Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications
The REAL Awards, created by Save the Children in partnership with the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, is a first-of-its-kind global awards program designed to develop greater respect and appreciation for health workers and the lifesaving care they provide globally, as well as in the United States. The REAL Awards is made possible by the support of presenting sponsors like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. Dr. Elmide Nazaire, Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary Director, was the first global health worker invited to participate in the announcement in Laguna Niguel, CA on January 12, 2014. Her fellow honorees include practitioners working across the continental United States and Alaska, throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as well as from Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The announcement took place during a high-profile healthcare summit and in attendance were both former United States President and United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton and Dr. David Budnitz of the Centers for Disease Control, another REAL Award honoree.
|Dr Nazaire in California for the presentation ceremony.||Dr Nazaire participated in the
Patient Safety Summit.
|With the well wishes of the
community in Naples, Florida
The Award came as a complete surprise to Dr. Nazaire, who had just finished work with her patients that day in Les Cayes, Haiti. “I was completely shocked as Tiffany (Hope for Haiti’s President & CEO) and Dr. Sabine (Country Director) called to congratulate me! It was a flood of emotions and happiness to experience this privilege.” At Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary St. Etienne, Dr. Nazaire works to ensure that no patient who cannot afford to pay for services is ever turned away. In the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere, patients receive affordable primary and specialty care, as well as support in the form of food, medications and supplies, and transportation free-of-charge. Dr. Nazaire consults on a variety of cases, including chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. She has been a strong advocate of continuing education for medical professionals in Haiti, including the Infirmary’s 18-member team.
In addition to the REAL Award reception, guests discussed the theme of patient safety to prevent deaths through science and technology. Representatives at the summit discussed key individual cases. One woman highlighted pediatrics, including how to treat birth defects and complicated cases requiring transfusion. Though Dr. Nazaire attended medical school in Cuba on a competitive scholarship, she remains well aware of the treatment limitations she faces due to a lack of resources in Haiti.
Here at Hope for Haiti, we remember Dr. Nazaire’s incredible service to her country, forming a make-shift triage center at the Hotel Villa Creole immediately following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti four years ago. When reflecting on her own journey, Dr. Nazaire is appreciative. “I feel I gained a new network of professionals in California with whom I can continue to work to save lives and improve my practice, even without the same level of technology.”
To read more about Dr. Nazaire’s life as an international health worker, please check out her “This is My Haiti” profile here.
To learn more about the Real Awards, please visit http://www.therealawards.com/ and support Dr. Elmide by tweeting #therealawards to celebrate health workers worldwide!