For the past seven years, Dr. Todd Brackins Pharm.D., BCPP, has taken 4th year pharmacy students to Haiti. The 4th year students work at Canaan Christian Community, a Christian school, medical clinic and orphanage.
Brackins was introduced to Canaan Christian Community in Montroius, Haiti, on a trip through his congregation. He has since built a relationship of his own with Canaan Christian Community
HUCOP students generally spend 7-10 days with the Canaan team, working alongside Haitian physicians, nurses, and pharmacy staff to care for 50-70 patients every day. The clinic opens at 8:00 a.m., with patients already lined up to receive care. Pharmacy students spend the day doing a rotation of activities, including taking vitals and doing general patient intake procedures, to assisting with the pharmacy staff doing prescription filling and providing patient education in newly learned Haitian Creole phrases. In addition to daily clinic activities, the students develop ways to educate staff on a variety of health-related topics, which are created in formats for which the staff can continue to reference them. Students also review classes of medications with the staff and provide other general education about medicines.
In the evenings, HUCOP students are called on to help tutor students at Canaan. Often, they have to re-learn algebra, geometry, and grammar to offer tutoring. The school material is delivered in English, so translation is not an issue.
HUCOP students attend church with the Canaan Community each Sunday, and listen to the Gospel message and praise and worship in Haitian Creole. Dr. Brackins said he can’t help but think this is but a brief glimpse of what heaven will be like with believers and Christ-followers from around the world.
A typical day for a HUCOP student lasts from the time the first rooster starts crowing to the time the generator stops and the lights go out around 9:00 p.m. As Dr. Brackins often tells students, they’ll receive a greater blessing than they will ever deliver while working there.
Marla Moseley, P4, went to Haiti this past January. She said she had been interested in going to Haiti since her P1 year when she saw a presentation about the trip. She said her team worked in the clinic’s pharmacy and assisted pharmacy technicians. They also counseled patients on how to properly take their medicine.
“Our main purpose was to volunteer in a local health clinic,” Moseley said. “We provided them with medications that they expressed a need for, as well as diabetic supplies.”
Journey McCarty, P4, said the thing that impacted her the most while in Haiti happened during the team’s presentation to clinical staff. McCarty said a man spoke to the team and said their presentation of alcohol cessation was an answer to his prayers.
“He described to us what he had been going through since the year 2018 began and that his new years resolution was to stop drinking,” McCarty said. “He told us how much he had prayed over it and had gone to church for help, but he wasn’t where he wanted to be with it.”
McCarty said the man told them he did not even want to come to the presentations, but his boss made him attend. He said after hearing the team’s presentation, he had no doubt that God had fully intended on him being there and hearing the presentation.
“I had never been a part of someone’s testimony like that before and it was such a raw moment to witness his emotions first hand,” McCarty said. “I will never forget that moment and the feelings I had getting to be a part of that.”