Nurse Joan Knecht Presented Earthquake “Haiti Reflections - 2010”
Mary introduced our speaker Joan Knecht, a former professor of nursing at the County College of Morris. She made a trip in February, 2010 to Haiti as a volunteer with “Foundation for Peace”, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2002 to work with people in impoverished areas of Dominican Republic, Haiti and Kenya. While a nursing student in Cornell she had Margaret Mead as a teacher and she developed an interest in cultures.
Joan volunteers extensively with several organizations as a surgical nurse. After the earthquake in Haiti, she considered joining several alternative volunteer organizations and then chose to go with “Foundation for Peace”. She payed her own travel expense and carried 100 pounds of urgently needed medical supplies with her on the trip. The team flew into Santo Domingo and went by bus to Jimani Viejo, located in the Dominican Republic near the boarder with Haiti.
Joan had worked for 22 years in ER at Morristown so she was assigned to treat the most critical patients. Joan served injured people in Good Samaritan Hospital, a facility which was actually in the Dominican Republic. She showed us a YouTube video, “Hands for Haiti”, covering activities at the site shortly before she arrived. The remainder of her presentation included stories illustrated with many fine photographs showing the spirit and determination of the seriously injured people. During her stay, she crossed the boarder to visit a refugee camp in Haiti. The team of volunteer nurses and supporting workers did an outstanding job and “Foundation for Peace” deserves thanks and support.
Joan recommended that we read “Mountains beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder to learn more about the work of Dr. Paul Farmer and “Partners in Health” to learn more about helping Haiti.
Photo: At the end of the presentation, President Rich gave our speaker our traditional Kiwanis pen.