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This week at the Spring UCAOA Conference, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care received the 2016 Humanitarian Award in recognition of volunteer work done in Haiti. We’re so proud to call them a Practice Velocity client!
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which killed 316,000 and injured another 300,000, workers at the Asheville, N.C.-based urgent care center formed “Team Mercy.”
Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Ellen Lawson and four other volunteers—Dr. Obie Cuento, Brenda Cuento, Claudine Cuento, and Pat Clackler—volunteered to help with emergency disaster relief. The five-member team traveled 12 hours by bus—dubbed the “Mercy Wagon”—from the Dominican Republic and served 36-hour shifts in a makeshift ER.
“We witnessed death and destruction while treating the injured and ill and witnessed life from the ashes, delivering babies with no light or water,” Dr. Lawson said. “We fell in love with the Haitian people and have continued to work with the same physicians for six years, going back with the teams four times a year.”
Since the initial trips, the team has been able to expand beyond the reaches of the makeshift clinic set up in a destroyed hospital. A four-wheel drive vehicle, purchased with help from a donation made by Practice Velocity, allows the providers to travel directly to patients for additional care.
Since 2010, the Sisters of Mercy team has made 14 trips (13 to Haiti and 1 to the Philippines). And they are preparing for a 14th trip to Haiti in May. Team members collect donations year-round and take medicine, first aid kits for orphanages, shoes and clothes, portable shelters, and car parts when they travel to the country. For more information, or to donate, contact 828-281-2598, or send donations marked “Haiti” to CMMF, PO Box 16367, Asheville, NC 28816. Online donations can be made here.
The UCAOA’s Humanitarian Award is given for substantial volunteer contributions by and individual or organization that is related to medical care and has a positive impact on a national or international cause.