Coast doctor and nurse headed to Haiti - - The News for South Mississippi

Coast doctor and nurse headed to Haiti


By Krystal Allan – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Boxes filled with medical supplies reach the ceiling at a storage site for Coastal Family Health in Vancleave.

"There's tons of stuff back.  There's syringes, there's gauze, there's gloves, there's bandages. You name it, and it's there," said Christine Maurice with Coastal Family Health Center-Vancleave.

Even though Maurice and the team helping her won't be going to Haiti, they say being part of the relief effort in any way is rewarding.

"Just to see what's there and how this will affect their lives is big for me," Maurice said.

At Coastal Family Health Center in Biloxi, Dr. Persharon Dixon and nurse Darlene Bush will be making the trip the Haiti.  Dr. Dixon, the Medical Director for Coastal Family Health, will join two doctors on the trip.  Bush will be one of two nurses traveling to Haiti.

For a week, they'll work in a children's hospital treating everything from malaria to wound infections.  But, they expect their care to go much deeper than healing physical wounds.

"We are not only looking at the physical health, but their mental health. We certainly learned in Katrina that the mental health needs can go on for a very long time," Dixon said.

After Hurricane Katrina, The Mississippi Gulf Coast Children's Health Project, a partnership between Coastal Family Health and Children's Health Fund in New York, has stayed on the front lines providing critical care for uninsured and underinsured kids on the coast. It's a program that provided Dixon and her nurse insightful, hands-on training they say will serve them well in Haiti.

"The fact that we are able to go to Haiti and respond is certainly in line with what we try to do with our mobile van service," Dixon said.

Dixon said she hopes the parallels between what happened in Haiti and South Mississippi will continue to resonate with people still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina almost five years later.

"It's not over.  It'll be a long time before it's over, and if we can just keep that in mind and keep giving, that would be helpful," Dixon said.

Project Mediashare, a non governmental organization, teamed up with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to organize this relief effort. Academy Sports provided camping accessories like tents for those traveling on the trip.

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