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Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014


KDKA-TV: Relief Mission Flies From Pittsburgh To Haiti

Monday, January 25th, 2010

A flight providing relief for earthquake-ravaged Haiti left from Pittsburgh Sunday for Port-au-Prince carrying doctors, nurses and thousands of dollars in supplies.

The mission came together in less than 72 hours in a cooperative effort involving Pittsburgh's hospitals, relief agencies and drug companies.

It was spearhead by Sewickley's Jim Bouchard, the CEO of Esmark Steel and Natural Gas Corporation.

"…Just have the means to do it. I've been very lucky, and - it's just - you see those people suffering down there and I just felt the rally cry that we had to do something," said Bouchard.

Bouchard and Highmark provided the Boeing 737 800; while UPMC, West Penn, other health systems, doctors and nurses, Mylan and others donated the drugs and anesthetics.

"It is right for people who are in critical need of medical attention - these people that are suffering tremendously," said Ken Melani, Highmark CEO. "We're going to get people there to take care of them, and supplies there to help comfort them and hopefully head off some of these infections that are going to become rampant in the next few hours."

The plane carried 80 doctors and nurses and $15 million in food and medical supplies.

The plane transported $4 million in supplies from the Brother's Brother Foundation.

"Brother's Brother has provided 40,000 bottles of antibiotics, pain relievers, other types of medications that have been requested by medical facilities in Haiti," said Luke Hingson, of the foundation. "Some are going on the plane today; some will be going on the plane later in the week."

The plane stopped in North Carolina to pick up more doctors before its scheduled landing Sunday evening in Port-au-Prince.

Once on the ground, the team of doctors was set to fan out to hospitals throughout Haiti.

"It's a very, very sad situation; so, we just pray that we get to the right place at the right time with the right equipment to do something to help," added Mark Sangimino, of Allegheny General Hospital.

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