News and Announcements

Regis College reaches out to Haiti

January 19, 2010

WESTON As Regis College students return to campus for the second semester, nursing faculty, graduate students and alumni of the Regis College School of Nursing and Health Professions have rallied in response to the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti January 12.

Dean Antoinette Hays of the Regis College School of Nursing and Health Professions explained in a campus message, "Most personnel relief efforts are hindered by limited access into Haiti and those groups on the ground or experienced in disaster response will be the first able to help. Over the long term, however, Haiti will need continuing assistance." Immediate needs for water, food, shelter and medical supplies outweigh all other needs right now, and the Regis College community has developed a project to raise money to help provide some assistance going forward."

"Regis is intimately connected to Haiti through an affiliation with its main nursing school and Ministry of Health," said Regis President Mary Jane England, MD. "In the past two years, both through visits to Haiti and by bringing Haitian nurses to Regis to study clinical practice and operating room procedures, we launched a special Regis program for Haitian nurses based on the Regis Upward Mobility program." The College has been helping with nursing education in Haiti by combining and sequencing some classes in Haiti, some on online and some during a summer residency at Regis. The residency program actually began the summer of 2008. Outcomes included the development of a master’s program in nursing with a focus on leadership and education for nursing faculty in Haiti.

Over the longer term Dean Hays has also offered a team of nurses to several groups already established in Haiti. She has been in touch with Partners in Health, the only network of health centers still standing in Haiti after the 7.0 earthquake; with Dr. John Howe of Project Hope, which is sending the USS Comfort, a hospital ship, to Haiti’s shores; and with Dr. Ken Hackett of Catholic Relief Services. Dr. Howe was recently here on campus (December 7, 2009) speaking about the HOPE experience of nursing on the world stage.

Hays continued: "The earthquake devastation is so great that, beyond immediate rescue operations and emergency medical treatment, long-term care and building a new infrastructure are expected to be going on for some time. The College does not know when our team may be called upon, but the group is ready to go. Right now Haiti is desperate for surgeons and orthopedists, and the need for nurses will be constant in the months ahead."

Deb O’Hara Rustowski, Regis/LMH faculty, Mimi Pomereau recent Regis DNP graduate, and Barbara Maloney current DNP student just returned from Haiti on January 9, where they were working with a church group bringing medical care and supplies to the country. Last fall, in collaboration with the Town of Wayland, Regis student nurses participated in mock-disaster training.

As she receives many offers of help from Regis nursing students, Dean Hays has made a special appeal. "The Regis Community has many friends and family in Haiti. Not only do many of our students have family there, but we have also hosted nurses here from Haiti in summer courses. I have also been hosted in Haiti by the Ministry of Health and had the opportunity to be inspired by an incredible people. The earthquake is devastating to a country that already was barely hanging on by a thread. Our friends in Haiti are hopeful and strong but they need our help now and over the longer term more than ever! We must pray for our friends both American and Haitian in Haiti."

Donate to the Regis College-Haitian Nursing Upward Mobility Project
or contact the Regis College Advancement Office at 781-768-7220 (tel), fax: 781-768-7226

Three days after the earthquake, some Regis personnel who have family in Haiti have heard that their prayers have been answered, and those family members are alive. Others have not heard. As second semester begins, Vice-President Lynn Coleman, Student Life, and the Campus Ministry Team at Regis are also in close contact with more than two dozen Regis undergraduate students who have family connections in Haiti and to the Regis College Haitian American Student Organization, HASO.

"We are committed to helping in this overwhelming tragedy in any way that we can," England commented, "in the spirit of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, and their dedication to service of the dear neighbor." Members of the Regis College community who want to be involved in Regis efforts should contact

The Nursing Department Office : 781-768-7090 (tel)
To see articles on the Regis College Haitian Nursing Project, see below:

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