(Left to right) Dr. Henri Paul, President, NOAH/NY, famous Haitian photographer Mark Baptiste, designer Donna Karan, Yves Aubry (Photo Credit: Hubert Williams)

*Themed “Saving Lives One Person at a Time,” many distinguished members of the Haitian community enjoyed warm welcoming remarks from Dr. Henri R. Paul, president, NOAH New York, and Yolette Williams, president, Haitian American Alliance of New York, Inc. (HAA), at the third annual NOAH NY and HAA black tie gala on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at The Russian Tea Room to benefit providing quality healthcare to underserved Haitians both within Haiti and abroad and to assist in the planning and development of towns.

There were more doctors in the house than at Harlem Hospital – all enjoying a glamorous evening that included a cocktail reception, dinner & dancing and a silent & online art auction followed by late night dessert and more premium drinks on the top floor of the beautiful venue.

Many dignitaries travelled from near and far to attend this auspicious event that honored Maryse P. Kedar, president of the ProDev Foundation (humanitarian award); Nancy Dorsinville, senior policy advisor, Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti (Stanley Barbot award); Dr. Lasalle D. Leffall, Jr., Howard University Provost (distinguished medical service award); Dan McCarthy, executive vice president, COO Healthfirst (NY pride award); Mercedes Narcisse, RN, entrepreneur (outstanding service award).

Event vice chair, actress Tamara Tunie, served as Mistress of Ceremonies and Patricia Arquette served as honorary chair.  Yves & Harriet Michel served as gala committee co-chairs.  In her glowing greeting, Harriet said, “Tonight was a great success.  We are all so grateful for your generous and kind support for NOAH NY and HAA Medical Missions.

Even the “Auction & Raffle” exceeded our goal.  Because of you ‘Saving Lives One Person at a Time will continue to be possible for the wonderful people of Fort Liberte, Haiti.”  Other participants in the program included James Lipscomb, Esq., and Dr. Rudolph Moise.

NOAH NY is a chapter of the not-for-profit National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians founded in Washington, DC in 1991.  NOAH NY has successfully conducted medical missions to Haiti since 2008 in partnership with the Haitian American Alliance (HAA), under the leadership of Dr. Henri R. Paul.  Dr. Paul is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Nephrology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

He is also an Attending Physician at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, New York Methodist Hospital, and Kings County Hospital Center.  Healthcare, community development and education have always been the primary focus for NOAH NY/HAA medical missions.

This commitment to the people of Haiti, born out of the desire to see a reduction in the healthcare disparities, intensified following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010.  NOAH NY then increased its medical support to underserved men, women and children in the northern Haiti town of Fort Liberte (population 30,000).

In Fort Liberte, and many areas in northern Haiti, people were being overlooked for vital humanitarian services.  Northern Haiti was being used primarily to transport goods from the Dominican Republic over the border and down to Port Au Prince.

To date, NOAH NY/HAA Medical Missions has treated approximately 20,000 people from Fort Liberte and a few neighboring towns. NOAH NY surgeons have performed 300 surgeries and provided patients with required medications, all free of charge.

NOAH NY/HAA volunteers are comprised of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, social workers, Public Health specialists and educators who pay their own expenses to participate in life supporting missions that take place at Fort Liberte Hospital.

Fort Liberte Hospital is sorely in need to be completely rebuilt and outfitted with modern equipment and properly trained personnel.  In addition to its medical agenda, NOAH NY’s partner, HAA encourages activities that foster community development and supported soccer programs via The Haiti Soccer project for the youth of Fort Liberte.  HAA has also examined environmental issues that negatively impact the quality of life in Fort Liberte.

Dr. Paul has pledged to the citizens of Fort Liberte that NOAH NY, and its partners, will continue to make a positive difference regarding their future well being.  NOAH NY and its partners are ready to play an active, long term role in the development of the government proposed building of the new Fort Liberte Hospital.

In collaboration with the Haitian Government, NOAH NY and its healthcare partners (Howard University, Haitian American Alliance – HAA, EMEDEX — SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine, ADFE — Haitian American Community Based Organization for Fort Liberte) plan to build a new hospital for Fort Liberte.

NOAH NY would have an advisory role in the management/ supervision of this facility and along with the Universities is responsible for the education of the professional and ancillary staff at the hospital.

The overall costs to operate the Fort Liberte Hospital as it stands today is 300 thousand dollars annually.  Fort Liberte Hospital offers only the most basic services in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics.  There is no blood bank, thus, extensive or major surgeries requiring blood products are not possible.

NOAH NY/ HAA Medical Missions (self funded missions) to Fort Liberte have cost approximately 250 thousand dollars since 2008 in addition to donated goods and services.  The value of the providing 300 surgeries, the treating over 20,000 patients, which includes providing medicines, medical supplies and medical equipment, would cost several million dollars in today’s market.

The new Fort Liberte Hospital will be a modern 75 to 100 bed facility that will run on an annual budget of 1.8 to 2 million dollars per year.  The new Fort Liberte Hospital will offer surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, laboratory and radiology services.

A structured educational program to train community health workers, ancillary and professional healthcare hospital staff will be ongoing.  On an annual basis, the new Fort Liberte Hospital will be able to treat and care for over 40, 000 people.

It is a well known fact that 40% of Haiti’s population is unemployed due to a decline in the garment stemming from embargoes, insecurity, and lack of investment.  Today, due to U.S. trade preferences, enacted through the HOPE- 2010 and HELP II – 2008 legislation, Haiti is once again a desirable and more attractive place to invest in once infrastructure, security, green energy sources, clean water, housing and other quality of life issues are addressed. Haiti’s National Action Plan conveys a desire to create centers of economic development outside of Port-au- Prince and bring jobs to those much underserved regions.

This strategy can work well for many obvious reasons… The Caracol Industrial Park is a first step toward achieving this goal. CIP will bring together the Haitian and U.S. governments, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd.  Sae-A Trading Company is Korea’s leading garment manufacturer.

The CIP project intends to create 20,000 permanent jobs through Sae-A’s investment alone.  CIP marks the first major public-private partnership to bring permanent jobs to Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake.  Operations at CIP are scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2012.  The closest medical facility to CIP will be Fort Liberte and the new Fort Liberte Hospital.


Brooklyn Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. gala raises $30,000

jack & jill

(Left to right) Jack & Jill Past Regional Legislative Chair, the Honorable Cheryl E. Chambers, Eastern Region Member-at-Large Karen Chapin, incoming Brooklyn Chapter president Jocelynne Rainey (Photo Credit: Jon Shoates)

*The 60th diamond anniversary gala of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Brooklyn Chapter attracted affluent members   of Brooklyn society at its gala that raised $30,000 to benefit St. Francis College, Anchor House and the Carlito’s Wish Foundation as well as scholarships for high school seniors.

The event was held on Friday, April 20, 2012 at the opulent Dyker Beach Gold Course. Notable guests included State Senator Eric Adams, Council member Letitia James, who presented the group with a proclamation in recognition of this milestone anniversary, and District Leaders Robert Corney and Jesse Hamilton

The Brooklyn Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., is the oldest minority family organization in the borough boasting 78 member families.  The late Marion Stubbs Thomas founded Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated on January 24, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after twenty mothers came together to discuss creating an organization to provide social, cultural and educational opportunities for youth between the ages of two and nineteen.

In 1946, ten chapters were involved in the national restructuring process.  Constitution and bylaws were drawn up and the organization was incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware.

“To us as mothers, it [Jack and Jill] has become a means of furthering an inherent and natural desire …to bestow upon our children all the opportunities possible for a normal and graceful approach to a beautiful adulthood,” stated Thomas.

Today, Jack and Jill boast over 220 chapters nationwide, representing over 30,000 family members.  Each chapter plans annual programming activities guided under a national theme.  Through service projects, Jack and Jill of America creates a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development.


Evidence, A Dance Company to host its 9th annual “On Our Toes”

*Evidence, A Dance Company will host its 9th annual “On Our Toes”… In The Hamptons Summer Benefit — one of the premier cultural events of the Hamptons social season — on Saturday, August 18, 2012, from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Hayground School in Bridgehampton.  The contemporary dance company’s mission is to promote understanding of the African Diaspora through music, movement and spoken word.

The elegant afternoon benefit will celebrate generations of arts and culture from the        African Diaspora and award legendary actress, playwright, activist and philanthropist Ruby Dee with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Gatekeeper Award.  In addition, award-winning jazz musician and composer Jason Moran will receive the 2012 Visionary Gatekeeper Award.

Evidence, A Dance Company will present a special performance of Better Days, choreographed by founder and artistic director Ronald K. Brown.  The piece is a spectacularly spirited, yet melancholy, dance work that pays homage to friends of the choreographer who have passed away and illustrates a non linear juxtaposition of present and past.  Brown is the world-renowned choreographer of the Tony Award-winning The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.

Distinguished guests from the arts and entertainment industry and the business community will gather on the sprawling grounds of the Hayground School to attend the annual benefit.  The festive summer affair will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by a light dinner, auction, a dynamic performance by Evidence, dessert and their signature “Dancing with the Dancers.

“Evidence’s Hamptons Summer Benefit honoring award-winning actress Ruby Dee, who has contributed more than 50 years to the arts, and Jason Moran, a young critically-acclaimed and respected jazz musician, is in keeping with our mission to strengthen connections to history and tradition through the arts as well as the spirit of our Gatekeepers Community Project, which seeks to bridge the gap between generations,” remarked Brown.

This year’s event chair is international financier Reginald Canal.  Event co-chairs are artist, educator and activist Jon Snow, co-founder of the Hayground School, and financial advisor Lola C. West, managing director, WestFuller Advisors, LLC.  Young Patrons chair is Jenna Bond-Louden.  To date, Belvedere Vodka and Prudential are the corporate sponsors for “On Our Toes”… In the Hamptons.

For tickets to the Hamptons Summer Benefit, please visit www.evidencedance.com or call the JFM Group at 914-235-1490 x11 or email [email protected].  Individual tickets are $350 and $500.  Sponsor packages begin at $5,000.

Founded in 1985 by internationally-acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company’s mission is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement and spoken word leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation.  For more information, please visit www.evidencedance.com.

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

audrey j. bernard

Audrey J. Bernard