A network of caring individuals supporting the people of Haiti through medical care and treatment

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Funding Sustainable Care

Project Starfish Haiti is working to establish a permanent clinic in underserved, rural villages, provision clinic pharmacies with locally purchased supplies, and subsidize travel expenses for volunteers.

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Healing & Comforting

We seek to improve the overall health and well-being of people in Haiti by treating each patient with dignity, respect, and the best possible care we can provide.

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Raising Awareness

Haiti is a nation with extreme poverty and severely limited resources, making our help essential to meeting the substantial healthcare needs of its people.

The Project

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Three Ways To Give

Your support will help us fund more regular trips to Haiti, purchase pharmaceuticals, and potentially establish a permanent clinic.

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Donate Now

Make a difference in the lives of Haitians by making a one-time, tax-deductible donation to Project Starfish Haiti.




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Send a Check

If you would prefer to send a tax-deductible donation by check, please make it out to Project Starfish Haiti and mail to:

217 Hardwood Court
Hardy, Virginia 24101

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Shop

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, simply select Project Starfish-Haiti as your charity of choice and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to us!

Project Starfish Haiti is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, and all donations are tax deductible. Financial statements are available upon written request from the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs.

Gallery

Check out highlights from recent medical missions to Haiti

Meet the Team

Our dedicated volunteers

Adam Sarbin, M.D.

Adam Sarbin, M.D.

I am a pediatrician from Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia and I  began leading teams to Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. In 2013, with the help of many, Project Starfish Haiti was established in the hopes of providing long-term, sustainable care to underserved areas. My love for the Haitian people, this team, and the work we do continues to grow with every trip!

Jenny Baldwin, R.N.

Jenny Baldwin, R.N.

A maternal/child nurse for 22 years, I joined Dr. Sarbin’s team on their first trip to Haiti in 2010. After falling in love with the indomitable spirit of the Haitian people, I joyously returned the following year! I am proud to be affiliated with Project Starfish Haiti and continue to support the organization’s ongoing commitment to serve.

 

Kitty Luth Sparhawk, M.D.

Kitty Luth Sparhawk, M.D.

I am a Family Practice Physician who has been working with international missions since 1984, providing medical and foster care to children and adults in the US and abroad. While providing outreach clinics with Angel Missions Haiti, I met Adam, Carey, and Jenny, and eventually Project Starfish Haiti was formed! I am excited at the growth of our team and the progress we are making helping Haitians develop sustainable, local healthcare.

Carey Cole, F.N.P.

Carey Cole, F.N.P.

A Family Nurse Practitioner, I joined the team on their 2012 trip to Haiti. I enjoyed working with the local Haitian people to bring medical treatment to those who are unable to access routine care, and I look forward to many future trips and watching the progress of Haiti as it grows into a beautiful country.

Kirsten Newcomb, R.N.

Kirsten Newcomb, R.N.

Currently a cardiac care nurse working in Charlottesville, Va, I first heard of Project Starfish Haiti through a great friend. All she had to tell me was there’s an incredible group of people doing wonderful work down in Haiti. I am so thrilled to call this group of medical professionals my family and look forward to many more adventures.

Lindsay Cole, aka

Lindsay Cole, aka "Smiley"

I joined the adventure in 2012. Being the youngest of our “comrades,” I get to be everyone’s assistant. Each year I am inspired by the great strength and ingenuity of the Haitian people. I adore my team and look forward to many more missions.

Chelsea LaBree, R.N.

Chelsea LaBree, R.N.

When I first heard about Project Starfish Haiti in 2013, I jumped at the opportunity to go. And haven’t missed a trip since! With each trip, I continue to fall more in love with this country and its people and I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing team.

Melila Hunter, R.N., B.S.N.

Melila Hunter, R.N., B.S.N.

I am a Certified Pediatric Registered Nurse and have 17 years of nursing experience. I was born and raised in Haiti and was 14 years old when my family relocated to the United States. I went back for the first time in 19 years on a 2010 mission trip and it changed my life. Now I can’t imagine a year going by without going on at least one mission trip back to the country I now call my home away from home! I love helping my people and it’s a joy to be doing so alongside such an amazing group.

Tom Sparhawk

Tom Sparhawk

As professor of sociology I have been studying issues of development and inequality for many years. Being a part of Project Starfish Haiti allows me to see these issues first hand and offer advice as well as assistance to the highly trained medical staff. I’m really trying to, in a small way, help the people of Haiti take a step toward not needing assistance from outside groups.

Peter Whitehead, M.D.

In Memoriam

photo95editPeter began traveling with Project Starfish Haiti in 2011.  He already had a passion for medical mission work, having made multiple trips to India previously. Sadly, we lost Peter on January 13, 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer. We honor his memory and passion by continuing our work, and we hope to some day dedicate a permanent clinic in his name.

Interested in helping? Get in touch and see how you can join us.

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Blog

Our latest adventures in Haiti

Sunday…Time to Go…

Last night we were treated to a delicious parting dinner at St Joseph’s. Their hospitality is always exemplary! And to top it off, one last visit from Josi and his beautiful family. The children are just adorable, very well behaved and getting so big now. Josi and Ruth are proving what wonderful parents they are! They are an example for their familes, their neighbors and all of us as well!

After dinner and a short walk up the hill with them, I said my goodbyes and returned to cool off on the roof with the team. We all seem more subdued tonight and after connecting with family back home, it wasn’t long before showers and our beds called. Some of us slept well and others were disturbed by the wildlife, both outside and in the next bed over…guilty as charged!

We got to sleep late today and awoke to cool temps and a breakfast fit for Royalty – thank you to Bill and his staff. Our bellies are now full for our travels, I think. Our driver arrived on schedule and we made our way easily through Sunday traffic to the airport, which seems to become more modern with every visit.

The airport was not very crowded, except for the Air Canada counters. It seems they are flying again and it appears many travelers have been waiting for some time to return home. Thank goodness we did not encounter the same crowds for our flights!

Since Chelsea has a flight on Jet Blue, the team hung together in her waiting area until closer to our departure times, which are actually much closer together this trip. We were “treated” to some Latin Daytime Drama at a nearby departure door. We have many interpretations of the cause, but since none of us are fluent in Spanish, it is all just speculation. What we do know – if such a scene was made in a US airport, the woman would have been tazed, cuffed and hauled off to the nearest law enforcement facility for a serious attitude adjustment.

Once the excitement was over, we had time to just relax, check messages and connect with family back home, in anticipation of our reunions. It is time to go, but as always we leave one foot and a special place in our hearts firmly planted right here in Haiti! And as always, we are already planning our return.

We have now said our goodbyes and best wishes for Chelsea’s safe travel and are awaiting boarding and departure of our flight on American. There will be a quick Facebook message when we arrive in MIA and a final message when all are home safely. For now please pray for our safe journey and for the good health and safety of our friends here in Haiti.

Love to All,

Adam

Sweet -n- Sorrow Saturday…

Tom and Kitty did in fact get to take that excursion on a local fishing boat yesterday afternoon, with our usual boat crossing captain, Remy. A great day to be on the water…

And in case you all are wondering, we did indeed have one last after hours surgical patient last night…my former beach dance-off opponent, Chadly. He injured his hand and required stitches…the first time I have ever seen this tough kid with tears in his eyes. I decided it was time to give Kitty a break…and it turns out I still know how to suture, but I was sure glad to have her nearby in case I ran into trouble.

In the end he left with a clean, bandaged hand and a “smile”. As if it weren’t already, our return is a certainty. We have too many post-op checks to complete!

As I predicted earlier, our filing and inventory chores were easily completed after dinner, and we have taken over a bit more space in our friend Paulsaint’s storage room. It is a necessity to complete the clinic before we run out of room for all the supplies we require to care for this population.

We had one last surprise last night – a visit from our friend Ailish. She has returned from Ireland on a contract with an Ophthalmology clinic in Les Cayes and caught the last boat over to Ile a Vache. We caught up a bit before dinner and hoped to chat some more at the pub after our chores, but alas, they closed early. We will catch up with her next time…

Turns out it was a beautiful night to be on the roof in conversation with our friends. It was a good opportunity to expand our Creole too. Some of us attempted to stay up until the clock turned to our friend Flito’s birthday, but with an early start and a long day of travel ahead we headed down for the night.

We awoke again to cloud cover but this definitely had a more ominous feel, so we ate breakfast, checked that all was packed, loaded the truck and made our familiar walk down to the beach with our friends and the children. While the boat was being loaded the sky became increasingly threatening and we knew we would need to depart soon to stay ahead of another drenching passage. Despite the sky, the sea was quite calm and we were lucky to stay about 15 minutes ahead of the downpour for the entire crossing…and even better, we had our friends with us for the ride, which took just over 1 hour.

When we arrived we saw several men working to fill countless bags with sand and loading them on a larger boat, which we were informed was the new cargo boat, built to transport construction materials back to Ile a Vache for the Clinic. The construction engineer was there supervising the work and from the looks of the quantity being loaded, it appears there will be additional rapid progress made very soon!

Our van and driver was at the pier to meet us and we unloaded our boat quickly, though the threat of rain seemed to have passed. We got to see our old friends Johnny and Pigeon briefly at the pier and they appear to be doing very well. We also got to meet Boaz’s mother who came to see her son before he returned to Port au Prince with us – it had been 3 months since they last saw one another. Some of the team had a little more money burning a hole in their pockets, so they supported the efforts of the pier-side craftsmen/vendors as we awaited Léon’s return with his car. Then goodbyes were said all around with a promise of our return…these are our friends, our brothers and sisters in this world. We miss them already, so we MUST!

After the last embrace and the final item was purchased, we loaded the van for the familiar ride to Port au Prince. Our van seemed to be equipped with rocket boosters which were used to great effect between the towns along the highway. We made our usual pit stop in Miragoane before pressing on to our destination. We made great progress until Leogane and again when we hit the outskirts of the outskirts of Port au Prince. Then the crush of people and all manner of motor vehicle made the remaining 2 hrs a grueling experience. After 5 hrs on the road we finally arrived and we had all had enough of the van for the day! This was where we had to part with our friend Boaz, but we will stay in touch and see him before year’s end for sure!

We now have 2 hours before supper and a visit from Josi and his family. Until then the roof will serve as a place to relax and recover a bit from the ride. It has already been a long day. We hope to sleep in a bit tomorrow before we brave the airport chaos. My thumbs have now given up, so that is all for today. Last update from the airport tomorrow.

Love to All,

The Team

Finale Friday…

Last night after dinner we had a quick meeting to prioritize our patients needing advanced care on the mainland and allocated the necessary funds to assure their care after we have departed. There are several this time and we are hoping their maladies are easily resolved! There was nothing left to do at that point but relax, and despite the favorable conditions on this trip we are all tiring out…hence an early lights out last night.

We again awoke to cloud cover and rain offshore, keeping things fairly cool, with no real sunrise. We had omelettes and the last of our delicious mango for breakfast and then quickly headed down the hill to our final clinic, hoping to get all supplies inside before any rain…it never came.

We intended for an abbreviated clinic today with just about 50 patients but when we arrived inside it was apparent there were already as many as that waiting to be registered. The people now realize this is our final day in clinic. We got started quickly and realized we would need to add more to avoid creating ill will. In the end we treated a total of 74 patients and finished before 1pm….some of our cutest patients yet!

It is always our wish to care for as many patients as need us, but nobody can deny that it feels good to see the last patient of the week. Our Haitian version of TGIF, I guess. When all is said and done, including all our after hours surgical patients we have logged 350 encounters easily. Great work for 3 providers and a skeleton crew, but more importantly, additional “mortar” for our foundation here!

Due to our nightly efforts and our filing system, we have very few files to create and file this evening. We have also depleted our medication supply nicely, so inventory should be made easier after dinner.

Our friend Timizou delivered a nice treat of coconuts after lunch and then some of us trekked to Long Beach one last time…of course accompanied by the Future Leaders of Ile a Vache…

I believe Kitty and Tom are planning an adventure on a small fishing boat, while those of us at the beach got to see numerous residents perform another kind of fishing – hauling a heavy net full of small fish to shore…surely they will distribute their hard earned catch amongst the group!

After leaving the beach, we stopped for one last look at our future home away from home. It appears supplies are being stockpiled to build the form to pour the ceiling/floor all at once…then we will see the 2nd floor go up in a hurry!!! Now is when we need all our generous friends back home who share our dream, even if from afar, to dig as deep as possible to ultimately “raise the roof”!

Just so happens our favorite haunt is on the way back to our local lodging and those of us out for the walk feel compelled to support the local economy before dinner. It also gives us another chance to practice our Creole and commune with our friends, which after all, is the real draw here!

The sun is now hiding behind the clouds from time to time and the breeze is picking up…will stay here as long as possible…or at least until Big Boss calls us home for dinner. It appears we too will dine on fish tonight, before we finish our work and pack our belongings for an early departure tomorrow. For now we will soak in every bit of this experience and likely dream of our return when we finally shut our eyes tonight.

Stay tuned for more of our story tomorrow.

Love to All,

The Team

Throwback Thursday…

Unfortunately the Travel Warning issued by the French and Canadian governments put a damper on the group’s excursion yesterday. The hope was to explore a rare resort and see how it is benefitting the island by employing residents and sponsoring local programs in support of the community. However, as it is run by a French organization and no flights are coming from either country, the doors were closed and only a security guard remained on site. It is a shame that the turmoil on the mainland is reaching across the channel to also impact this community – no guests, resort closed, no work and thus no income.  Read More

Reality Wednesday…Maybe???…

Shortly after leaving the children on the hill yesterday, Timizou arrived to have his foot rechecked and to my relief, he seems to be healing well and should make a full recovery. During the process of cleaning and redressing we had another arrival…a lady Léon asked to come by in the afternoon. She sat close as I finished with Timizou, not out of curiosity but rather to assure her evaluation…and upon closer scrutiny, her ailment became clear – a large swollen area on her right lower leg.  Read More

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