22 CIR Residents Awarded Scholarships To Provide Medical Relief in Haiti



With the death toll from Hurricane Matthew surpassing 900 and tens of thousands of Haitians left homeless, the scale of the humanitarian crisis is daunting.

Members of the Committee of Interns and Residents will be in a unique position to help on the ground during this critical time and the aftermath of the hurricane.

The CIR Policy and Education Initiative’s (CIR PEI) Haiti volunteer program began after the 2010 earthquake and is now in its fifth year, thanks to funding from Newmark, Knight and the Gural family. In collaboration with Project Medishare, the organization will send 22 CIR members this year to work at the Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince or in the clinics in the Central Plateau of Haiti.

The resident physician volunteers  donate personal vacation time to spend a week in Haiti to work side-by-side with a team of local medical professionals at the trauma center and clinics to provide ongoing care and, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, disaster relief. Scholarships from CIR PEI cover travel, food, and housing.

“As a Pediatrician in training who grew up partly in Haiti with a passion for global health, I vowed not to return to Haiti empty handed,” said Dr. Natacha Pierre, a resident at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. “I applied for the grant because I felt it my calling to go back home to help my people who are still suffering from the major aftermath of the earthquake 6 years ago. I received the news of my being selected for the scholarship the day after Hurricane Matthew claimed the lives of hundreds and left in its wake the dreaded aftermath: cholera. I am honored and grateful to have been chosen for this unique opportunity to make a difference, and I am sure I will also not return empty handed!”

The 2016 cohort includes CIR members from hospital systems across the country. Congratulations to all the scholarship winners.

2016 Project Medishare Scholarship Awards

  • Alexandra Aarons – Institute of Family Health, (NY)
  • Lindsay Cassey – Valley Consortium, (CA)
  • Sandi Aung – St. John’s Episcopal (NY)
  • Jennifer Cohn – Boston Medical Center (MA)
  • Joanne Duara – Jackson Memorial Hospital (FL)
  • Nora Gibbons – UNM (NM)
  • Brittney Mason-Hirner – Jackson Memorial Hospital (FL)
  • Natacha Pierre – Maimonides (NY)
  • Helen Song – Harbor UCLA (CA)
  • Deepti Vellaichamy Man – Kings County Medical Center (NY)
  • Joseph Benedict – Boston Medical Center (MA)
  • Najm Haque – Jacobi Medical Center (NY)
  • Shannon Anderson – Kern Medical Center (CA)
  • Olumide Akindutire – Kings County Hospital Center (NY)
  • Deepak Sekaran – Lincoln Medical Center (NY)
  • Matthew Bludorn – Montefiore Medical Center (NY)
  • Nurilign Bulcha – Montefiore Medical Center (NY)
  • Michelle Ogues – NY Methodist Hospital (NY)
  • Rosny Daniel – San Francisco General-UCSF (CA)
  • Rajinderpal Chahal – Kern Medical Center (CA)
  • Elise Lowe – UNM (NM)
  • Vivek Kumar – Maimonides Medical Center (NY)