2004 HEALTH AWARD
Haitian Health Foundation
Jeremiah J. Lowney, DDS, MS, MPH, has devoted the last 22 years to serving the poor of Haiti. What began as a short trip to offer dental care has become a lifelong passion to provide healthcare, development, and the hope of a future to the poor of southwestern Haiti, with a concentration on perinatal women and children.
Since 1982, Lowney has returned to Haiti every three months to personally care for children and families, founding the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) in 1986. His original dream, to provide healthcare to 35,000 people in 25 villages, is now an outreach to more than 200,000 people in Jeremie and 104 rural and remote mountain villages. Through HHF, hundreds of thousands of Haitian children and their families have been rescued.
HHF’s 27,000-square-foot outpatient clinic serves 350 to 400 patients each day. HHF’s inpatient “Center of Hope” facility provides care for malnourished children and at-risk pregnant women. Care is provided in the rural villages through HHF-trained Health Agents, who teach healthcare and diagnose and treat endemic diseases, triaging the very ill to the Clinic. Successes include: a 90 percent immunization rate, almost 100 percent reduction in diarrhea deaths, a national award for Vitamin A program (prevents child blindness) and a reduction in childhood deaths from bacterial pneumonia by more than 50 percent. In addition, Lowney maintains a feeding program which distributes hot meals and take-home food for thousands of malnourished children. HHF’s family sponsorship program sends more than 1,500 children to school each year.
Lowney and his wife Virginia are full-time volunteer administrators for HHF. Thousands of volunteers from the United States, Canada and Europe have traveled to HHF to serve the poor and to study HHF’s programs.