The work that BHI does is only possible because of our partners. One of our longest standing partners, Health Equity International released their 2020 annual report last week, highlighting the life-changing and life-saving strides they’ve made in a year marked by unprecedented health challenges.
Among the stories highlighted in their annual report is a profile on Fabian, a former patient at the Spinal Cord Injury Center at St. Boniface Hospital following the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, who became a BHI employee.
This week, EyeWitness News reported on reconstruction of the High Rock Clinic on Grand Bahama, in partnership with @DirectRelief.
Grand Bahama Health Services Administrator Sharon A Williams shared,
“At the conclusion of this effort, we will be blessed with a facility that is significantly advanced beyond what we had previously. This will enable us to expand our healthcare programmes within this community, inclusive of a dental suite, which was lacking in our previous facility.”
The BHI team is growing – and we’re looking for a Contract Recruiter to help us continue our growth! The Contract Recruiter will work closely with BHI managers to complete each step in the hiring process, from developing job descriptions, to creatively sourcing candidates, to supporting new hires through the onboarding process. This is a part-time position with a contract of 6-12 months. Interested or know someone who could be a great fit? Apply here.
“Building medical facilities in poor resource countries is even harder than it sounds. There can be language barriers, cultural barriers, trouble finding skilled tradesmen, trouble sourcing materials, political unrest, climate-related challenges, logistical challenges and more. But over the years, [Georges] has learned to design a lot of the complexity out of the projects. Even sourcing a simple and universal construction material like concrete blocks can be impossible in some places, but Georges has made a career out of overcoming obstacles.”
The Boston Business Journal recently profiled BHI’s very own Director of Architecture, Gerard Georges, outlining his path to a career in architecture and what motivates him to design healthcare infrastructure for low-resource settings.
BHI is grateful for Gerard’s leadership, passion, and commitment to expanding health equity through sustainable design.
This fall, BHI had the pleasure of working with a talented team of students in the OnSite Global Consulting program at the @tuckschool at @dartmouthcollege to develop a business model for oxygen delivery in Southern Haiti. Through a series of interviews with local doctors, engineers, and other healthcare NGOs like @healthequityinternational, the Tuck team provided a roadmap for making medical oxygen delivery more accessible and sustainable in the region.
As 2021 begins, we are thrilled to share that the newly renovated Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais Emergency Department, run by @zanmi_lasante @partnersinhealth, has opened its doors! Adding 4,360 square feet and 21 beds, the expansion more than doubles the capacity of the Emergency Department, allowing the hospital to meet the high demand for emergency care. But as with every project over the past year, this accomplishment was not achieved without challenges posed by COVID-19 along the way. Our latest story shares how the BHI team adapted our work to address the dueling needs of COVID-19 and emergency care simultaneously.
“The biggest lesson I learned was that the spirit of Haiti and the will of the people responsible for the most successful slave revolt in history and the first Black republic, could not be broken. That in itself was truly inspiring in the midst of the horror and sadness of January 2010.” -BHI Co-Founder, Jim Ansara
Today our thoughts are with our staff and friends in Haiti, as we recognize the solemn 11th anniversary of the Haitian Earthquake, which claimed an estimated 300,000+ lives and devastated millions. Amidst this tragedy, we are reminded of the resilience of the Haitian people, and the strides that have been made to strengthen the healthcare system in Haiti since January 12, 2010. In doing so, we are revisiting an article written last January, chronicling the development of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais over the past 11 years.
Over the past few months, BHI has been working with a talented team of students at @tuckschool to develop a sustainable business model for medical oxygen distribution in Haiti’s Southern Peninsula. Through collaboration with a variety of oxygen experts, Haitian clinicians, and staff at BHI, @healthequityinternational, @partnersinhealth, and @saintrockhaiti, the Tuck consultants developed a set of recommendations. We are excited to share their findings with you today, which we plan to leverage to make medical oxygen more accessible and sustainable. Link in our bio to read their full report 👉 @buildhealthinternational
Take a peek into the future Maternal Center of Excellence in Sierra Leone to learn more about the elements of BHI’s innovative design! From the 140 bed maternity ward, to the locally sourced diamond mine stones that make up the building’s facade, to the simulation labs which will train the next generation of equity-minded healthcare workers, @pihsierraleone‘s MCoE promises to strengthen dignified care for women and children in Sierra Leone and beyond.
🚨 Match Alert! 🚨 From donors, to construction workers, to frontline healthcare providers – when it comes to powering the future of health equity, we are all on the same team. Today, we are thrilled to announce that an anonymous donor is matching $1 for $1 up to $20,000 for all gifts made to BHI between now and the end of 2020. We hope you will consider joining our team by giving to BHI!
On Monday, Lesotho’s first ever oxygen plant was opened! This plant will play a critical role in strengthening Lesotho’s health system, by preventing unnecessary deaths caused by a lack of access to medical oxygen. We are proud to have worked on this important project, by helping procure and install equipment, in partnership with @partnersinhealth!
“This facility will not just be a building, it will be a fundamental shift in how maternal and child health care is envisioned in Sierra Leone.” – Isata Dumbaya, Head of the Maternity at Kono Government Hospital and the Future MCoE
While we’ve spent a lot of time responding to immediate and emerging healthcare needs this year, we’ve also been busy drawing a blueprint for the future of global health equity. Among these blueprints is the Maternal Center of Excellence in Sierra Leone, which will be run by @partnersinhealth, @pihsierraleonne. Slated to break ground in April 2021, the MCoE will aim to (re)build trust in the public health system, after poor infection control during the 2014 Ebola epidemic led previous hospital facilities to serve as vectors of the disease.
Head on over to our Annual Report to learn more about the MCoE design and the transformative impact this facility will have on healthcare perceptions and outcomes in Sierra Leone.
Last week, the big ribbon and scissors were broken out, as the modular operating theatre at Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama was officially commissioned, installed, and blessed! Built in partnership with @directrelief and @midmarkcorp, the new Modular OR has been in continuous use since August, serving as a safe and sterile place for surgery after the destruction Hurricane Dorian caused last fall.
Signed✒️, sealed📩, delivered📫, our 2020 Annual Report is now yours!
This year, the need for reliable healthcare infrastructure has been on all of our minds. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished in 2020, helping health systems move from disaster to resilience and building the foundation for health equity along the way.
Global health equity needs a strong foundation. From ICUs in Haiti to Maternal Health Centers in East Africa, Build Health International is bringing quality health infrastructure to the places that need it most.
This #GivingTuesday we ask you to #BuildWithUs by making a gift to BHI. Your support allows us to:
🏥 Build dignified health infrastructure in the world’s most vulnerable communities.
💡 Power the future of global health through sustainable, resilient design.
🩺 Equip clinicians with the equipment necessary to serve patients and save lives.
This past week, BHI was featured on @engineeringdotcom for our work with @autodesk’s The Living studio to design and build a 50-bed COVID-19 treatment center in less than five weeks and make our COVID ward design accessible and replicable worldwide!
Learn more about our design process, considerations, and the impact of this work!
Take a tour of the future Maternal Center of Excellence!
In Sierra Leone, 1 in 20 women are at risk of dying during childbirth. The forthcoming MCoE, which will be run by @pih, @pihsierraleone and the Ministry of Health will aim to radically improve maternal health outcomes and serve as a model for dignified care in Sierra Leone and beyond.
BHI is proud to be designing and building this important and transformative facility, set to break ground in April 2021.
We are excited to head into Day 3 of #AU2020 by featuring a presentation from our Senior Architectural Designer, Allison Denisky! In this presentation, Allison and her colleagues at @Microdesk discuss how generative design and computational fluid dynamics were used to optimize energy efficiency and reduce operating costs for the Maternal Center of Excellence (MCoE) in Sierra Leone, run by @pihsierraleone @partnersinhealth.
Have you watched any of BHI’s presentations at Autodesk University yet? If not, now’s a perfect time to start!
Today, we’re highlighting a Theater Talk given by our very own Senior Architectural Designer, Allison Denisky and Project Engineer, Fatlum Troshani. In this discussion, Allison and Fatlum outline the many obstacles and opportunities associated with designing for low-resource settings and share the best practices they employ —including the use of Autodesk software — to overcome these challenges.
We are thrilled to announce that BHI has received a 2020 AEC Excellence Award, winning the ‘Better World Award’ for our design of the Saint Rock Hospital! 🏆
Located in Carrefour commune of Ouest, Haiti and situated upon mountainous terrain, the Saint Rock Hospital will increase healthcare capacity for the region by 400%, providing access to care that was previously unreliable or inaccessible. This award is an honor and a testament to the hard work of both our Architecture & Engineering team as well as our partners at @saintrockhaiti.
Thank you to @autodeskuniversity, @autodesk for this recognition and the tools to make our work at Saint Rock Hospital possible!
Tomorrow, BHI will be presenting in the ‘COVID‐19 Treatment Centers for Low‐Resource Settings’ webinar, hosted by The American Institute of Architects (AIA). In this webinar, we’ll share how our design approach enabled us to quickly and effectively respond to the pandemic and offer best practices on designing for COVID treatment and recovery.
We hope you will join us tomorrow from 4-5:30 EST!
Globally, pneumonia is the leading infectious killer of children and adults, yet over 100,000 lives can be saved annually through access to high quality biomedical equipment. Through examples of our work in Burundi, Sierra Leone, and Haiti, this #WorldPnuemoniaDay BHI reflects on the importance of addressing equipment needs head on by making procurement, repair, and training a top priority.
This week marks ten years since cholera was first introduced in Haiti by UN Peacekeepers in the wake of the earthquake, sparking an epidemic. Facing dual crises, our co-founders quickly changed course from supervising construction of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais Hospital to building cholera treatment centers. As Haiti continues to face repercussions from the cholera epidemic, alongside the challenges of COVID-19, our dedication to adapt and serve the health needs of the communities we work in remains at the heart of our mission.
We’re hiring! BHI is looking for organized, self-motivated college junior or senior to join our team as a Development Intern! If you’re interested in global health or social justice, and want to gain nonprofit operations and fundraising experience, we would love to connect with you!
Lack of access to oxygen causes tens-of-thousands of preventable deaths each year. “It’s imperative that we prioritize equitable, sustainable access to life-sustaining oxygen.. design oxygen-delivery solutions that are appropriate to local contexts,” write BHI co-founders Jim Ansara and Dr. David Walton in an op-ed published today in STAT News. We have the technology and solutions to save lives, but must ensure equitable access worldwide.
Build Health International was featured in Autodesk News for our residency at the BUILD Space! Read how we are improving #design-for-assembly processes for #healthcare delivery in low-resource settings, in collaboration with The Living and the Autodesk Foundation.
Our work began in the midst of overlapping health crises – the 2010 earthquake and cholera epidemic in Haiti. We bring the lessons from that work to everything we do, including responding to COVID-19. Thank you to Boston Private for featuring our co-founders’ journey to expand access to safe and reliable healthcare in the summer issue of their Perspectives magazine!
How do you build for maximum efficiency? The Center for Infectious Disease and Emergency Care (CIDEC) at Health Equity International’s St. Boniface Hospital has seen thousands of patients since it opened in March 2018. The facility’s efficient, flexible design makes it easy for different clinical spaces to flex to the most pressing need – whether cholera, tuberculosis or COVID-19.
Click the link below to learn about how BHI used Autodesk technology and Microdesk expertise to optimize the CIDEC’s design!
Infrastructure is one of our best tools against COVID-19. From building wards to designing oxygen plants, from shipping PPE to optimizing clinical planning, BHI is helping our partners around the world scale-up their capacity. Learn more at the link below.
As the construction team runs through the final punch list for the new COVID-19 Treatment Center at HUM, we hope you will join us in giving them a huge thumbs up! Here’s Yves Justin showing us all how its done!
Read about how, in just two months, BHI’s team added 100 new COVID-19 beds at Haiti’s largest teaching hospital
It’s been just two months since we broke ground, and the new 100-bed COVID-19 Treatment at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais is almost ready to open. How we do it? Read all about the construction process in our latest story!
📸: BHI Carpentry Foreman Jean Alex Paul working on the new COVID-19 wards (July 10, 2020)
The pandemic has once again demonstrated the critical importance of clean water and reliable sanitation for all. But it was only ten years ago today that the United Nations formally recognized these critical human rights. Read about why this matters for health facilities and COVID-19 in our latest blog!
In 2018, Gina Goldenberg was a volunteer at Saint Rock Haiti’s Centre de Santé. As BHI’s Development & Communications Intern this summer, she got to work alongside our design team who are finalizing construction documents for a new, much expanded primary care hospital! Click the link below to read her reflections on what this new facility will mean for maternal and child care in Saint Rock, Haiti!
In-kind partners are vital to BHI’s work! Donations of reusable materials, construction tools, and used biomedical equipment help support new health infrastructure projects across the world. Every donation counts – click the link below to learn more about how you can get involved!
Our COVID-19 work was highlighted on WCVB as yesterday’s “5 For Good” feature! If you missed it live, you can watch the full segment on WCVB-5’s website. Click the link below!
BHI needs your vote! We have two proposals in the running for Autodesk University, in partnership with Microdesk! Click the link below, search for “nonprofit” and click “vote” on both. No registration required!
News Alert: Build Health International was featured in today’s @bostonglobe! Our co-founders, Jim and David, have been working to improve healthcare in Haiti for over a decade. Read out how they got started, the change they’ve already seen, and the new threat COVID-19 poses to Haiti. Don’t worry if you missed the print version — click the link below to read the full story online!
BHI’s COVID-19 response was featured this week in the Boston Network for International Development Blog! Click the link below to read about our work, including our partnerships with Boston-based international nonprofits Partners In Health and Health Equity International.
Today, Haiti passed 1000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Given the scale of the outbreak in the US, this number may still seem small, but the velocity of Haiti’s outbreak is extremely concerning. Consider that one month ago, there were only 72 confirmed cases.
We need to urgently scale-up COVID-19 infrastructure across Haiti and other low-resource countries. Our COVID-19 infrastructure resources are available online for free, including campus plans, full construction drawings, and resources for site management. Click the link below!
Please help us share these resources with frontline health organizations! We are eager to support any organization with questions about adapting these resources to their local needs.
Every surgery has risks, but the risk of the hospital losing power should never be one of them. Thankfully, for CURE International’s Hôpital des Enfants that risk is now securely in the past. Last year, the hospital partnered with BHI to go solar!
Click the link below to read about how this change has helped them increase access to life-changing pediatric surgery in Niger. #GlobalSurgeryDay
Join BHI CEO Dr. David Walton for discussion on Treatment Protocols for COVID-19 Patients in Low-Resource Settings! This session is designed for policymakers, public health and health systems leaders and clinicians, but will be interesting for anyone looking to learn more emerging evidence and guidance for these settings.
Thank you to Dartmouth’s Center for Global Health Equity and the Pandemic Partnership for Equity of Information for organizing!
We’ve had many requests for a manual on patient screens, so here it is!! A step-by-step guide to constructing this critical infection prevention tool in low-resource settings. Click the link below to download!
📣 Please help us spread the word! We are eager to support any organization that has questions about adapting this guide – or any of our resources – to their local needs. Just email COVID19@buildhealthinternationaldotorg.wpcomstaging.com
New Resource – Please Share!
Hospitals and health centers in low-resource settings are facing new and critical questions as case numbers rise across the world. Infrastructure is critical to a successful COVID-19 response, and we want to make sure teams on the frontlines have the knowledge and resources they need to rapidly, and successfully, scale up their infrastructure.
In collaboration with Partners In Health, we developed a NEW Coronavirus Treatment Center Guide for low-resource settings, in which we share 30 pages of best practices for building and managing treatment centers when resources are scare. You can download the FREE document below:
We’re hiring for a Senior Renewable Energy Engineer! This person will be responsible for leading the design of solar energy projects, growing BHI’s renewable energy team, and bringing new products and ideas to fruition. If you know someone who would be a good fit, please encourage them to apply! Job description and details on how to submit your CV, at the link below.
📷: A BHI team member installs solar panels at St. Boniface Hospital (Jess Rinaldi, 2017)
“What does global health equity mean in a pandemic of such magnitude as COVID-19? It means we must take a proactive approach, addressing disparities and injustice from the start—both in how we approach scientific discovery and in how we deliver interventions.”
Read Dr. Louise Ivers (MassGeneral) and Dr. David Walton’s (BHI & Brigham and Women’s Hospital) important editorial in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Architects, engineers, construction and healthcare professionals – we would love your support to strengthen grow our open-access COVID-19 Infrastructure Resources! We are partnering with the Boston Society for Architecture to hold a collaborative collaborative design charrette on 𝗪𝗲𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟭𝟱𝘁𝗵 from 𝟱-𝟳𝗽𝗺. Click the link below for more information on the event and how to RSVP!
Across the US, college campuses have emptied while hospital admissions have surged. BHI’s CEO Dr. David Walton and our incredible Partners In Health colleagues, Dr. Regan Marsh & Dr. Sheila Davis, spoke with VICE about how college dorms can bolster COVID-19 infrastructure in the US. Best practices for health infrastructure & care in low-resource settings can provide valuable insights to health systems now stretched thin by COVID-19! Click below to read the article in VICE.
📸: Kat Kendon
📍: Isolation room at St. Boniface Hospital, Haiti
Across the world, shortages of protective and biomedical equipment are putting the lives of healthcare workers and their patients at greater risk.
In addition to coordinating BHI’s COVID-19 response in low-resource settings, our CEO Dr. David Walton is also responding to the epidemic as a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Click the below in our bio to read his #WorldHealthDay reflections on what must be done to support frontline health workers around the world.
Dr. David Walton sat down with Alex Knapp of Forbes last week to answer questions about #COVID19 and it’s impact on health systems across the globe. Their conversation is now available on Forbes’ Youtube Channel. Be sure to check it out!
Tomorrow is Friday, which means we’ll be back for our the weekly webinar series on COVID-19 Response in Low-Resource Settings! Session Four focuses on response strategies from the Middle East.
Dr. David Walton and Dr. Louise Ivers, are joined by Dr. Tara B. Reshid (Iraqi Red Crescent Society, Ophthalmic Department in Al Kindy Teaching Hospital), Dr. Yaroup Ajlouni (Jordan Health Aid Society International) and Dr. Aryiana Jawad (Minister of Health Education, Kurdistan).
What if a health facility can’t test for coronavirus? PPE and appropriate equipment and more important than ever, but design can also help mitigate some of the infection risks for staff and other patients. BHI has new conceptual plans and construction drawings for Coronavirus Treatment Centers without testing capacity, available on our resources portal now!