A dream of missionary, Dorothy Frederickson, to build a medical clinic to serve critical, unmet needs in a rural area of northern Haiti, became a reality in 2009. The clinic, built by volunteer work teams and funded by a broad base of donors, quickly became the center of activity in the small village of Pister. The clinic is staffed with a team of trained Haitians, headed by an experienced doctor seeing about 20 patients per day. Some patients and their families walk long distances on narrow trails down from the nearby mountains to the clinic, which is located on a one-lane dirt road running through farmland with clusters of small homes built with cement blocks or sticks. All are very poor, with little or not money to pay for the care received. Everyone, though, is given needed medical attention regardless of their ability to pay. Appreciation is expressed with smiles, kind words, and prayers.
A second Dorothy Frederickson dream came true in 2012 through a partnership developed with the Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine. For the past six years medical student and doctors from the University have worked side by side with staff at the Soaring Unlimited Clinic under the direction of Dr. William Cunningham who is the Assistant Dean of the medical school and Director of the MSU Institute of International Health. This relationship provides students with a third world educational experience and Haitians receive medical care not otherwise possible. The Soaring Unlimited staff also gains from this special mentoring opportunity with the University doctors. Between 100-150 patients are seen daily with ailments ranging from fractures and open wounds to acute malnutrition, serious infections, typhoid, malaria, cholera, TB, and even leprosy. Villagers arrive after hearing by word of mouth through the rural pipeline that the American doctors will be at the clinic. Some bring newborn babies and others assist the very old. The day starts with group prayer and then all wait patiently, dressed in their very best Sunday clothing. For the University medical team, the experience with the clinic staff and the appreciative village patients, turn out to be personal and impactful beyond what was originally imagined.