of the health sector to respond to health emergencies and natural disasters.

Why the Episcopal University, and why now?

The Episcopal Church, Diocese of Haiti, Province 2, has had a strong presence in Haiti since 1861. The Bishops and clergy of the Diocese are Haitian. Health care and literacy are hallmarks of the Episcopal Church in Haiti, with 254 schools, 2 hospitals, and 13 clinics - serving numbers of people well beyond members of the denomination. The Episcopal University of Haiti (called UNEPH, using the first letters of the French title) offers eight programs, on three campuses.

The success of UNEPH’s new academic nursing programs at the Léogâne campus (called FSIL, using the first letters of the French title) has been the inspiration for beginning these new degree programs. In 2005, UNEPH admitted students to the first four-year bachelor’s degree program in nursing in Haiti. The first nurses graduated in 2009. There are now over 100 FSIL graduates with BSN degrees, and 95% of them are working in Haiti. The success of these programs at the nursing school shows the way for the new programs in OT and PT. Students will do their fieldwork in rural areas as well as in Port-au-Prince, with the intention of growing along with the public health service, which is now expanding in the countryside. NGOs in Haiti have already hired many of the nurses who graduated from FSIL. The newly graduated OTs and PTs will also be valuable to NGOs offering rehabilitation services in Haiti.

How much money is needed?

Expenses for the first year, which consisted of general health studies and basic sciences, with volunteer academic leadership, were $30,000 USD. That amount was for program expenses only. That amount increased in Year Two and Three of the programs due to the need for salaries for administrative staff, books, transportation, and dorms as our program outgrew the nursing school capacity. With three cohorts in process, our yearly expenses are over $100,000.

Where the funds go and where they come from:

In Haiti, the academic departments pay a fee to help support the main university. In Haiti, all Episcopal institutions also pay a fee to help support the Episcopal Diocese. This is the opposite of the situation in the U.S., where the direction of flow of funds is from the university or diocese to the academic program. All of our funds beyond those received from tuition are raised by our volunteer Board, the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation. In addition, during the past year we were delighted to receive a grant from the US State Dept. to pay for housing for our volunteer faculty members from abroad.

How much it costs per student

Tuition, room and board, and supplies including technology for one student cost the FSRL program over $6000 per year. Student tuition is $4000 per year. About half of our students can pay those fees. As the numbers of students increase, the need for sponsorships to help the bright students who come from from impoverished backgrounds is also growing.

Additional Sources of Funding

We have long-term plans for collaboration with the UNEPH medical school and the Medical Benevolence Foundation to request funding from the US American Schools and Hospitals Abroad funds for classrooms and dorm space.

An additional source of income has become available. Two US universities have written research grants in collaboration with the OT and PT faculty and students in order to find and document appropriate practice for developing countries. The experience of providing rehabilitation in Haiti, especially in rural areas, is developing as a resource for other countries world-wide with similar health care provision challenges. In the long run, FSRL expects the OT and PT graduates to continue their education to the master’s level for these professions. The goal is to have Haitian faculty, as quickly as possible, who can take their place as contributors in the international rehabilitation community.

How can I support these programs?

An individual donor can support these Rehabilitation programs at UNEPH by check, or by credit or debit card through PayPal.

Checks should be written to "Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation". They can be mailed to:

Treasurer Janis Handte
Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation
P.O. box 183
Hamilton, NY 13346.

Contact Us

For general inquiries, email info@haitirehab.org

For more information, and for opportunities for a speaker to visit the parish or diocese, please contact President of the HRF Board, Dr David Morrisette, president@haitirehab.org, or the Vice-Presidents of the Board, Dr Renee Brown and Mme Zara Harris. vice-president@haitirehab.org.

For information about volunteering as a faculty member, you may contact Dr Rachel Woodson (rachelptinhaiti@gmail.com) and/or Dr Patty Coker-Bolt, OT faculty from Medical U. of South Carolina (cokerpc@musc.edu) who are coordinating that effort.

Parishes and schools may want to consider sponsoring individual students, or undertaking a fundraising project on behalf of the school. Singing Rooster Haitian coffee can be sold with profits designated to support the Rehab Dept.! Details at singingrooster.org.

For further questions you may contact Dr Janet O’Flynn, Acting Dean, dean@haitirehab.org

Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation Board

the board of the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation

Charter members of the board for the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation, taken at the August 17, 2014 fundraiser at Quinnipiac University.
From left to right, back row, Janet O'Flynn, Janis Handte, Judith Straub.
From left to right, front row, Marjorie Dimanche, Hope Lennartz.

Rick Bolt, MD

Rick Bolt is a board certified family physician practicing in the Charleston, SC, area. Rick is a founding member of the Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, one of the largest independent primary care groups in South Carolina, and has served in a leadership role in the company for 20 years. He is currently Treasurer and chairman of the Finance Committee.  Rick began medical mission work in Uganda in 2007 with his wife, Patty Coker-Bolt (who is a member of the HRF Academic Committee), and is committed to the advancement of medical education in Haiti. Rick is an avid photographer.

Dr. Renee Brown
Vice-President of HRF

Dr. Renee Brown has been a practicing physical therapist since 1983, specializing in the area of adolescent and adult neurologic rehabilitation. Prior to coming to Belmont, Dr. Brown was on faculty at UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Ithaca College, and most recently at Vanderbilt University where she was also Physical Therapy Coordinator for Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute.  She currently teaches in the area of neuroscience and adult neurologic rehabilitation. Her line of research is determining functional outcomes in seating and mobility in collaboration with the Vanderbilt Adult Seating and Mobility Clinic.

Dr. Brown is the Academic Residency Director for Neurologic Clinical Residency at Vanderbilt Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute and Belmont University.  Dr. Brown has an interest in international medical service, having coordinated and participated in medical service trips to Bangladesh, Guatemala, Ghana and an upcoming trip to Haiti.  Dr. Brown is a member of the APTA's sections on Education, Neurology, and Health Policy.

Marjorie Dimanche

Marjorie Dimanche, also known to her friends as Gabrielle or Gabby, was born and raised in Haiti.  She received training in physical therapy as an apprentice to a PT from England, at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince.  She worked as the principal therapy provider and clinic supervisor for ten years.  In 1999 she received a visa to travel to the US to work.  She started her legal application for US citizenship, which is still in process today in 2014.  Even though Gabby had experience working as a therapy provider, she did not have the academic degree needed to do the same work in the US.  She became a Certified Nursing Assistant, studied English, and worked at two or sometimes three jobs so that she could send money to support the education and daily needs of her husband and two children in Haiti.  She has accompanied rehabilitation teams from the US to Haiti, working as a translator for medical caregivers.

Dr. Catherine Feintuch

Dr. Catherine Feintuch, obtained her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in September 2015. Her research focused on immune and genetic factors associated with the progression and severity of pediatric cerebral malaria. Additionally, Dr. Feintuch completed a Certificate in Public Health, which included coursework in epidemiology, biostatistics and global health.

Dr. Feintuch has conducted field research in Blantyre, Malawi. While pursuing her research in Malawi, Dr. Feintuch worked closely with rehab therapists who improved the lives of children disabled by infectious disease.

Dr. Monique Germain, EdD

Dr. Monique Germain has served as the Department Chair of Nursing at Chicago State University, where she recently retired as Assistant Professor.  Dr. Germain is originally from Haiti and she completed her first BA degree there in liberal arts.  Her graduate education, in the U.S., has been in nursing, public health, international health, and adult higher education.  Dr. Germain has international interests and experience in Ghana, South Africa, and Haiti.
Dr. Germain has been closely connected with the nursing program, FSIL, at the Episcopal University of Haiti for a long time.  She served a term as Chair of the FSIL governing board, which provides academic oversight to FSIL.  Currently she is a member of that FSIL board, as well as the Haiti Nursing Foundation (HNF) board.  Dr. Germain was nominated by the HNF board to join us on the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation board, to serve as a liaison between the two closely connected programs.

Janis Handte, MPH
Treasurer of HRF

Janis Handte is a senior consultant at the New York City office of an international consulting firm specializing in management of human capital. She is currently is a manager in corporate research and development, following 20 years of experience of managing analytic projects related to employee health care benefits for corporate clients. Janis has graduate degrees in public health and in research methods applied to social science. She is currently pursuing an online certificate in Data Science. Outside of work, Janis has held a variety of volunteer positions in her community, including serving as treasurer for her home owners' association and serving in various roles for her Episcopal church, including treasurer and senior warden.

Zara Harris
Vice-President of HRF

Zara Harris, MS Occupational Therapy, semi-retired after a 40-year distinguished career working with children, teens and adults  providing evaluation, assessment, and treatment for problems associated with learning difficulties and ADHD. Over the course of her career Zara worked in schools and clinics in many countries, including England, France, US, Germany, Czech Republic, South Africa, and Argentina. In addition, Zara has participated as a volunteer on medical missions to St. Vincent’s Center in Haiti, and has taught at FSRL.

Maureen Jesuthasan

Maureen is a Senior Project Leader for technology consultancy and possesses 22+ years of IT Service Operations experience in a variety of roles. She is a solutions-oriented professional with a dedicated career of analyzing, designing and facilitating the implementation & operational acceptance of business solutions and their supporting technology platforms. One of three finalists for the Pink Elephant 2012 Practitioner of the Year award, Maureen is also an ITIL Expert, PRINCE2 and LEAN IT certified.

Published articles include, “ITIL & Me: A Love Story”,  “A Match Made in Heaven: The ITIL Service Strategy Life Cycle & The Cloud" and “Resolve to Appreciate the Value of Strategic Thinking”

Dr. David Morrisette
President of HRF

Dr. David Morrisette is a tenured professor and director at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Division of Physical Therapy. He is a licensed PT in South Carolina and Georgia, and is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching. Dr, Morrisette’s areas of specialization are osteoarthritis and chronic pain complications following spinal cord injuries. He currently the principal investigator for a multi-year research grant regarding management of lower back pain. Dr. Morrisette has been a contributor to the FSRL curriculum committee and, in 2016, began serving as a volunteer faculty member for the FSRL program on campus in Léogâne.

Janet O’Flynn, OTD, OTR/L
Acting Dean of FSRL in Haiti

Janet O’Flynn earned her doctorate from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She has degrees in Liberal Arts, OT, and Special Education. She is one of the founders of HRF and is presently in residence in Léogâne, serving as Acting Dean of the Faculté des Sciences de Réhabilitation de Léogâne (FSRL).

Yves Roséus, OTD, OTR/L

Yves Roséus earned his doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Rocky Mountain University of Health Sciences, Provo, Utah. He has professional experience and expertise in early intervention, feeding, hand therapy, and orthotics. He has taught at Long Island University and Downstate University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Roséus works as Senior Occupational Therapist for outpatient orthopedics and hand therapy at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn.

Sabrina Salvant, Ed.D., MPH, OTR/L

Sabrina Salvant is the program director for the new entry-level doctorate program in occupational therapy at Belmont University. She has degrees from Cornell University and Columbia University, where she taught in the OT program for a number of years. at Columbia University. Dr. Salvant is a member of ACOTE, American Council for Occupational Therapy Education, which evaluates OT educational programs for accreditation.

Robin Tacchetti, MSPT

Robin Tacchetti is a licensed physical therapist in Maryland.  Robin has worked in multiple facets of PT including orthopaedics, home care, academia and research.  Robin has worked with HRF in creating coursework for FSRL. In addition, she is providing marketing and PR expertise to HRF.

Tom Tamlyn
HRF Secretary

Tom Tamlyn, HRF Secretary, has lived in New York City since 1958. He graduated from the Choir School of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1967 and from Collegiate School in 1971. He received a B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis in 1976 and a J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law in 1981. From 1981 through the present he has practiced as a lawyer specializing in business litigation, first at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, and then at Yeskoo Hogan & Tamlyn, LLP (and predecessor firms). He lives in Manhattan and is a member of St. James Episcopal Church.

Introducing the FSRL Governing Board

Dean Hilda Alcindor with Janet O'Flynn

Janet O'Flynn (left) and Dean Hilda Alcindor (right) at the Haiti Connection conference in Port-au-Prince in April 2013.

CHARTER MEMBER
(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Jean-Lucien Bernard, Rector of the University

Jean Lucien Bernard is a professor of social sciences, with interests and accomplishments in community development and literacy education, as well as in the use of media for education. He has degrees in the science of development, public administration and supervision, and communication. He has studied and presented workshops in the US and in Latin America, from Mexico to Ecuador, as well as in Haiti. He is currently the Rector of the Episcopal University of Haiti.

CHARTER MEMBER
(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Hilda Alcindor, Dean of FSIL Nursing School

Hilda Alcindor has 30 years of experience as a nurse and nursing administrator in the US, in civilian life and in the US Air Force. She has a degree in Health Services Administration, as well as advanced certifications. In 2013 she was admitted as a Fellow to the American Academy of Nursing. Hilda Alcindor has been the Dean of the Nursing School at the Episcopal University of Haiti since 2005, and has overseen the beginning of several new programs: a bachelor's degree, an RN to BSN, a master's of Family Nurse Practitioner and a master's in nurse midwifery.

CHARTER MEMBER
(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER

The Rev. Dr. Frantz Casséus, Canon to the Ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti

Frantz Casséus is a clinical psychologist, university professor, and Episcopal priest. He has studied in Canada, Belgium, the US, and Haiti, to earn degrees in psychology, education, and divinity. He is currently Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, and a consultant to the Haitian Ministry of Education for Higher Education and Psychology.

CHARTER MEMBER
(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)

PRESIDENT

Dr. Janet O’Flynn, Occupational Therapist and acting Dean

Janet O’Flynn is a pediatric occupational therapist. She has been a member of Friends of St. Vincent’s Center for Children with Disabilities since the beginning of the “Friends” group, in 1997 and has volunteered at St. Vincent's in the therapy clinic many times. She has a doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

CHARTER MEMBER
(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)

VICE PRESIDENT

Dr. Robert R. Joseph, Vice-Rector

Robert Joseph is an expert on Public Health, a veterinarian, and a university professor. He has studied in France, the US, Mexico, and Haiti, and has earned degrees in agricultural engineering and veterinary medicine. He is currently the Vice-Rector of the Episcopal University.

TREASURER

The Rev. Sadoni Léon

Rector, St. Luc parish and school, Trou du Nord

SECRETARY

Mr. Richard Romage

Second President, Societé Haïtienne de Physiothérapie

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER

The Rev. Frantz Cole

Director, St. Vincent's Center

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER

Mme. Autumn Marshall

First President, Association Haïtienne d’Ergothérapie

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Julie Booth

PT faculty, Quinnipiac University

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER

Mme. Jami Flick

OT faculty, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center

We acknowledge with gratitude the participation and guidance of

The Rt. Rev. Jean Zaché Duracin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti

Donate Now by Credit or Debit Card

SUGGESTED DONATIONS:

  • $100 — support a class for one student

  • $250 — pay tuition for a student for one month

  • $1000 — cover the costs of a visiting faculty member

  • $4000 — pay all expenses (tuition, room and board, uniforms, books and fees) for one student for one year

MONTHLY GIFT:

Monthly Gift
Name
Address

Mail a Check

Donations can be made by check to "Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation" and mailed to:

Janis Handte, Treasurer
P.O. box 183
Hamilton, NY, 13346

Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.