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SAC Physician Leads Care Team to Haiti

After hastily recruiting a team of nurses to accompany him to Haiti, Charlotte anesthesiologist Art McCulloch arrived Monday at Operation Double Harvest, a Christian ministry outside Port-au-Prince, where he began working with a surgeon to treat victims.

McCulloch, 61, a past president of the N.C. Medical Board, got a call Saturday from a Double Harvest volunteer who asked him to organize an anesthesiology team, said his wife, Kim McCulloch.

 

The McCullochs are familiar with the Double Harvest hospital. They both spent time there last year on another surgical mission after becoming friends with the Tom Van Wingerden family in Huntersville. The family patriarch, the late Aart Van Wingerden, started Double Harvest in 1981.

The hospital has two operating rooms, a treatment room and a dental clinic and sits on 200 acres owned by the ministry. The land also supports agriculture, including greenhouses and a tilapia farm, where local residents learn how to raise their own crops.

"Every dollar of money that people donate goes back to the Haitian people," Kim McCulloch said. "It's just a phenomenal organization."

By Saturday night, McCulloch had recruited three Carolinas Medical Center employees to accompany him on the trip. They are Ken Cartledge and Elizandra Pierre, both certified registered nurse anesthetists, and Fathia-Anna Davis, a registered nurse. Pierre's father is Haitian, and Davis has family in Haiti, Kim McCulloch said.

The team flew out of Charlotte on Sunday morning and spent the night in Santo Domingo before flying, via Dominican military helicopter, to the Double Harvest hospital Monday. They performed surgeries until about midnight Sunday, "mostly amputations," Kim McCulloch said. And they were expecting more surgeons and nurses to arrive Tuesday.

Double Harvest is located about one-half hour east of Port-au-Prince, near the town of Croix des Bouquets. For more information: www.doubleharvest.org. Karen Garloch

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