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.


The purpose of the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation Incorporated is to promote the education of providers of rehabilitation services 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, professional education in Haiti for Haitian OTs and PTs has been a distant dream. That dream is now becoming 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 has enrolled Occupational and Physical Therapy students in a newly-formed Rehabilitation Department, beginning in October of 2015. This is not a U.S. university: it is a Haitian university, investing in its work of building capacity for and by Haitians. This emerging program offers a unique opportunity. It is an opportunity to support an historic first: the first four-year academic degree programs at one university for Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Physical Therapists (PTs).

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.


Does Haiti need therapists?

YES! Haiti has a high number of people with disabling conditions. The following paragraph is an excerpt from the Pan American Health Organization’s Fact Sheet for Disability and Rehabilitation in Haiti, from the period of 2010-2011.

The number of people with disabilities in Haiti prior to the earthquake was approximately 10% of the population or 800,000 people. Following the earthquake the total number of people with … disabilities may have risen to 1.1 million. Approximately 310,930 people were injured and the number of people with mental health conditions has increased above pre-earthquake baseline rates (2-3 % for severe mental disorders and 10% for moderate and mild).

Pan American Health Organization (page in French)

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 will consist of general health studies and basic sciences, are projected to be $30,000 USD. That amount is for program expenses only. That amount will increase in Year Two of the programs due to the need for salaries for administrative staff. Tuition, room and board, and supplies including technology for one student will cost the FSRL program $4000 per year. Students will be asked to pay $3000 per year. Soon, new construction will be needed for additional dormitories and for classrooms and labs. The projected cost of new construction may be as high as $2.5 million.

An additional source of income will also become available when the students begin the specialization portion of their education. US and other international universities will be invited to write research grants in collaboration with the OT and PT faculty and students in order to find and document appropriate therapy practice for developing countries. The experience of providing rehabilitation in Haiti, especially in rural areas, will become a resource for other countries world-wide with similar health care provision challenges.

In the long run, FSRL expects to provide graduate programs for these professions. The goal is to have Haitian faculty 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 Judith Straub
Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation
P.O. box 183
Hamilton, NY 13346.

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 more information, and for opportunities for a speaker to visit the parish or diocese, please contact the Acting Dean of the new programs, Dr. Janet O’Flynn, by emailing joflynn@stkate.edu. Dr. O’Flynn is living in Léogâne on the campus for the first year of the new program, from August 2015 to July 2016.

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.

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.

Janis Handte, MPH, President

Janis Handte is a senior consultant at the New York City office of an international consulting firm specializing in management of human capital. She has a graduate degree in health policy and nearly 20 years of consulting experience, managing analytic projects related to employee health care for corporate clients. Outside of work, Janis has held a variety of volunteer positions in her community, including serving as treasurer for her home owners' association and for her church.

Hope Lennartz, RN MSN, Vice President

Hope Lennartz is a retired Registered Nurse who has a degree in vocational education and two in nursing. She is one of the founders of the Friends of St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children.  She is presently the Volunteer Executive Director of the Friends of St. Vincent’s.

Judith Straub, LCSW-R, Treasurer

Judith Straub is a licensed clinical social worker who is currently working in private practice after 12 years at a county mental health clinic.  She has degrees in English, Medical Laboratory Technology, and Social Work.  She became inspired to volunteer with St. Vincent's Children's Center after hearing Janet O'Flynn speak about the children and the Center.  She has participated in two volunteer trips to St. Vincent's, one with Janet assisting with an Occupational Therapy project, and the second as an aide with the West Tennessee Haiti Partnership medical team. She has recent experience in nonprofit development.

Yves Roseus, OTD, OTRL

Dr. Yves Roseus is a Haitian American OTD living, working, and teaching in New York City for over 15 years. Dr. Roseus' practice in Brooklyn at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center includes pediatric patients, geriatric patients, and everyone in between. In addition, Dr. Roseus is a clinical instructor for level II OT students and a independent service provider for the NYC Department of Education. He has taught as an adjunct professor at both Long Island University and at SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn. Dr. Roseus is a member of the professional advisory board in the OT program at Hofstra University and is a member of the Roster of Accredited Evaluators.

Sabrina Salvant, EdD, OTRL

Dr. Sabrina Salvant, a Haitian American, has had a long history with Columbia University, receiving her master’s in public health, occupational therapy and her EdD all from Columbia. She has over 22 years of clinical experience and has enjoyed an 18.5 year academic career at Columbia University’s Programs in Occupational Therapy in New York City where she has provided didactic instruction and clinical training to master’s level occupational therapy students. In 2015, Dr. Salvant became program director for the entry level doctorate at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. In addition, Dr. Salvant serves as a reviewer for the American Council for OT Education where she provides input into academic standards for the OT profession.

Monique Germain, EdD, MS, BSN

Dr. Germain is a professor of nursing education at Chicago State University. She was born in Haiti and completed her initial AS and BA degrees there. She has a long-standing interest in Community-Based Nursing and transcultural medical care. Dr. Germain has served as president of both the Haiti Nursing Foundation and the FSIL Governing Board. She is currently a member of both boards.

Catherine Manix Feintuch, PhD

Dr. Catherine Feintuch's interest in Haiti and global health was first planted during a church mission trip to Ferrier, Haiti during high school. Over the course of her studies, she has worked with numerous infectious diseases, with a focus on neglected tropical diseases. She received her PHD in Microbiology and Immunology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2015. For her doctoral studies, she worked with children suffering from Cerebral Malaria in Malawi as part of the Blantyre Malaria Project. There, she also volunteered with the Tidzalerana Club, which provides physical therapy and support to children with disabilities.

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.

(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)


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.

(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)


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 two new programs: a bachelor's degree and a master's degree.

(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)


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.

(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)


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.

(FSRL Advisory Board 2014)


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.


The Rev. Sadoni Léon

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


Mr. Richard Romage

President, Societé Haïtienne des Physiothérapeutes


The Rev. Frantz Cole

Director, St. Vincent's Center


Mme. Autumn Marshall

President, Association Haïtienne des Érgothérapeutes


Dr. Kate Barrett

OT faculty, St. Catherine University


Dr. Julie Booth

PT faculty, Quinnipiac University


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


  • $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

Mail a Check

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

Judith Straub, Treasurer
P.O. box 183
Hamilton, NY, 13346

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