The LaTorra-Larsen Medical Foundation was founded by Dr. Albert LaTorra, D.O. and Dr. Wilhelm Larsen, M.D., two South Florida physicians who saw a critical and humanitarian need in American's own "backyard" and went after it like two eager, energetic, and idealistic college graduates. The foundation is dedicated to vastly improving the impoverished and archaic medical systems and services of Haiti, as well as establishing modern medical facilities and services where none exist. According to Dr. LaTorra, "Haiti is in a medical time warp; they are 35 years behind most countries in not having the type and scope of medical equipment that can simply save lives and our foundation is doing something about that."
In 2007, the foundation secured several million dollars in used and donated hospital equipment, including MRIs, CT scanners, and laser technologies from U.S. hospitals and arranged for their shipment to Haiti. "Since U.S. hospitals are on the cutting edge of medical technologies," according to Dr. Larsen, "they have a plethora of used equipment yearly that can be well-used in Haiti. Our mission is to take this equipment off their hands and get it to the people of Haiti." "Most significantly," according to Dr. LaTorra, "we have built a strong relationship with the Haitian government and medical leaders to make sure that donated equipment and supplies reach their targeted destinations and end results are achieved."
But LaTorra and Larsen are not stopping with donated equipment. They have increased the foundation's mission to include essential medicines, vaccines, infant formulas, wound care and surgical supplies, infant and adult nutritional products, and beds donated by respective U.S. companies who share their vision of helping their neighbors reach life-altering levels and standards that should be afforded to all the people of the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere. "My God," LaTorra exclaims, "if we truly believe in the guiding principles upon which our great nation was founded, we will quickly realize that the Haitian people are our brothers and sisters geographically, politically, and religiously."
Undertaking what no person or entity has ever done before, the foundation is committed to building and staffing medical clinics throughout the island nation where none exist. "The majority of Haitian children suffer from severe malnutrition and the mainstream of adults and children alike have no resources for the basics of medical care and treatment," Dr. Larsen exclaims. Because of this notorious fact, the foundation is committed to even building a medical school in the country where physicians, nurses, and medical staff can be trained and remain in Haiti to save lives and uplift the lives of the country's people who suffer from a collective depression that can be altered through proper and decent medical care-giving.
The foundation also sees many positive off-shoots that will be affected by its medical commitments and efforts. One in particular is the development of tourism to an island that has proper medical facilities and services. "Haiti is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen," LaTorra states. "It is such a perfect place for Americans and other countries to visit and enjoy its vast pristine beaches and climate. When potential visitors know that strong primary and secondary medical care is available, that is the first step in motivating resort builders and tour companies to get involved. The visitors will come as a result. Besides, Haiti is known for its rich mahogany resources and craftsmanship. What an opportunity for the furniture and decorative industries to get involved as well."
The foundation needs your help in the form of financial and/or medical contributions. For information, please .
Donated medical supplies and food in Haiti after the earthquake
Jan. 19, 2010