Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy degree programs in Haiti at UNEPH


Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation, Fall 2015 Newsletter

The Dream Becomes Reality in 2015!

On October 5, 2015 seven students entered the new program of Occupational and Physical Therapy at FSRL (Faculté des Sciences Réhabilitation de Léogâne) of UNEPH (the Episcopal University of Haiti). This new educational program has launched thanks to the generous donations from many of you.

Classes Begin

The first classes for these new FSRL students have been rehabilitation seminars. The first was led by Deanna Gebele and Courtney Armstrong, two of Dr. Julie Booth's graduate students from Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT. Dr. Booth is a member of the Academic Board for FRSL. The topic of the seminar was “How to Be a Successful Student”, and included study tips and fitness exercises students can do in their dorm rooms.

front: Micza, Deanna, Courtney, Amendocia back: Merly, Fredlince, Jean-Laurent, Pierre-Louis, John

The second seminar was led by Mme. Magda Cadet, a Haitian American OT who started her career as a PT and then switched to becoming an OT. She talked about how to use activities in therapy. The students, shown below, play Mancala and brainstorm about the therapeutic benefits of the game: visual processing, grasp and release of small stones, bearing weight on one arm on the floor while working with the other, and social skills.

The students learn about and discuss the therapeutic benefits of the game of Mancala, while playing the game.

Launching the New OT/PT Program

The OT/PT program has been a long-standing dream of many OTs and PTs from overseas. Janet O'Flynn obtained her doctorate in Occupational Therapy so she could aid in the certification of this OT/PT program for Haitians. Dr. Janet O'Flynn and Rev. Donnel O'Flynn, her husband, have moved to Haiti to dedicate this year of their lives to nurturing this program, ensuring its long-term viability through their capable, hands-on leadership. Janet and Donnel are both volunteering their time, with Janet serving as the Acting Dean of the OT/PT program, and Donnel teaching English to students.

Meet the New HRF Board Members

Yves Roseus

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

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.

Keep the FSRL Reality Growing Through Your Support

Donor support has been magnificent, and we need your continued support to make the FSRL reality ongoing.

Dr.Yves Roseus, HRF Board member, expresses the importance of the FSRL program for Haitians: “In Haiti people with disability or challenge are ostracized or marginalized by society...The integration of people with disabilities into Haitian society is paramount.” FSRL's mission is to educate OT's and PT's so this can happen, benefiting all Haitians. Again from Dr. Roseus: “Education is not just A way. Education is The Way out for Haiti.”

Thank you so very much for your part in making this beautiful dream become a reality.



Janis Handte
Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation

Bookplates for Donated Textbooks

Here are the book-plates that will go inside our first twelve textbooks for the new OT and PT degree programs at FSRL (Faculté des Sciences Réhabilitation de Léogâne). The cost of each book was donated by generous souls during our IndieGoGo campaign, "Library Resources for new Haitian OTs and PTs" (March and April 2015). You can still see the IndieGoGo site if you go to indiegogo.com.

Book-plates for new textbooks, dedicated to our Indiegogo donors

Thank you so much to Emma Handte, calligrapher from Reed College in Oregon!

Thank you to Jennith Bernstein, Elizabeth Brackett, Deborah Cofrancesco, Jami Flick, the Handte Family, Christina Janssen, Hope Lennartz, Susan Marafino, St. Thomas' Church in Hamilton, NY, Solange Rossignol, and T.Sammie Wakefield, OTR, SCHC!

FSRL has an acting Dean!

The Faculté des Sciences de Réhabilitation de Léogâne (FSRL) has an acting Dean! The Bishop of Haiti has invited the O’Flynns to come to Haiti as missionary volunteers for a one-year term. Dr. Janet O’Flynn and the Rev. Donnel O’Flynn will move to Léogâne in mid-August, so that Janet can begin her new job as Dean of the School of Rehabilitation.

Dr. Janet O’Flynn and the Rev. Donnel O’Flynn

Dr. Janet O’Flynn was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1954. She studied liberal arts & special education, in addition to occupational therapy. She has worked in public schools in four states as a pediatric OT, and has volunteered at St. Vincent's Center in Port-au-Prince periodically since 1997. Janet has a doctorate in occupational therapy (OTD) from St. Catherine University, with an emphasis on program development.

The Rev. Donnel O’Flynn was born in Helena, Montana, in 1952. He took courses in liberal arts, economics, and international studies before going to Virginia Theological Seminary. He and Janet married in 1975. Donnel has served in parishes in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. He has worked on international partnerships with the emerging province of the Caribbean, with Ecuador, and with Brazil. Donnel is hoping to teach English for nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy students, as well as assisting with Sunday services at the Episcopal cathedral.

The season for applications for the entering class of OTs and PTs will begin in the first week of July. As we enter that season, there are already six applicants: more are expected once the season begins. Applicants will take the entrance exam at the beginning of September, and those who do well on the exam will begin classes on September 7th. This is an exciting time as three years’ worth of hopes and plans by many willing workers begin to bear fruit at last!

IndieGoGo Campaign Complete

Our IndieGoGo campaign was completed in April, with generous contributions of over $7,000. We are beginning to stock the library at UNEPH/FSRL with therapy text books — thanks to our supporters!!

Check out our campaign video, now on Youtube. Watch all the way to the end for our celebrity endorsement!

Thank you very much for your support!

Indiegogo update: Matching grant matched, new perks available!

The matching grant has been matched! The Shillers have just rewarded the generosity of so many donors — with a $2000 gift! We are 34% of the way to our goal: one third accomplished at $7,643!

There are two new perks, staying with the theme of BOOKS! For a gift of $40, a beautiful photo-documentary of children at St. Vincent's by a Haitian-American photo-journalist will be sent to you. For a $100 donation, Dr. Robert J. Shiller will personally autograph a copy of the book that first got the attention of the popular press and the economic world: Irrational Exuberance! Dr. Shiller changed the way economists talk about financial choices, by providing a way to factor in psychological factors as well. The book is the newest edition, just released. For this perk, you'll need to give your mailing information and your name, or the name of someone to whom you are giving this gift.

New Board Members

We welcome two new members to the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation Board! They may already be familiar to you as they were the spokespersons featured in our recruitment film: Dr. Sabrina Salvant, and Dr. Yves Roséus. Welcome, Dr. Salvant and Dr. Roséus! Brief biographies will be posted soon.

$2000 Matching Grant

NEWS FLASH! Thursday, April 9, 2015! The Shillers have just offered us a $2000 matching grant! The next $2000 in donations to our IndieGoGo campaign will be matched, dollar for dollar, doubling the impact of the donation!

Please take a look, right at this link

National Volunteer Week

In the U.S. this is National Volunteer Week! We are collecting information from our hard-working volunteers for the program development of UNEPH/FSRL. So far, we have OVER 1,000 HOURS of volunteer time recorded! That is an amazing group effort. I can't find words to thank all the dedicated faculty volunteers and Board members. Volunteer time from my talented family, in graphic design and in fund-raising and financial management, has also been generous! Volunteer time has been given in film-making and in calligraphy by the family of Janis Handte. And how best to recognize them for their labors?!?!

If you know one or more of these volunteers, please thank them when you see them!

[** Those who have given 25 to 160 or more hours are starred!] Here, in alphabetical order, are:

  • **Kate Barrett: OT Program Developer
  • **Julie Booth: PT Program Developer
  • **Gabby Marjorie Dimanche: Vice-President, HRF Board
  • **Jami Flick: OT and PT Clinical Education Program Developer
  • Emma Handte: calligraphy
  • Felix Handte: film editing above and beyond the production
  • **Janis Handte: Treasurer, HRF Board
  • Malcolm Handte: film-making
  • **Hope Lennartz: Vice-President, HRF Board
  • **Aidan O’Flynn: graphic design and web management
  • **Donnel O’Flynn: fund-raising and financial management
  • **Yves Roséus: recruitment film and HRF Board member
  • **Sabrina Salvant: recruitment film and HRF Board member
  • **Judith Straub: Secretary, HRF Board

IndieGoGo campaign launches Monday, March 16

Our IndieGoGo Campaign is now open! $1511 raised already, from our $22,400 goal. Let's keep it going!

Donations of all sizes are welcome. For $1 we'll send you a Haitian recipe for Sōs Pwa. $60 will put your name in a textbook in the library of the new FSRL rehabilitation department. Contribute $100 and we'll send you a pack of delicious fair-trade Singing Rooster coffee from Haiti.

Check out our campaign video, now on Youtube. Watch all the way to the end for our celebrity endorsement!

Thank you very much for your support!

Search for a Dean is under way

The job search is now open for the most important leadership position in the new FSRL rehabilitation department at UNEPH in Léogâne. The Dean will have a central role in the development of this new program. See the full job listing on our Careers page here.

Comments from nursing students at FSIL

In January our OT program developer, Dr. Kate Barrett, met with three groups of nursing students in the nursing school in Léogâne. At the suggestion of Dean Hilda Alcindor, Dr. Barrett made a presentation to the students about the role of rehabilitation (OT and PT) for persons who have had a stroke. The students were very attentive, and expressed surprise to learn that there could be real recovery after a stroke. For the most part, they had assumed that a person with a stroke could not regain any function, and could not have a good quality of life. About half of the students said that they wanted to know more: that they might themselves think of going on for a master's in OT or PT. Here are some of the comments from the students.

"I will participate in this program."

"If I finish nursing, can I enter in third year? Can I take both together?"

"We have enough injuries, we need this. Think about how a nurse could enter the program."

"It is a good idea because we need to help people with disabilities improve their lives."

"Teachers should be able to speak French — from Canada or France."

"This is a very good initiative for Haiti. I would like to participate."

"We will need a lab for practicing."

"I like that these professions can go into the community to practice."

"This will be good for the people of Haiti."

"I think many people will be interested in this program, learning to walk or run again is like being born again."

"This is a good program, I think that people with disabilities deserve a place in Haitian society."

"I want the program to begin fast because there are many people who need this program"

"I think it is a very good idea to have a weekend program so that I can work as a nurse during the week and go to school on the weekend."

"I think it is a good idea to have this training in Haiti because many people are affected by strokes and are damaged for the rest of their lives because they don’t have available [a] center of rehabilitation to care for them."

See newer posts: 2018, 2017, 2016 | See older posts: 2014

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.