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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

The Downstate Medical Center Haitian Earthquake Information and Support Line. 718-270-7723

A Message from President Barack Obama

Links to:

Apri 12, 2010 - The Daily News - SUNY Downstate physician Dr. JeanTropnas while grappling with loss still counsels Haitian Community.

April 11, 2010 - New York Times - SUNY Downstate to receive grant to assist community-based religious institutions and other groups
  to provide basic health screening and access to mental health services for the Haitian population.

February 24, 2010 - Report on Downstate's Latest Efforts to Support Haiti: Medical Team Travels to Port-au-Prince
January 28, 2010 - Downstate hosted a forum held by U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke on immigration issues as they apply to Haiti.

SUNY Downstate Responds to Earthquake in Haiti, Counseling Many in Brooklyn’s Large Haitian-American Community
SUNY Downstate Counselors Reach Out to Local Haitians

Local Events
Charitable Organizations
Immigration Information
Other Resources

Haitian Earthquake

Local Events

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SUNY Downstate Responds to Earthquake in Haiti,
Counseling Many in Brooklyn’s Large Haitian-American Community


In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, SUNY Downstate Center Medical Center responded by providing emergency counseling and mental health services to Brooklyn’s Haitian-American community, the second largest Haitian population in the United States.

In addition, in mid February SUNY Downstate and its affiliate Kings County Hospital Center will be sending a team of fifteen physicians and other health professionals to Haiti to assist in relief efforts working with Emedex International, a non-profit organization founded by emergency physicians at Downstate and Kings County.

Immediately after the earthquake, members of Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Chaplains’ Office, the Employee Assistance Program, the Social Work Department, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and other units at SUNY Downstate began meeting daily to coordinate outreach to the local Haitian-American community and to mobilize resources internally. An open forum was held at which Downstate employees and students discussed the tragic event and offered ideas on how best to help people suddenly in great need.

Downstate’s mobile health van that is used to provide health screenings and other services in the community was dispatched to the Flatbush-Caton Market, a location where there are many vendors and customers of Haitian origin. Assisted by students and other volunteers from Downstate who speak Kreyol, free counseling services were provided to people at the Market.

After the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend, the van returned to the Market and then moved to Saint Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church, where counseling services were provided during the afternoon and early evening. Downstate representatives also went door to door in the community, visiting places of business to offer assistance.

Counseling has also been provided on campus through the Chaplains’ Office, the Social Work Department, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The Chapel at Downstate’s University Hospital of Brooklyn served as the portal for Downstate employees and students seeking assistance, 24 hours a day, and has been open to the external community as well. In addition, numerous in-patients and people accessing the Emergency Department received counseling, as well as medical care.   

On January 22, the Downstate van returned to Saint Jerome’s Church to provide additional assistance when the church held a mass for the victims of the earthquake. Downstate offered assistance to hundreds of parishioners and provided counseling in the basement of the church after the religious service. Downstate volunteers brought food and refreshments for those wishing to access counseling services that night.

On January 23, the van returned to the Flatbush-Caton Market, and the following day Downstate’s Center for Community Health Promotion and Wellness offered health screenings and counseling referrals at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church. Additional visits to sites in the community have also been planned. Fliers in Kreyol and English detailing how to access counseling and medical services have been distributed, both internally and in the local neighborhood. Walk-in mental health service clinics were coordinated with Kings County Hospital Center. On January 28, Downstate hosted a forum held by U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke on immigration issues as they apply to Haiti. A SUNY Downstate staff member acted as interpretor.

On February 5, Downstate will provide counseling services at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church following an evening requiem mass. Outreach has also been made to the Protestant Haitian churches in Brooklyn. 


Downstate’s website ( has featured information about services related to the earthquake and the campus set up an account for people to make monetary donations to help the people of Haiti.

SUNY Downstate's Director of Pastoral Care Reverend Sharon Walker with attendee

from left to right - AVP of Community and Government Relations Michael Harrell, Drs. Eda& Roy Hastick & CACCI Member Derek Noel join SUNY Downstate in the Haitian Relief effort.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center Staff (from left to right - AVP of Community and Government Relations Michael Harrell, Ramotse Saunders, MD, Chief Resident Sukriti Mittal, NYS Assemblyman Nick Perry and Chief Resident Josephine Mokonongo) mobilized to provide counseling for those residents affected by the Haiti Earthquake.
                                                                                 Photo - Ernie Cuni




























The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) is warning consumers to beware of unfamiliar organizations soliciting funds for victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. Read More

Charitable Organizations    
To help with relief efforts, text "HAITI" to "90999" and $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross, charged to your cell phone bill.
Red Cross    
New York Times (Multiple Charity Links)    
Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières  
Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI)    
Partners In Health - Donate to their Haiti earthquake fund.    
Direct Relief    
Salvation Army    
Habitat for Humanity    
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund    
NYS- Governor David A. Paterson_ Helping Haiti    
EMEDEX International    
Immigration Information
    Please contact Congresswoman Yvette Clarke's Office for Immigration Information 718-287-1142

Haitian Earthquake A Video Stream Message from President Barack Obama


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Telephone 1-800-375-5283 (extended hours for Haitian Community)



Other Resources
  With the devastation that has occurred in Haiti, many members are seeking ways to offer assistance. The American Hospital Association has been in touch with Obama Administration officials who are directing individuals who want to donate time, money or equipment to the USAID Web site:
  CDC Responds to the Earthquake in Haiti
  Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Haiti Earthquake Resource site for Medical Professionals

Please reach out to those with no web access


For those who do not have access to the web, the Governor has established a hotline – 1-888-769-7243 – staffed at the Department of Taxation and Finance which has provided this same service during responses to the World Trade Center attack in 2001, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and the recent emergency closure of the Lake Champlain Bridge in October 2009. The hotline will be operations from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.