OCU, Berger Hospital Partner to Help Ongoing Haitian Relief Effort

Faculty, Students Deliver Medical Supplies to Devastated Areas

Ohio Christian University (OCU) professor Thad Hicks led a nine-person team on a trip to Haiti May 25-June 1 to assist in the ongoing recovery and relief effort following that country's 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. The team delivered medical supplies gathered by Berger Hospital that would have otherwise been discarded as they neared their expiration date. This was OCU's second trip to Haiti.

"We put together a capable and well-rounded team, and OCU has made an impact on Haiti's recovery effort - again," said Professor Hicks, who has developed the curriculum at OCU for its new Disaster Management and Recovery program. "But it's important to remember that our success, our effectiveness isn't possible without assistance from the community, through its donations and generosity."

The trip to Haiti had additional impact with the two pallets (approximately 400 pounds) of medical supplies gathered by Berger Hospital. Tina Pierce, Emergency Department Nurse Manager at Berger, began the collection drive but soon learned that while donations were abundant, getting the supplies on the ground of the island nation was a challenge.

"A lot of the supplies we gathered were in jeopardy of being thrown away because they were about to reach their expiration dates," said Pierce. "That's when the folks from OCU stepped in, organized the supplies and got them to the people who need them the most in Haiti.

"We can continue to collect medical supplies because we know the folks from OCU can get them where they need to go," she concluded.

The team led by Hicks included: Brett Spriggs, Elisabeth South, Travis Campbell, Stephen Van Bolin, Ashley Irvine, Tempest Norris, Jennifer Cartwright, and Adam Hicks. These students from OCU's Disaster Management program assisted with distributing supplies while visiting many of the most devastated sites within Haiti and learning first hand what was discussed in their classes this past semester. 

"These students continue gaining real world experience that will lead them to great careers once they graduate from OCU," said University President Mark Smith, "And we are proud to partner with Berger Hospital, under the leadership of Tim Colburn. We look forward to many more opportunities to work together."

Added Colburn, CEO of Berger Hospital, "I am proud of our teams and their creativity in finding a solution to make our donations possible. Our efforts will continue as supplies are needed. This effort is a great example of how powerful our community can be when we join forces. This project has provided our organizations a vehicle to contribute to a nationwide effort and make a meaningful impact on the world."