Student Volunteers Continue Haiti Work

While several members of the Tulane community who were in Haiti when the earthquake struck have now returned to the U.S., several Tulane graduate-level students remain in Haiti, helping with relief for the devastated country.

Graduate student Monica Carlson continues her work on behalf of the Payson Center for International Development at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, while medical students Alison Smith and Josh Denson are working at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

Smith is posting dramatic accounts of her experiences on the Tulane medical students' web portal.

Christine Duchatellier-Fowler, her husband, Paul Fowler, seven-month-old daughter and other family members were back in the U.S. on Jan. 15, thanks to efforts by Tulane to bring them home.

Duchatellier-Fowler lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for three years working for the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine as a project administrator. She and her family members all survived the earthquake, an experience that Paul Fowler called "absolutely horrifying."

Dr. Peter Meade happened to be in Haiti on a 15-member surgical mission when the disaster happened. An assistant professor of clinical medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, he was in a rural clinic about 200 miles north of the quake's epicenter. While damage to buildings there was limited, shaking lasted about a minute and a half and was followed by at least 10 aftershocks throughout that evening.

Meade and his girlfriend, Tulane Medical Center nurse Mary Jackson, also on the week-long Haiti mission with the Coalition of Children in Need Association, returned safely on Saturday (Jan. 16).

Reflecting on the trip, Jackson said, "The best moments were knowing that you're helping someone. The difficult moments are when you know you can do so much more, but don't have the equipment or resources."

Nevertheless, she relishes the volunteer medical experience. "Being in the position to help others and do it is a great thing — doing something that matters. The people that you meet when doing this kind of work are the best in the world."