NOVA Hope for Haiti conducts two types of volunteer missions each year: Medical and Non-medical Maintenance missions.
Twice every year, NOVA sends teams of skilled medical practitioners to our permanent clinic to supplement and work with our Haitian medical staff. Typically we send up to six doctors, preferably three pediatricians and three adult providers. We hope to send smaller, more specialized practitioners (ob/gyn, physical therapists, dentists, etc.) between our larger medical missions to provide specific types of care to patients as well as train our doctors in these practices. These missions are usually scheduled for April and October.
A typical medical mission includes the six medical providers, translators, nurses and non-medical team leaders to coordinate the mission. The missions generally last one week, with the team departing on Sunday morning and returning the following Sunday evening.
The team departs in the morning from JFK (New York City) to Port Au Prince. Volunteers traveling from outside of New York coordinate their flights to meet the team in Port Au Prince. The team will then travel approximately four hours in a bus to our clinic in the town of Cavaillon. Our residence houses up to 14 people with the remaining missionaries staying at a home down the block that is donated by a generous friend of NOVA.
NOVA’s clinic has four examine rooms, a fully stocked pharmacy and laboratory. Patient care and staff training occur over the course of the week, with a provider seeing an average of 25 patients a day. Our two Haitian doctors work closely with our volunteers and our Haitian nurses provide assist as well. Typically a week-long mission will treat between 600-800 patients.
The team will spend the week at the clinic and return to Port au Prince on Saturday afternoon, spend one night at the Montana Hotel to reflect and prepare for the flight home on Sunday morning.
The cost of joining a team on a medical mission is $1,000, which includes airfare, transportation, food, beverages and lodging. Volunteers assume the cost for travel and housing; however, NOVA can set up sponsorship opportunities for those wishing to go on a mission who need financial support.
Non-medical Maintenance Missions:
With the opening of our permanent clinic and employing a staff of over 25, Various Trustees of the Board and other advisors travel to Haiti to perform routine maintenance and provide oversight for our staff. Daily housekeeping and building maintenance is performed by our staff, but issues that develop over time must be identified and repaired by professionals. In addition to fixing any physical issues we may discover, these non-medical missions are used for staff development, community interaction, inventory management, and spending time identifying additional ways NOVA can provide help to the people of Cavaillion.
The missions tend to occur over a long weekend and include a smaller number of non-medical volunteers, usually less than ten, including one or two translators. These missions occur between the medical missions to ensure that our clinic is visited approximately every three months and occur in January and June.