PHILADELPHIA – At approximately 2:30 pm on Monday, January 25th “Penn Medicine Team One” – the first medical team from Penn Medicine to fly to Haiti to provide expert medical care to victims of the earthquake on January 12th – departed from the Philadelphia International Airport. The nine-member team was bid farewell by fellow colleagues shortly before boarding a bus for the airport. The team included orthopaedic and trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists, critical medical and surgical care nurses, OR and peri-operative nurses, and OR technical specialists. The team expects to be in Haiti for approximately two weeks. Over 150 Penn Medicine faculty and staff have volunteered for the relief effort to date. Given the challenging situation in Haiti, the first team members were chosen because, in addition to their medical expertise, they had previous military experience, Foreign Service, or missionary work experience.

The Penn Medicine Team One is going to a 200-bed hospital an hour outside of Port-au-Prince in Cange. In addition, faculty and staff across Penn Medicine worked hard throughout the weekend to identify and obtain critical equipment for this mission. Due to their dedication and diligence, 1,200 lbs of medical supplies were sent with the medical team yesterday.

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) was the first institution in the US to treat Haitian citizens when three critical patients were evacuated from Haiti and brought into Penn’s Trauma Center on Sunday, January 17th.

The patients were flown to HUP as a result of the extraordinary efforts of Naomi Rosenberg, a second year Penn medical student and member of Partners in Health, a non-profit organization committed to helping Haiti during this time of extreme crisis. Since the day of the earthquake, Naomi spearheaded a coordinated effort to get Haitian earthquake victims to HUP for life saving treatment. With the help of Richard Shannon, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, her efforts were made a reality as four patients were flown to Philadelphia for emergency treatment and surgery. All three patients are currently in HUP and in good condition.

UPDATE 1/28/10: Regular updates and reports from the Penn Medicine Team in Haiti are now available in a special feature section of the Penn Medicine website: "Penn Medicine in Haiti"

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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