Haiti Trip Deepens Family’s Commitment to Global Health

Haiti Trip Deepens Family’s Commitment to Global Health

Lia Poorvu with Michelle Morse, MD, MPH, in Haiti.

“I came home incredibly inspired by how a small group of compassionate, talented people can have a large influence on the health and well-being of so many,” says Lia Poorvu of her trip to Haiti in late 2016 with Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

Eight years ago, Lia and her husband Bill established the Poorvu Family Faculty Fellowship after meeting Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, chief of the hospital’s Division of Global Health Equity. The fellowship helps BWH physicians train and mentor the next generation of global health leaders at sites worldwide. This past year, the Poorvus deepened their longstanding commitment to the fellowship by making an additional generous gift through their family foundation.

Michelle Morse, MD, MPH, a Poorvu fellow, guided Lia and her granddaughter Kayla through Haiti, including two home health visits and a tour of the University Hospital in Mirebalais, a national teaching hospital opened in 2013.

“Seeing how loving Dr. Morse is with individual patients, and at the same time how creative, wise, and innovative she is on the macro level was amazing,” Lia says.

“The Poorvus have supported my career for years, first as a resident in global health equity at the Brigham and now as faculty,” Morse says. “I’m so encouraged by opportunities to expand my engagement in social justice and train Haitian healthcare providers. Medical education is transformative at its best, and is advancing the health and lives of people we care for.”

Lia says her family’s commitment to this work has only been strengthened by visiting Haiti. “I realize challenges in Haiti can be overwhelming, but the spirit of the patients and healthcare workers we met shows a level of joy, energy, and resilience that communicates hope,” she says. “It means so much to our family to support the Brigham’s global health mission.”