MN Healthcare News May 2016

Page 22


Mark Marshall, PA-C Thomas Bracken, MD Mille Lacs Health System


week after the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Mark Marshall traveled to a field hospital in the Dominican Republic and then to an orphanage in Haiti to tend to earthquake victims. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the need for medical care is great even under normal circumstances. Many Haitians have little or no access to health care, so Marshall returned to Haiti a few months after the earthquake to help establish an outpatient clinic affiliated with the Mercy Village Orphanage in the Santo region of Port-au-Prince. Initially he ran the clinic under tarps in the orphanage yard, and managed to immunize and treat a large number of people. After the orphanage closed in 2013, the clinic moved to the House of Presence, run by a Catholic charity on the outskirts of Croix-des-Bouquets. Dr. Thomas Bracken first went to work with Marshall in Haiti in 2011 after hearing him talk about the lack of care, food, and sanitation that most people experience.

Both work at Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia, where Marshall works as an emergency medicine physician assistant and Bracken as a family physician. They are very humble about their work in Haiti. According to Marshall, “Our desire to provide medical services to the Haitian community is unwavering.”

System donating all medication, the Girl Scouts making gifts for the children, local churches donating clothing and shoes, and Lion’s Clubs gathering donations of eyeglasses. Marshall started the Santo Clinic organization to raise funds for their work in Haiti.

Our desire to provide medical services to the Haitian community is unwavering.

A strong dedication to providing regular care brings Marshall back to Haiti four times a year and Bracken twice a year along with other volunteers from Mille Lacs Hospital. The community of Mille Lacs also contributes to the trips that occur every three months, with the Mille Lacs Health

Three patients. Who is at risk for diabetes?

In an effort to reach more people, pop-up clinics are set up in churches in the rural areas, plus they make house calls to homebound patients. With the help of translators, the volunteer providers can see up to 140 patients a day. They conduct general exams, and treat people with parasites or infections and chronic ailments. In 2014, they brought and placed 100 mosquito nets in homes in an effort to prevent dengue, malaria, and chikungunya. Bracken said, “Haiti is a place where you can actually make a difference. It is reassuring to see the same families when we come back. We have learned to trust each other.”

When there are no signs or symptoms, you may not know until it’s too late. Act now. Screen your patients for type 2 diabetes. It’s easy. It’s covered. It will reduce their risk. • Refer your at-risk patients to a proven lifestyle change program and help cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half.

1 in 3 adults are at risk!

• For patients who already have diabetes, send them to a quality diabetes self-management program to improve control and reduce complications. Find groups in Minnesota at

Minnesota Department of Health