Hopkins School of Nursing brings Hope and Healing to Haiti

RN Beth Sloand of Hopkins School of Nursing (HSN) has been coming to Haiti since 2000. She spearheads a program 75 students and 40 faculty members participate in. They land in Haiti three times each year to treat and educate local communities on clean water and sanitation practices. Because the school has gotten to know the communities over a long period of time, and built trusting relationships, change has been able to take hold, making small improvements possible.


HSN's mission is to offer hope and sustainable resources to residents. According to Sloand, oftentimes students "develop a heart for Haiti", making their work ". . . heartbreaking and hard to swallow." She adds in 2010 the situation after the earthquake was dire: infrastructure was reduced to rubble in communities and peoples' health was endangered by homelessness and the cholera epidemic. She remembers her team treated hundreds of survivors, ". . . but there would still be children crying for shelter or medical care . . ." Despite the pain, it motivated everyone to persevere.

It has been nearly five years from January 12th, and signs of recovery are evident, but no overnight fix exists to solve the infrastructure problems of Haiti. One area the students are focusing on is the cholera epidemic, in which they are educating the community on a hand-washing technique called 'tippy taps'. The success of the prevention tactic proved simple solutions to complex problems can work in poverty-stricken rural communities.

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