Community Service : Skin Clinic Haiti

Skin Clinic Haiti

The Skin Clinic Haiti is a partnership, led by Assistant Professor Dr. Brian Morrison, American and Haitian dermatologists to improve the quality of and access to dermatologic care in Haiti. Since our first trip to Haiti in 2013, we have expanded our partnerships to include the Miller School of Medicine, the Wound Clinic at Hospital Bernard Mevs/Project Medishare and the Albha (Albinism Haiti) Foundation. Our chief aim is to empower and educate local dermatologists who can bring about sustainable, lasting change in their communities. That said we spend the majority of our time in Haiti directly serving the needs of our patients by providing free clinics and surgical procedures.

Our most recent clinical effort is an Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA) clinic in Port au Prince. There is a great need for improved malignancy screening in education in this population. Skin cancer is relatively rare in Haiti and is often not treated by dermatologists. This scarcity of expertise in the medical community can result to poor patient outcomes. Since our first clinic in February 2017, we have seen over 150 albinism patients of all ages. The services we provide to this patients include albinism education, sunscreen, protective clothing, sun glasses, ophthalmologic evaluation, skin screening, medical and surgical treatment of actinic keratosis and skin cancer. The clinic has been held once every 4 months to provide continuity and routine care to our patients. The OCA clinic effort was acknowledged in a recent publication (see link): https://physician-news.umiamihealth.org/haiti-albinism-clinic-grows-in-reach-and-effectiveness/

We have also cultivated a relationship with the Department of Dermatology at Hospital De L’Universite D’Etat D’Haiti, Haiti’s only dermatology training program. This has given us the unique opportunity to participate in and learn from educational conferences about challenging patient. The physicians there have encouraged us to teach the Haitian residents about areas of dermatology that are not emphasized in their curriculum, such as cutaneous surgery and dermatopathology. Haitian residents also routinely contribute to our OCA clinic and informally rotate at our clinics at the University of Miami.

University of Miami dermatology residents have consistently accompanied Dr. Morrison on his trips to Haiti. This has given them to contribute to a commendable cause while gaining an opportunity to participate in global medicine. Past residents include Drs. Tejas Patel, Alan Zhou, Anna Nichols, Alejandra Vivas, Jennifer Abrams, Robert Griffith, Timothy Wu, Jonathan Weiss and Suchismita Paul.