Alice Min Soo Chun
Healing for Haiti, The Institute for Sustainable Work & Environment
FAARM is working in partnership with Healing for Haiti, a nonprofit organization based in Hamilton, New Jersey, and the Institute for Sustainable Work & Environment (ISWE). Healing for Haiti is a medical missionary ministry based out of New Jersey, USA that will staff and operate the clinic. ISWE is a labor safety and training non-profit based in New York. They will develop and facilitate a training program within the building process for local construction workers in earthquake and hurricane resistance building practices and safe masonry construction methods, as well as training future trainers.
The medical clinic in Jonc-Dodin, a village ninety miles south west of Port-au-Prince, meets an entirely unmet need for medical care for residents and those in the surrounding rural area. Healing for Haiti will operate the clinic when completed with Haitian medical professionals and international volunteers. Initially the clinic will be staffed by short-term medical missions with the eventual permanent placement and training of Haitian medical professionals providing year-round comprehensive care to Jonc Dodin.
Outside of urban centers in Haiti there is little to no professional medical care available. For the very poor without access to a vehicle the distance to the nearest hospital can mean the difference between life and death. Residents of Jonc Dodin must travel to Aquin to the south which may still be prohibitively expensive. Public health indicators are the worst in the Caribbean and Latin American region (ICF 2004): life expectancy is 53 years, infant mortality is 80 per 1,000 and maternal mortality is 523 per 100,000 live births.
Our design strategy for the Jonc-Dodin Clinic is sensitive to environmental conditions as well as programmatic needs and concerns. A unified roof canopy will shade and cool the clinic complex and shelter an exterior deck circulation system. This approach accommodates environmental constraints to create a pleasant experience for the clinic’s inhabitants. Construction will be implemented in a phased process following the growth and evolving scope of the clinic itself. By effectively managing environmental factors such as sun, rain, wind, and soil conditions, these core systems will provide comfort and flexibility to a phased infill of evolving site specific programs. An independent roof system will provide foundation piers for future construction phases and basic shelter in case of an emergency medical situation. The large roof area will shade clinic buildings from solar heat gain while establishing a condition ideal for natural ventilation and cooling. This approach provides a cleaner, cooler environment for doctors and patients within the clinic.