Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hospital in Cite Soleil

I wonder how much of the 300 million dollars of the international money will go to this baby.

Hospital in Soleil

Hospital in Cite Soleil

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mr. Marshall's E-Mails to Consulate in Haiti

This post consists of a series of e mails sent back and forth from OSF’s attorney Douglass Marshall and the American Consulate in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

My comments follow individual e mails.

Quick Summary:

Mr. Marshall contacted the American Consulate in Haiti regarding Heurese Joseph. Heurese is a patient of mine in the Haitian Hearts program. And Mr. Marshall e mailed me that he phoned Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) about Heurese’s legal status in the States.

Heurese had heart surgery at OSF in Peoria in 2002, but she had been refused further care at OSF when she became ill in 2008. Cleveland Clinic accepted Heurese for life saving heart surgery. Heurese was operated in Cleveland in December, 2008.

As you can see below, Mr. Marshall presumably sent his first e mail to the Consulate on April 1, 2009.

At the same time Mr. Marshall was e mailing the Consulate, Gertrude the Haitian Hearts Coordinator in Haiti, was feverishly working on obtaining a medical visa (B2 visa) for another Haitian Hearts patient, Katina Antoine.

Katina is a 14 year old girl who had heart surgery at OSF in Peoria in 2002. I examined Katina in November, 2008 and she needed repeat heart surgery also. She was quite ill. Just like Heurese, Katina was denied further medical care by OSF and needed heart surgery quickly.

After four months of "begging and pleading" Haitian Hearts was able to get Katina accepted into Cleveland Clinic for heart surgery.

Gertrude told me that she had an unusually hard time getting the B2 visa for Katina. She went to the Consulate on three separate occasions and Katina’s visa application was denied twice. This was intensely difficult to accomplish and a huge physical strain on Katina who was very weak.

After many e mails and letter revisions by Cleveland Clinic, Katina’s visa was granted on April 14, 2009.

Did Mr. Marshall’s contact with the American Consulate have anything to do with slowing the visa approval for Katina? Will Mr. Marshall’s meddling negatively influence visa applications for future Haitian Hearts patients that are accepted at US medical centers and need the visa for travel for life saving heart surgery?

Here is the string of e mails. We have no documentation what was said during Mr. Marshall’s phone calls to Cleveland Clinic.

From: Douglass Marshall []
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 1:32 PM
To: Port-au-Prince, NIV
Subject: B2 visa

I would like to find out who is listed as the financial support person and at what hospital Heurese Joseph was supposed to receive medical services. She lives in Port-au-Prince. I represent OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, and Ms. Joseph has requested medical services at OSF. However, OSF did not sign a support affidavit for her. Her physician is Dr. John Carroll, and we believe that the Cleveland Clinic is listed as the supporting hospital.

Can you provide me with any information? Thank you.

My Comment:

Why is OSF interested in this information on a person who has applied for charity assistance? Do they make these kinds of inquiries on all patients who apply for charity assistance? When OSF treats people who aren’t U.S. citizens—much less reviews applications for charity assistance--do they typically contact the Consulate in the person’s home countries making inquires about their visa status?

What is most revealing about this e-mail is that OSF acknowledges that they know the answer to the question they are asking: Cleveland Clinic is the supporting hospital. This information was provided to OSF on the Ms. Joseph’s charity application form. So why would they write the Consulate to ask a question they already had the answer to?

In my opinion, they are trying to sabotage not only Ms. Joseph’s ability to get medical care but also that of future Haitian Hearts’ patients.

E Mail Response from the American Consulate in Port-au-Prince, April 8, 2009:

Mr. Marshall,

Could you please explain to me how you, as an attorney, are involved? I mean that as a very sincere question and for my own education. This the first time an attorney has been in touch with my office for this type of request.

Have you indeed contacted Dr. John Carroll and Cleveland Clinic? If not, I would suggest that you do so, since you seem already to have elicited that information from someone, I suppose Ms. Joseph.

Visa records are subject to confidentiality regulations. I will seek guidance and I would be very interested in any further information you can give me about how your hospital became involved.

Nancy McCarthy
NIV Chief

My Comment:

Understandably, the Consulate official is confused and states that she has never received this type of a request before. She makes the sensible suggestion that OSF contact me and also points out that he already has the information he is requesting. She tells him nicely that visa records are confidential.

The following is an e mail from the Consulate to Cleveland Clinic and cc’d to me:

Dear (I left out the CC employee name),

I have received an inquiry about a patient to whom we issued a visa on your request, Heuruse Joseph, dob 08-08-1978.

The visa was issued on Nov 24, 2008 and she was to have arrived for urgent heart surgery on Dec. 27. Your information informed us that a stay of two months was required and the visa was so annotated. She actually entered the US on Nov 27, 2008. Did she in fact ever receive treatment through your program?

I have just received an inquiry from another hospital, in Peoria, stating that as of now she is applying to them for medical services.

Any light you can shed on the current situation would be appreciated.

Nancy McCarthy
NIV Chief

My Comment:

As one can see, the Consulate is confused and is now e mailing CCF and even wonders if Heurese was operated at Cleveland.

CCF asked me to respond to the Consulate official. Here is my response:

Dear Ms. McCarthy,

Heurese Joseph had major heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic in December, 2008.

Heurese is being followed by me with blood tests and physical exams. The results of an upcoming echocardiogram will be reviewed by her heart surgeon at Cleveland Clinic to determine her immediate and long term care.

Heurese has applied to OSF's Charity Assistance Program in Peoria for an outpatient echocardiogram. She is waiting to hear from OSF.

Her I-94 document is valid until May 26, 2009.

Thank you very much.


John A. Carroll, M.D

Here is the Consulate response to me on April 9, 2009:

Thanks for your reply. Could you please get in touch with the hospital in Peoria to clarify with them what is needed? They have written me directly for information.


Nancy McCarthy

However, OSF's Doug Marshall pressed forward with his inquiry about Heurese and her visa status:

From: Douglass Marshall []
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 7:29 PM
To: McCarthy, Nancy H
Subject: B2 Visa

Ms. McCarthy,

Thank you for replying. My firm is General Counsel to OSF Healthcare System, located in Peoria, Illinois. OSF owns and operates Saint Francis Medical Center. I am working with OSF to resolve the issue of Ms. Joseph's status in the United States, and Dr. Carroll's request for services to be rendered to Ms. Joseph by OSF.

For many years, Dr. John Carroll brought Haitian children to OSF through the Haitian Hearts Program in Central Illinois. OSF sponsored these children and cared for them. However, in approximately 2002, OSF stopped sponsoring Haitian children through this program. (OSF's employees still go to Haiti and provide free medical and healthcare services to children through another Central Illinois program called, Friends of the Children of Haiti. In addition, OSF treats children, not from just Haiti, but from all over the world).

In December, 2002, OSF contacted Consul General Roger Daley to make him aware that OSF was no longer sponsoring Dr. Carroll's patients. OSF received a reply on December 6, 2002 from Bisola Ojikutu, Vice-Consul, that the Consulate was surprised to learn that OSF was no longer sponsoring Dr. Carroll's patients. The Vice-Consul stated that medical visas would no longer be issued under OSF's name for Dr. Carroll's patients. Also involved in these discussion were Julia Stanley and William Rowland at the Embassy.

It is my understanding that in order to have a Non-Immigrant Medical B2 Visa approved, there has to be a letter from a sponsoring hospital, who will treat the patient. Even though OSF no longer sponsors his patients, Dr. Carroll continues to ask OSF to treat patients that are in the United States, presumably sponsored by some other hospital. Ms. Joseph is the most recent request by Dr. Carroll for services from OSF. OSF is pleased that Dr. Carroll is able to continue his treatment of Haitian children through sponsorship by other hospitals. However, such requests of OSF seem not to comply with the B2 Visa requirements. OSF would like your position on this matter.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

My Comment:

Why is OSF interested in resolving “the issue of Ms. Joseph’s status in the United States”? Why do they have any interest in this? And, in fact, who is it an “issue” for? It certainly isn’t an issue for the Catholic Church. On March 19, 2009, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to President Obama asking him to grant Haitians currently in the United States Temporary Protected Status. TPS would allow Haitian citizens who are already here to continue their stay. TPS is granted for citizens from countries that have experienced recent extreme hardship. Haiti would seem to definitely qualify.

So while the U.S. Bishops are requesting that Haitians be permitted to stay in the country, OSF is questioning the consulate on the visa status of a Haitian. Again, why?

Heurese Joseph is here legally on a B-2 visa. She did indeed have very successful heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic. She is residing in central Illinois and needs a follow up echocardiogram. She could go back to Cleveland to receive this test, but since she is here and OSF has a charity assistance program, she applied for an echo. All OSF had to say was no. Ms. Joseph never received any kind of answer from OSF. The only action the application prompted was a flurry of e-mails and phone calls from OSF to the consulate and Cleveland Clinic. They haven’t once evidenced any care or concern about Ms. Joseph’s medical concerns, though they are very concerned about her visa status.

Since OSF discontinued their involvement with Haitian Hearts and stopped caring for Haitian Hearts patients, I have never requested a visa for a patient and listed OSF as the treating hospital. I do continue to ask OSF if they will accept patients, WHO ARE TRAPPED IN HAITI WITH NO REAL MEDICAL CARE, especially those like Ms. Joseph and Katina Antoine who have been their patients before and whom they might presumably feel some kind of moral obligation. Though they have continued to say no (or more typically they don’t answer at all), I will continue to ask in the hopes that they change their mind. And even though Mr. Marshall intends the reader to believe that I request OSF’s help with patients that are in the States, this is false. Medical centers in the States that have accepted Haitian Hearts patients follow up with my patients and obtain echocardiograms and other post op testing as a matter of principal. Heurese is the first Haitian Hearts patient of mine in the United States that has filled out the OSF Charity Assistance application. (By the way, she never did hear from OSF about the echocardiogram she requested.)

My requests of them to provide medical care to Haitian patients obviously upsets OSF and is one of the reasons for their e-mails to the consulate. Though OSF might like it to be the case, there is no violation of a B-2 visa by my asking OSF for charity assistance. In fact, to maintain their tax exempt status, they are legally required to provide a certain amount of charity care. They can decline the request, but in my opinion, there is no good reason for them to contact the consulate other than to attempt to sabotage the ability of Ms. Joseph and future Haitian Hearts patients to receive medical care in the United States.

Mr. Marshall also leaves out the important fact that Haitian Hearts donated over 1.1 million dollars to OSF-Children’s Hospital of Illinois for the care of Haitian Hearts patients. His word “sponsorship” makes it sound as if the work for my Haitian kids was done pro bono. It was not.

To obtain passports, medical letters, and visas for one child can take up to three years in Haiti. The roads are not great, there has been much violence in the last several years, and communication with the families in Haiti can be very difficult. If Mr. Marshall tried to find one medical center and one visa for one child for heart surgery in the United States, he would immediately see the complexity of the situation. And if the child does not leave Haiti for heart surgery, it usually means death for that child.

OSF and Mr. Marshall need to understand this and understand that creating confusion at the level of the Consulate in Haiti and at Cleveland Clinic may indeed be life threatening for Haitian children that need heart surgery in the future.

One last note at a very human, "non-legal" level, Bisolo the Consulate Official referred to by Mr. Marshall above, was shaking and had tears in her eyes when I spoke with her at the Consulate in Haiti in 2003. She told me that Paul Kramer, Executive Director of Children’s Hospital of Illinois, had called the Consulate and told her that OSF was withdrawing support for Haitian Hearts and so she could not grant any more B2 visas for Haitian Hearts patients. Bisolo is from Africa and she knew this would mean the deaths of more Haitian kids. And it has.

Next e mail is from the Consulate to OSF's Mr. Marshall:

"McCarthy, Nancy H"
04/23/2009 09:30 AM

Thanks for your reply. It is very informative. I did give Dr. Carroll your contact information and I hope that at this point the two of you have a had a chance to sort this specific case out. I certainly understand your position. I have made note that your hospital no longer has a collaborative relationship with Dr. Carroll and I let my officers know, as well.

Consular officers must look at the information presented and come to a conclusion that the applicant meets the requirements or not – that includes looking at the purpose of travel and how that purpose will be accomplished financially.

Visas of any category allow the holder to apply for entry at the port of entry, and at that time the DHS official gives them an approved length of stay. However, the length of stay and the category of admission are determined by DHS, not be the visa itself, so if this applicant was admitted as a B2 for a period of, say, six months, that decision was made by DHS and we don’t have any control over it.

Again, thanks for your response and rest assured that we will not expect to see OSF being presented as a sponsor for medical treatment.

Nancy McCarthy
NIV Chief

My Comment:

Her last sentence says it all. Bishop Jenky and Sisters of OSF, where are you?


Both the U.S. Consulate and Cleveland Clinic asked me to contact OSF to clear up their confusion. Here is an open e-mail to Mr. Marshall:

Dear Mr. Marshall,

You make it clear in your communications that no possibility existed for OSF to grant my request for charity consideration for an echocardiogram for Heurese Joseph. Given that, the only defensible response to my request would have been the simple, sufficient, "No".

As the Consular officer noted, you seem to have had all the information there was.

What pretense do you make for contacting the Consulate, or Cleveland Clinic? The inquiry was not part of a sincere consideration of my application for Heurese.

Given OSF’s, and your own, history with me, the singular treatment of Heurese can only be seen for what it is, i.e., harassment and intimidation. As OSF’s attorney, your responsibility is to guide OSF away from legally questionable actions, not participate in them.

Regarding other statements you make:

1. "We wanted to ensure that the Consulate personnel understood that OSF is no longer a sponsor of Haitian Hearts" What support can you offer for belief that the Consulate might have thought otherwise?

2. "However, such requests of OSF seem not to comply with the B2 Visa requirements." In what way? Does Heurese’s visa restrict her from obtaining services from other than Cleveland Clinic? Does Heurese’s visa restrict her to Cleveland?

3. You have not provided your communication with Cleveland Clinic. Which did you contact first, Cleveland Clinic, or the Consulate? Whichever was the first, you received the answer that Cleveland Clinic was the sponsor of Heurese’s visa. There is no innocent explanation for contacting the second institution.

4. If you intend for OSF to investigate all charity applicants immigration status, then Heurese Joseph’s passport would have provided sufficient proof of hers. Heurese was already in the U.S., we were not requesting OSF’s involvement in Heurese obtaining a visa.

5. "OSF's employees still go to Haiti and provide free medical and healthcare services to children …" What pertinence does this have to your communication with the Consulate as a representative of OSF? What do the private, volunteer efforts of OSF employees have to do with OSF? (And Haitian Hearts brought many kids from that organization for heart no one comes for heart surgery from that organization.)

6. An echocardiogram can hardly be considered treatment. It is a test. Heurese had surgery at Cleveland Clinic, as her visa application stated. There is no open-ended treatment being requested of OSF.

7. "OSF … is pleased that you have found hospitals that will sponsor Haitian Hearts patients" Your actions contradict your statement. Malicious interference does not demonstrate pleasure.

8. Why did OSF stop sponsoring children through Haitian Hearts? Sr. Judith Ann repeatedly assured me that OSF would never abandon any child.



Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dear Haitian-American Community

Dear Haitian-American Community,

I am very worried about what is happening in Peoria.

OSF's lawyer, Douglass Marshall, has sent e mails to the United States Consulate in Port-au-Prince and to Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF).

The correspondence concerns the visa status of a patient of mine...Heurese Joseph.

Here is a sample of the confusion Mr. Marshall has created. This is a snippet of one interdepartmental e mail at CCF regarding Heurese from two days ago:

We talked last week about a patient named Heurese Joseph from Haiti. A hospital in IL is interested in knowing whether we approved or signed off on a B-2 visa form saying we would provide medical care to this patient. Is there a particular person in GPS that handles B-2 visas?

So what is being said here?

Mr. Marshall is asking CCF if they approved a B-2 visa for Heurese to travel to the United States for heart surgery at CCF. Why does Mr. Marshall and the hospital that he represents, OSF in Peoria, care whether CCF signed off on her visa? Her surgery was done in Cleveland, not Peoria.

The confusion created by Mr. Marshall runs through many departments at CCF as evidenced by the e mail stream.

The American Consulate was alarmed last week when Mr. Marshall contacted them about Heurese. The American Consulate contacted me. I responded and the Consulate thanked me and asked me if I would explain to Mr. Marshall.

Why did Mr. Marshall contact the American Consulate in Haiti about Heurese?

My great fear is that OSF and Mr. Marshall are "poisoning the well" at CCF and the American Consulate in Haiti. This could make it difficult for me to get Haitian Hearts patients out of Haiti and accepted by CCF in the future.

And my fear is supported by OSF's recent history. Several years ago OSF and Mr. Marshall blocked my Haitian patients from returning to OSF in Peoria even with full and partial charges offered for their medical care at OSF. Many Haitian kids have suffered and some have died.

I doubt Mr. Marshall will answer my e mail in the preceeding post.

I also doubt that our local Catholic Diocese, lead by Bishop Daniel Jenky, will do anything to stop OSF from creating further confusion. Bishop Jenky has been impotent regarding important moral and ethical issues, including Haitian Hearts patients, at OSF in the past. (I e mailed the Chancellor of the Peoria Diocese last night and asked her to forward my e mail to Bishop Jenky since I do not have Bishop Jenky's e mail address.)

Thus, sick Haitian children and young adults with serious heart problems, need your help. There are no meaningful checks and balances in Peoria regarding the above issues. Hardly anyone really cares about these Haitian children to step out of their comfort zone and challenge OSF and Mr. Marshall.

I depend on you to intervene to try and convince OSF to live the Catholic faith and abide by their mission philosophy and give the Haitian children a meaningful chance at life.


John A. Carroll, M.D.
Peoria, Illinois

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

E Mail to OSF's Attorney

Dear Mr. Marshall,

The United States Consulate in Haiti and Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) have contacted me and asked me to answer your questions regarding Heurese Joseph and her visa status. They have labelled their e mails as "Urgent" and "Important".

Please send me all of your e mails to the Consulate and to CCF and I will try to clear up your confusion.

Many people around the country and in Haiti are interested in your inquiry regarding Heurese. So I will post this e mail on my web logs and will post your e mails as well. I will answer your inquiries to the best of my ability.



OSF's Doug Marshall Continues to Confuse

Doug Marshall, OSF's lawyer, continues to confuse the American Consulate in Haiti and Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

The collateral damage will be Haitian children that need heart surgery. I fear they will be denied surgery in places other than Peoria.

What a shame.

Bishop Jenky, where are you?

Katina has Surgery

Dear Everybody,

Thank you all for pulling and praying for Katina.

Katina is 14 years old and had surgery at OSF in Peoria in 2002. As the years passed, her mitral valve repair failed, and Katina slipped back into heart failure. She couldn't walk the hills of Port-au-Prince near as well because she was weak and short of breath.

Katina needed a new mitral valve.

With the support and love of Senator Mike DeWine and his family, Cleveland Clinic accepted Katina for heart surgery. Gertrude in Haiti fought through the visa application process, and Mary cared for Katina as she flew with her from Haiti to the States.

Cleveland Clinic did a wonderful pre-op workup to assure that Katina would have the best results possible.

The day before surgery Katina had a large double lumen catheter placed in a large vein and underwent an exchange transfusion so her blood would be healthier and able to withstand the rigors of bypass.

Katina talked with her courageous parents in Haiti the night before surgery and was very animated on the phone.

Yesterday morning Katina received a new mitral valve. And by late afternoon Katina was very alert, pointing to her breathing tube, while clearly indicating that she wanted it removed.

Many thanks to Katina's host families in Cleveland for having the heart, soul, and faith to bring her to this point.

Katina is not home yet, but will get there. We can't forget that even though she only weighs 66 pounds, she is Haitian.

Dr. John

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peoria has a Serious Problem

Five weeks ago Haitian Hearts patient Heurese Joseph wrote a letter to OSF.

The letter is here and Heurese was requesting an outpatient echocardiogram to be done at HeartCare Midwest. OSF bought HeartCare Midwest last year.

Heurese still does not have an answer from OSF regarding whether they will do the echocardiorgram. Heurese does not have the funds to pay the $1609.00 fee that OSF charges for the echocardiogram.

Several weeks ago I received a call from a lady at OSF. She works for the Charity Assistance Program.

The lady asked me only two questions: Was Heurese here on a “medical visa” and what institution accepted her for heart surgery. I anwered her questions right away but thought that her questions were unusual... especially the question regarding whether Heurese was here on a “medical visa”. I wondered what that had to do with Heurese’s request for assistance to obtain an echocardiogram.

I asked the lady from OSF if a decision had been made whether the Sisters would allow an echocardiogram to be done for Heurese through the Charity Assistance Program. She said that the decision had not been made and implied that Heurese’s straight forward request was still being reviewed. She was nervous and she seemed to want to get off the phone as quickly as possible. (I asked for her name before she hung up and she gave it to me.)

Last year Heurese was dying in Haiti. She gave away her children to family members as she prepared to die. I documented her status on this post and I wrote this letter and sent it to important people at OSF and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

I did not hear back from OSF regarding Heurese.

However, Haitian Hearts was able to provide Heurese with months of medication and were able to examine her in Port-au-Prince and obtain an echocardiogram ($75 US). She had a leaky aortic valve that had been repaired at OSF in 2002, but now the aortic valve needed to be replaced. She also had a hole in the ventricular septum, just below her aortic valve, that needed to be shored up because there was a leak across it.

Heurese was in congestive heart failure. Haiti had deadly food riots and four tropical storms in 2008 and Heurese was not eating much. She was quite thin, but had not given up hope.

Haitian Hearts moved Heurese to a guest house in the capital where she could eat every day and take her medication and just try and hold on.

Heurese did hold on and Cleveland Clinic Foundation accepted Heurese for heart surgery. We were able to renew Heurese’s Haitian passport, obtain a non immigrant visa, and purchase a airlines ticket for her to travel to the United States for heart surgery.

Heurese flew to Cleveland in December, 2008 and underwent heart surgery. She is doing great thanks to Cleveland Clinic and her host family in Cleveland.

However, the other day, as documented on Elaine Hopkins Peoria Story, I received this urgent e mail from the American Consulate in Port-au-Prince:

URGENT - From Non-Immigrant visa section, Port-au-Prince

McCarthy, Nancy H
Apr 8


I have received an inquiry about a patient to whom we issued a visa on your request, Heuruse Joseph, dob 08-08-1978.

The visa was issued on Nov 24, 2008 and she was to have arrived for urgent heart surgery on Dec. 27. Your information informed us that a stay of two months was required and the visa was so annotated. She actually entered the US on Nov 27, 2008.

Did she in fact ever receive treatment through your program?

I have just received an inquiry from another hospital, in Peoria, stating that as of now she is applying to them for medical services.

Any light you can shed on the current situation would be appreciated.


Nancy McCarthy
NIV Chief

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

OSF had contacted the US Consulate again regarding Haitian Hearts patients. This time Heurese had been mentioned.

I answered the e mail from the Consulate official immediately and told her that Heurese had been operated in Cleveland and that her visa was up to date.

Heurese had documented in her letter to OSF’s Charity Assistance Program that she had been operated and all she needed was an outpatient echocardiogram in Peoria.

So why was the American Consulate confused after OSF contacted them about Heurese?

I asked the Consulate Chief who from OSF inquired about Heurese. The Consulate official responded that it was Douglass Marshall, OSF’s lawyer.

History was repeating itself here in Peoria to the detriment of Haitians suffering heart problems.

Several years ago Paul Kramer, Executive Director of Children’s Hospital of Illinois, notified the Consulate and asked them not to grant any more non immigrant visas for my Haitian Hearts patients to travel to OSF for care. And Mr. Marshall followed that with a certified letter to me that OSF would not care for any patient referred by me to OSF. And this included Haitian Hearts patients.

Since that time, due to OSF’s refusal to care for their Haitian Hearts patients, even with partial charges and full charges offered for their care, some young Haitian patients of mine have died, and others like Heurese have been suffering greatly.

But for Mr. Marshall to notify the Consulate regarding Heurese seemed quite cruel and unusual. Heurese's children are waiting for her in Haiti.

Heurese had survived poverty, heart disease, Haitian gangs, the UN forces, and four tropical storms. But it hasn't been easy for her.

Why would OSF’s Mr.Marshall call the Consulate regarding Heurese when Heurese made it very clear in her letter that she was operated and all she needed was a 15 minute outpatient echocardiogram? And OSF says that they refuse no one, so it should have been a no-brainer. Right?

Something in Mr. Marshalls e mail concerning Heurese obviously bothered the Consulate official. What could he have written? Why would the Consulate official have sent me an “URGENT” e mail?

Was Mr. Marshall worried that Heurese would not get her echocardiogram at OSF?
And does Mr. Marshall e mail other Consulates from around Central America when other patients with odd names apply to the OSF Sisters Charity Assistance Program? Has OSF become a branch of Homeland Security?

Are the Sisters aware of Mr. Marshall's actions? Is the OSF Board of Directors aware of Mr. Marshall's actions?

Peoria has a serious problem. Too many people are silent and afraid. They are afraid for their jobs and their health insurance and their status in the community.

The Journal Star in Peoria is aware of Heurese and her problems here, but as usual, the Journal is protecting Peoria’s largest medical center. OSF is the Journal Star’s largest advertiser too.

The OSF Sisters need to be ashamed of their medical center's actions against Haitian Hearts’ patients. OSF’s ethicists and chaplains and doctors and nurses are cringing behind the scenes. Yet they say nothing in a public forum. If they all stood together, they could send a message safely and effectively.

And where is Bishop Jenky and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria? They are hiding as usual. Bishop Jenky fears OSF. So the hundreds of people that Bishop Jenky controls around the Diocese have to be silent also.

Several weeks ago while Cardinal George was appealing to President Obama to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for illegal Haitians in this country, OSF's Mr. Marshall was notifying the US Consulate in Haiti that a poor Haitian lady was requesting a tiny amount of medical help here in Peoria.

OSF's actions and the silence that surrounds them is very dangerous--not only for Haitians but for all of us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quentin Young Won't Let OSF Use Him

When OSF in Peoria wants to build another half-billion dollar expansion or a new Center for Health, they won't have convicted felon Stuart Levine to lobby.

Just a few years ago Levine and ex-governor Blagojevich's pal Tony Rezko were controlling votes on the Illinois Health Facilities Board. This Board determined which Illinois hospitals could expand, build, and buy new equipment.

OSF made out well with Levine and Rezko. They will have a tough time with Dr.Young.

Dr. Young was the Director of the Internal Medicine Department at Cook County Hospital when I did my Internal Medicine rotation there as a student at Chicago Medical School.

Here is the announcement today in the Chicago Sun-Times that Governor Patrick Quinn appointed Quentin Young to head the Board.

Quinn appoints Young to health planning board

April 16, 2009

BY JORDAN WILSON Sun-Times Springfield Bureau |

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Quinn appointed a longtime friend to head the scandal-plagued state health planning board that prosecutors said was once controlled by convicted felon Tony Rezko.

Quentin Young, one of Chicago's top experts on public health and an outspoken advocate for healthcare reform, will be announced Friday as the chairman of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

Young, who walked across the state with Quinn and was his personal doctor for five years, admitted the challenges of pumping integrity into the once-disgraced board. Yet, he remains optimistic he could help re-establish the planning board that had an "evil recent past."

"It's crucial because the public is entitled to an honest and well-run board," Young said. "I'll do everything I can to make that happen."

Prosecutors in the Rezko trial said Rezko worked in conjunction with former chairman Thomas Beck and board member Stuart Levine to control the board, which weighs bids for new hospitals, among other things. Rezko was set to cash in on a $1.5 million bribe, prosecutors said, by persuading board members to approve a controversial $81 million hospital in Crystal Lake.

Quinn’s hand-picked appointee isn’t expected to bring with him any political baggage that once haunted the planning board.

“The appointment of Dr. Quentin Young is yet another effort by Governor Quinn to restore integrity back to state government,” Quinn spokeswoman Marlena Jentz said in a statement.

The permanent chairmanship has been vacant since the scandal unfolded. Young will not be paid to head the board, but a bill that passed the Senate and is expected to pass the House could change that and provide board members up to a $10,000 per-year reimbursement.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton on Haiti

Remarks at the Haiti Donors Conference
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Inter-American Development Bank
Washington, DC
April 14, 2009

Well, thank you very much, and I congratulate the IDB, President Moreno and the staff for hosting this important donors conference. I thank Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not only for the United Nations commitment, but your personal commitment with the recent trip that you took with my husband to Haiti. And I congratulate the prime minister for an excellent plan that was laid out and clearly explained, and now presented to all of us. And to Minister Oda, thank you and your government for linking the aid that we hope comes from this donors conference with the effectiveness that needs to be present.

Now, for some of us, Haiti is a neighbor, and for others of us, it is a place of historic and cultural ties. But for all of us, it is now a test of resolve and commitment. Now, some may ask, and I am sure there are some in my country and my Congress who may ask, why a small nation in the middle of the Caribbean should command so much attention. Why should countries in the Western Hemisphere, Europe, the Middle East and Asia offer assistance to Haiti in the midst of a global economic downturn (inaudible)? And I think the answer is very clear. Because what happens in Haiti affects far beyond the Caribbean and even the region. This small nation of 9 million people is on a brink. It is on a brink of either moving forward with the help of the collective community or falling further back. And it, as well as this region, will be shaped to a large extent by the decisions that we make.

On a personal note, my husband and I went to Haiti for the first time shortly after we were married, so we have a deep commitment to Haiti and the people of Haiti. Our homes are filled with art from Haiti. We have friends who hail from Haiti. But it is not only my personal concern that brings me here today. On behalf of the United States, we are here because Haiti is a neighbor and a friend. Our ties reach back to the early years of both of our nations. They have endured for generations, through our struggles for independence, through the defeat of slavery in Haiti which inspired slaves and abolitionists in my country, to the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who have emigrated to the United States and have strengthened us through their contributions in politics and business and health and education, in science, sports, and culture – the benefits of which I experienced firsthand as a senator representing New York, which has a vibrant Haitian American community.

We are also committed to creating a hemisphere in which every nation, no matter their present level of wealth or their current political circumstances, is moving in the same direction, toward greater peace, prosperity, freedom, and opportunity. With Haiti, we have the chance through global cooperation and collaboration to stand in solidarity with a government and a people who are seeking that way forward, a nation where small investments and assistance from other countries are beginning to reap dividends in economic growth, wider access to education and healthcare, stronger governmental institutions, greater safety and security, and a higher quality of life that results when material conditions improve.

Now, today Haiti is the poorest nation in our hemisphere, with one of our region’s biggest gaps between the haves and the have-nots. But just two years ago, in 2007, Haiti achieved the highest rate of real economic growth since the 1990s. It is on track to reach the completion point for the IMF’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in the next few months. Now, that will mean that significant debt relief is on the way, freeing up approximately $4 million a month, money that Haiti can invest directly in improving the lives of its people and building futures of self-sufficiency and confidence.

Haiti does have the region’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS, the highest rate of maternal mortality and child mortality. But the numbers of maternal deaths have stabilized and the numbers of HIV infections and child deaths are coming down.

Not long ago, from the 1950s until the 1980s, Haiti endured a brutal military dictatorship. The U.S. removed a military dictatorship in 1995, clearing the way for democracy. And after several years of political disputes, common in any country making a transition, Haiti began to see progress. And the national and presidential elections in 2006 really moved Haiti’s democracy forward. What the president and the prime minister are seeking is to maintain a strong commitment to democratic governance which will take another step forward with elections for the senate on Sunday.

Now, like many nations, Haiti struggles against crime, particularly the global scourge of drug trafficking. But reforms to improve policing, strengthening the justice system and fighting corruption are now underway. And a peacekeeping force, led so ably by Brazil, has helped to bring stability to many communities.

Haiti made these strides through the efforts of its government and its citizens and many of the nations and institutions represented here. This represents the full range of resources and relationships, from businesses and universities to NGOs and religious and cultural groups, as well as committed individuals, which is at the heart of smart power.

The trajectory of progress for Haiti, however, has been undermined by the combined winds of hurricanes and the global economic recession. So Haiti is in danger of stalling. This conference gives us all an opportunity to reignite its path to progress by working as a team with Haiti at the helm to advance a comprehensive, long-term strategy for Haiti’s growth, by coordinating hemispheric and international efforts, by targeting clear goals, by setting benchmarks to gauge our progress, and deploying our diverse skills and resources efficiently and effectively.

The president and the prime minister have identified what Haiti needs to stay on track. And with these priorities as our guide, we can make progress. Now is the time to step up our investment in Haiti, not just because the situation is dire and because the consequences of inaction could lead to significantly greater human suffering, but because Haiti has a real opportunity to make substantial progress. It has a plan to do so, and it has demonstrated the determination to carry it out.

Just think, for $150 we can pay to send one Haitian child to school for a year, or we can immunize 15 children. That is a tiny fraction of the costs of solving these problems if they escalate over time. The United States will target our support toward four areas that President Preval and Prime Minister Pierre-Louis have requested, all of which are essential for national and regional progress. First, the Haitian people need and deserve to be secure. They must be able to travel safely to work and school, and participate in civic lives without fear of violence. Second, the country needs stronger infrastructure, particularly roads, which are the circulatory system of any robust economy. And going along with the infrastructure needs is the need for jobs. So we can accomplish two things at once: putting people to work, building roads and other infrastructure throughout the country.

Third, last year’s hurricanes blew a hole in the government’s budget. Now Haiti is facing a huge deficit which will make it harder for them to meet their own goals and the needs of their people. Their debt obligations further constrain their ability to lay the groundwork for the future. And fourth, agriculture – you heard the prime minister refer to it – once again, providing a strong agricultural base for the people of Haiti to become more self-sufficient, as well as to move toward reforestation as part of that agricultural initiative, will give Haiti tools for growth it desperately needs. Now on each of these issues, we will lend our assistance and we seek partners with other nations to maximize our collective impact.

First, security. As you heard, the Secretary General referred to Cité Soleil. It was a no-man’s land. Now there is a new sense of security and freedom in its streets. The Haitian National Police have been supported in their work by the UN peacekeeping operations. Those peacekeeping forces are more than half from Latin American and Caribbean countries. And with Brazil’s lead of determination and skill, there has been an upgrade in both police functions and basic security.

But criminal networks operating in Haiti have not been eliminated. They continue to fight drug traffickers who have made the country a transit point for illegal drugs heading to the United States, Canada and Europe. We will give $2 million to fight drug trafficking through the Merida Initiative, a plan conceived by Mexico, Central America and the United States. This money will fund a secure communications network for the Haitian police, provide a maritime base, vehicles, and operational support for police drug units, provide training to promote cross-border cooperation between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and sharpen the investigation and prosecution of drug crimes.

Once security is established, opportunity can take root, and nations from Canada to Spain to Japan offered generous assistance to help repair the damage from last year’s storms. But now is the time to take the step beyond – beyond peacekeeping and disaster relief to long-term reconstruction and development. Haiti has the highest unemployment rate in our hemisphere. Seventy percent of its people do not have jobs. It also has one of the region’s highest growth rates. Together, these trends have created what Paul Collier has called a youth tsunami. Nearly one million young people are expected to come into the job market in the next five years.

To spur the creation of jobs, the United States passed the HOPE Act of 2006 to give garments made in Haiti tariff-free access to U.S. markets. Last October, we did extend this trade preference for another decade. Apparel is one of the largest sectors in Haiti’s economy, and we see great possibility for job creation in this field, and we are especially gratified by Brazil’s interest in supporting the Haitian apparel industry.

But to build a diversified economy, Haiti needs more than trade deals. It needs an infrastructure to support the flow of goods and services. The roads in Haiti, for anyone who has ever visited, are beyond inadequate. Many communities are isolated, in the year 2009, by the lack of passable roads. That prevents people from holding jobs, children from going to schools, farmers from bringing crops to market. Better roads are essential.

Haiti also needs better roads and tourist areas to promote that sector of the economy. In addition, urgent infrastructure needs include digging water catchments to prevent floods, completing a garment workers training center, and creating canals to help irrigation. As part of the $287 million in nonemergency assistance we will provide Haiti this year, we have authorized $20 million in aid to generate jobs in building roads and infrastructure. And we know that there are other ways we can use this money, but we will be more effective if we coordinate together so that we are all working off the same page, the page of the recovery plan that the prime minister described.

Now even the most responsible government in the world cannot prevent a natural disaster. The hurricanes didn’t just wash away crops and houses. They washed away months of government planning. Haiti is facing an approximately $50 million budget deficit which could undermine its plans. We will provide $20 million to help pay Haiti’s upcoming debt service obligations and to free up other resources, and we invite other donors to join us in taking care of this budget deficit.

Now fourthly, there is an urgent need for sustainable agriculture and food security. The combined effects of rising food prices globally and the destruction of crops of hurricanes have exposed millions of Haitians to malnutrition and destructive effects on health and productivity. We all know the effect of malnourished people. They’re too weak to work. Children are too hungry to learn in school. So food security is not only a source of suffering; it is a direct threat to economic growth and global stability.

Here, we need to be creative. Now, the United States will provide a $15 million in-kind contribution of food to help Haiti as it rebuilds, but that is not an answer. We need to revitalize Haitian agriculture. We need to reforest the upper watersheds. We need to borrow from the intelligence of other nations to learn how, as we help rebuild Haiti, it can become more energy independent.

Brazil has shown the extraordinary energy efficiency of using sugar cane. What other crops could be used in Haiti? We know Haiti, like the Dominican Republic, have some of the windiest areas in our hemisphere. What more could be done to promote wind energy and solar energy? We are ready to partner with any of you who have such good ideas working with the Haitian Government. But think of the people we could put to work doing the work that Haiti needs.

Now, this work is not only a matter for governments, but it is a mission for the people of our country. I’ve heard from many individuals and groups who care deeply about Haiti, but they don’t know how to invest their time and money in a way to make a real impact. We will, through our government, help to create a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that the Haitian Diaspora and the United States can contribute to. And we will help coordinate other NGOs, particularly those that have been started by Haitian Americans who want to give back and are looking for the best way forward.

When I think about all of that eroded bare land that I see when I fly over Haiti – and I can always tell where the Dominican Republic starts, because that’s where the green starts – I think about what other countries have done to reforest. When our daughter was born, a dozen people paid to plant trees in Israel in her honor. Think of what we could do for individuals to pay to plant trees in Haiti, and then to pay Haitians to learn foresting techniques to nurture and grow those trees, and to come with alternatives to burning wood so people can be warm and cook their food. All of this is connected, and we’ve got to start making those connections working together.

Now, we know from empirical data that small investments go a long way, and I’ve seen this for myself in Haiti. In addition to traveling there as a newlywed, I traveled as First Lady. I traveled out into the country to meet a doctor who had emigrated to the United States, joined the United States Air Force, had become a colonel, but then wanted to give back to the country of his birth – return to Haiti to his hometown in Pignon, to run a center for health, women’s literacy and microcredit. They had few resources, but they offered a comprehensive range of services to thousands of clients.

I have visited a family planning clinic, one of the great urgent needs in Haiti, where young people were trained to educate their peers about how to protect their health and prevent teen pregnancy. And I have met with women from a group called Women in Democracy who had attended a global conference on women’s leadership that I helped to sponsor ten years ago in Montevideo. When they returned home, thanks to the Vital Voices network that they joined, they began to help support Haitian women running for office, who wanted to see a better life for their own families. Eleven years later, their organization is growing strong. They hold trade fairs for women entrepreneurs, run civic education programs to teach women their rights, support women journalists and build even more connections to the broader region. These Haitian women remind us of the resilience of the people of Haiti, but also that we will never achieve real progress unless we reach deep into Haitian society.

When I think of the successful Haitian Americans who serve in state legislatures and on city councils, who populate our hospitals as doctors and nurses from New York to Florida, who run businesses, who are creative entrepreneurs, there is no reason that could not have happened in Haiti. Talent is universal; opportunity is not. And it is our task through this donors conference to open the door of opportunity for Haitians and to send a message of what does occur through the power of collaboration.

Every poor nation that has worked hard to gain a foothold in the global economy that has been knocked off their footing is looking to see what we can do together. I’m confident that we will make not only significant pledges here, but we will match those pledges by our follow-up efforts and our coordination, and that we will demonstrate to ourselves as well as to the people of Haiti and far beyond that we can, working together, make a significant difference. Thank you all very much.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Looking Back....Haitian Hearts and OSF Patients Die Needlessly

As the years passed, OSF continued their abandonment of Haitian Hearts patients that were treated at OSF and needed to return to OSF for further surgery.

And as we had warned early in the decade, the kids began to die. Their heart repairs performed at OSF would not last forever; everyone involved with their care knew they would need further surgery at some point.

Their doctors wanted them back. Their nurses wanted them back. The ICU cleaning ladies wanted them back. Their host families wanted them back.

But then when they needed surgery, OSF would not allow them to return to OSF for definitive repairs.

Jackson Jean-Baptiste died in January, 2006 and Maxime Petion died in January, 2007. They both went through agony before dying horrible deaths.

This is so hard to think about, write about, and see Jackson's and Maxime's eyes in pictures from several years ago. They trusted us so much.

Their deaths were needless.

How could this have happened?

(Jackson Jean-Baptiste above. December, 2005.)