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Mon Health’s Dr. Mark Johnson Performs Charitable Surgeries in Haiti

Posted Date: 11/16/2023
Dr. Mark Johnson, General Surgeon at Mon Health Medical Center, recently spent eight days in Pignon, Haiti performing surgeries for people in need.

Dr. Johnson went to Pignon as a part of a team lead by Dr. Dave Fogarty, a retired plastic surgeon from Morgantown. The team was made up of four nurses, two anesthetists, one anesthesiologist, and three surgeons, including Dr. Johnson.

In just eight days, Dr. Johnson performed six general surgeries including hernia repairs and two exploratory surgeries, and assisted with several plastic surgeries, including cleft palate repairs, and burn scar releases and reconstructions.

“It is incredible to know that you’re helping someone who would not otherwise get the care they need,” said Dr. Johnson. “I knew I had the capacity to help people in need, so why wouldn’t I go?”

In Pignon, there is no running water and extremely limited electricity that is run through fuel-powered generators. Dr. Johnson and his team worked out of a hospital with basic surgical equipment and limited supplies that they brought into the country.

“Going on one of these trips, you have to abandon all that is familiar and important to you and work with what you have to get patients the care that they need,” said Dr. Johnson. “It was incredibly touching to see such strong mothers bring their babies to see us. They had been through so much, struggling to provide their children with food that their babies could barely eat with their cleft palates, yet they were hopeful that we could help.”

According to the World Bank, over 40% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty. Dr. Johnson says he is passionate about this work and hopes to bring more teams together to take important healthcare to places like Pignon in the future.

“Going to Haiti and seeing true desperation for basic needs and healthcare is so overwhelming you could be tempted to think that nothing can be done,” said Dr. Johnson. “There is no way I can solve all of the problems in the world, but I can help, starting with one person at a time.”

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