Before we head back home tomorrow to normalcy and cold weather, I just wanted to share a few last thoughts with all of you who have been reading our blogs faithfully. This has been a learning experience for us in every sense of the word Рwe were able to see disaster victims first-hand and saw the horror and ensuing mayhem that is a result of any natural disaster Рbut we were also able to experience how a small devastated country and its neighbor have begun to create some stability and plans for the immediate and long term future. After the inital chaos and horror of extracting victims and treating the wounded emergently, an even tougher job followed. How do you support a country which had meager resources at best before the event happened ? How will the DR support Haiti in its efforts when it is iteself a developing country and its resources are limited as well?

I have watched Dr. Alejandro Baez, a Dominican Republic intensivist, trained both at the Mayo and Harvard, work countless hours trying to help organize his country’s resources to accomodate the inflow of seriously ill patients coming in from Haiti. I can’t imagine him without a cell phone in his hand trying to talk to us in between incessant calls he would receive asking for his assistance. His is man with a vision and the DR is blessed that he is helping both countries plan for now and the future, not only supplying beds for the sick but as well, in creating a system for responding to disasters should another disaster occur in either Haiti or the DR. His colleagues, Drs. Victor Matos and Pablo Smester have spent innumerable hours during these past few weeks helping Dr. Baez. All of them deserve our gratitude as do all the workers in the DR and Haiti who have responded to a horrific disaster with skill, expertise, and human compassion.

On a final note, I want to thank the Society of Critical Care Medicine, including those staff members (Diana, Trudi, Geri, Mike, Lynn, Diane), who made all our arrangements and faciliated our stay in the DR. Both David Martin and Judi Jacobi responded to this crisis immediately by having our team assembled and ready to go very quickly and stayed in touch with our team on a daily basis. A great big thank you and goodbye to my fellow team members – Randy Wax, MJ Reed, Dana Braner, Gervaise Nicklas and Mike Huerta.