Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy degree programs in Haiti at UNEPH


Health Care Progress in Haiti

The Lancet has published a good overview of the current health care situation in Haiti, recognizing many positive developments. Read the full text here:

Haiti making good progress in health but challenges remain.

Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation board member introduction

the board of the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation

The board for our new Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation Incorporated, taken at the August 17 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.

The Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation board member bios can now be found on our "About" page here.


This has been a very busy time for the program developers for the new degree programs in OT and PT at UNEPH. After carefully thinking through the benefits of starting in September 2014, compared to the benefits of waiting until September, 2015, we have decided to go back to our original plan and open next fall. We will have the opportunity to work together in Haiti during the coming year, on more than one occasion, which will provide a better foundation for the new curriculum. Our nonprofit organization will be in place by next fall, so that we will be able to apply for grant money. We will also have time for more fund-raising in that time.

Thank you to those who have begun sending in their resumés to Dr. Yves Roseus. Thank you to those who assisted and attended at our first fund-raiser at Quinnipiac University in August. We are bringing together an excellent team, with excellent resources. We look forward to a very productive year and a good beginning in Sept. 2015.

Talk from the August 17 Fundraiser

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who came out for our first fundraiser brunch, and to everyone who couldn't make it but sent contributions! It was very encouraging to see and hear the interest, the questions, the hopes, and the dreams of the people there in the Dining Hall at Quinnipiac University. "Dining Hall" doesn't quite convey how gracious the space was, and how generous and kind the servers were – it was a lovely meal. We don't yet have all the financial count from the fundraiser: we hope that all the dust will have settled next week and we can post the amount. In the meanwhile, here's the news from our event. Dean Hilda Alcindor had to cancel her attendance, due to events that came up that required her presence in Haiti. Instead, Janet O'Flynn gave a talk on the background of the plan to start these new programs. That talk was well-received, and it is attached for you to read. Julie Booth, PT Program Developer and organizer of the event at Quinnipiac University, gave a talk on the current status of program development. She also introduced the five charter members of our new board-to-be, tentatively called the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation. (We are still checking to find out if that name is taken in New York State, where the foundation will be registered.) Those five, alphabetically, are Marjorie Dimanche (nickname Gabby), Janis Handte, Hope Lennartz, Janet O'Flynn, and Judith Straub. Short bios of these board-to-be members will be posted soon.

Yves Roseus, one of the speakers in our promotional film, gave a talk on the need for the programs and the future of the programs.

Thank you again to all who helped! We took a lot of encouragement and energy from those who came!

Read the full speech here

August 17, 2014
Fundraising brunch for the new rehab department of the Episcopal University of Haiti

Hear from our pioneering and innovative guest speaker – Dean Hilda Alcindor, Dean of the School of Nursing at the Episcopal University of Haiti

Proceeds going to: the first OT/PT program ever established in Haiti, with the inaugural class beginning their studies in September 2014. The country of Haiti has an increasing need for rehabilitative services. The development of this program is paramount and needs as much support as possible.

More information and a link to donate if you are unable to attend can be found at: www.haitirehab.org. If you have any questions please contact Julie Booth, Julie.booth@quinnipiac.edu or 203-582-3681.

RSVP by August 10th to Courtney Armstrong at caarmstrong@quinnipiac.edu


  • $25 recommended admission
  • $100 – support a class for one student
  • $250 – support a student for a semester
  • $500 – support a student for a year
  • $1000 – cover the costs of a visiting faculty member

Envelopes will be provided at the brunch for cash or check

Checks should be made payable to DFMS (Domestic and Foreign Mission Society, the legal name for the Episcopal Church)

Tables will be set for 10 so bring friends!

SAVE THE DATE – August 17, 2014 12pm – 2pm

Please join us for a fundraising brunch, benefitting the first occupational and physical therapy programs in Haiti at the Episcopal University of Haiti!

  • FSRL (Faculté des Sciences Réhabilitation d’ Léogâne) has its first incoming class starting this fall, set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2018.
  • Please help us to raise support, funds, and awareness for the amazing curriculum being developed in Haiti in partnership with Quinnipiac University
  • Hear from guest speaker Dean Hilda Alcindor BA, RN, Dean of School of Nursing at UNEPH

Lower East Dining Hall
Mt. Carmel Campus
Quinnipiac University
Hamden CT 06518

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. Dean Hilda will be with us in Connecticut on Sunday August 17 for our fundraising brunch at Quinnipiac University.


In February of 2014, the UNEPH advisory board in Haiti (Dr. Bernard, Dr. Joseph, Dean Alcindor, and Dr. Casseus) requested a video to help in explaining occupational therapy as a profession. They wanted to use it in recruitment for prospective students in Haiti. (Physical therapy is a known profession in Haiti and also considered a desirable profession. Recruitment for PT students is expected to be relatively easy!)

They recommended finding a Haitian-American occupational therapist with an advanced degree, who could talk about the life of an OT. Fortunately, we found two: Dr. Sabrina Salvant of Columbia University, and Dr. Yves Roseus of Long Island University. This video was filmed and produced by Abie Sidell and Felix Handte, a creative film making team in New York. The film took longer than we anticipated because of the challenges of working in two languages, and because we had a limited number of photo and video clips to use, to demonstrate OT in action. We had help from Kathleen Chase O’Flynn and Aidan O’Flynn to transcribe the French, so that the film-makers could work with the interview clips easily.

Finally, here it is! Thanks to St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children, and to Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis, for letting us use photos and video clips. Thanks to those we recognize in the photographs: Richard and Johanna Dorestant, when they were still children; Evarita MonDesir, the therapist working with the infant’s hand, and Carolyn Rhodes, OT visiting from the US. I also give my thanks to those who are in the video for whom we don’t have names: I appreciate your help through these photos in getting our new program off the ground!


You might want to watch a video about the rebuilding of St. Vincent’s. The main campus of the school was destroyed in the earthquake, and the small secondary campus now has to be evacuated due to the rebuilding process of the city of Port-au-Prince. Here is a link to that film on the Episcopal Church site.

Here also is the site for Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis, which gave us their video clips of therapists at work.

Felix Handte, one of our film makers, is in the process of adding English subtitles to this video. When they are available, the video will be re-posted: stay tuned!

Exciting times!

We have been working in the last few weeks with a new urgency, as the university is planning to open with the first General Health Studies students in Sept. 2014! In just two months there will be a small group of new students at the Nursing Department campus in Leogane. They will be taking basic sciences with the nursing students, with additional enrichment classes to orient them to rehabilitation. Then, after that first year, they will choose to major in OT or PT. The US Program Developers are now evaluating existing curricula from Canada, from the World Federation of OT, and from the World Confederation of PT.

It is an exciting time! It has some of the thrill of putting down track quickly for a train that has already left the station, building the path just in front of the locomotive!

The OT Program Developer is Dr. Kate Barrett, of St. Catherine University, in St. Paul, MN.

The PT Program Developer is Dr. Julie Booth, of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.

The Fieldwork Program Developer for both OT and PT is Jami Flick, of the U. of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, TN.

This is a remarkable, creative, flexible, and strong team in the US. We have a remarkable, creative, flexible, and strong team in Haiti as well. It is a privilege to be a part of this group!

Singing Rooster Coffee

Do you like (love) Haitian coffee? It’s good — really good. It is similar to Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee — just as rich. A nonprofit corporation called Singing Rooster (singingrooster.org) has a great way to get that coffee while supporting Haitian coffee farmers at a better-than-fair-trade rate, AND it can be a fund-raiser for your favorite Haitian project, at the same time! This is possible because it is a volunteer effort by two American Episcopalians from Wisconsin who don’t take any income from this work. St. Thomas’s Church (in Hamilton NY) has been selling bags of Singing Rooster (beans and ground, caff and decaff) at coffee hour for over a year now, and money from that funded our Feb. 19 meeting in Léogâne that started this whole timeline rolling. Thank you, St. Thomas’s, and thank you, Singing Rooster!

Gift from the Shiller Foundation

I am happy and grateful to announce the gift of $5000 from the Shiller Foundation, started by Dr. Robert Shiller and Dr. Virginia Shiller of New Haven, Connecticut! This gift provides a strong vote of confidence in the new OT and PT curricula at UNEPH: and especially in the Haitian students who will start their classes in Léogâne in September! Thank you so much!

See newer posts: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

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:

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

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