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Updated Apr 21 @ 12:21PM

Local medical team provides aid to devastated region

Local Alpharetta-based Northside Hospital workers went to Haiti to provide necessary, life-saving medical procedures to those negatively impacted or harmed by the hurricane last month.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — So when Alpharetta-based mission organizations, The 410 Bridge and Global X, were asked for medical aid, six Northside Hospital staffers heeded the call without hesitation.

About 900 Haitian lives were lost, as well as significant loss of livestock and agriculture. Houses, hospitals, schools and churches were destroyed, leaving people displaced and many with nothing.

“It is hard to put into words the condition and how different it is to practice medicine as we know it in a third world country,” Sarah Putzer, BSN, RN at Northside Hospital, said. “Our resources were extremely limited at best.”

Putzer and the team from Northside, including Emergency Department Dr. Kathleen Funk; Pediatrician Dr. Tim Troyer; Amanda Tubbs, ED RN; Rebecca Podstata, ED RN, and Pharmacist Amy Noonkester joined Maureen Newton, family nurse practitioner; Corey Mann and Rob Shoemaker, of The 410 Bridge; and Kadi Carroll, Global X director of communications.

The team traveled on Oct. 21 to Figuier and Port-à-Piment, in southwest Haiti, where they served more than 800 patients in four-and-a-half days.

They treated hurricane-related injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations, abrasions, deep, infected wounds, cases of tetanus and cholera. In addition, they performed minor procedures, tended to the medical needs of the community and provided medications. Supplies and medications were donated from Northside Hospital, MedShare and Blessings International.

They also offered emotional support to the traumatized community, built relationships and trust by interacting with the locals and playing with the children. Northside medical staff has provided aid abroad in the past, including to East Asia, Africa and the Middle East as well as Central America.

“We were honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve this community and hopeful we provided a significant impact,” said Putzer. “We saw renewed hope by the end of our visit. We are all anxious to return.”

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