By: Tyrah Walker
Many developing nations don’t have access to clean drinking water, hospitals to aid the sick, homes to protect families, or food to feed the hungry. Life expectancy is short and unemployment rates are extremely high. Haiti, being the poorest country in the western hemisphere, has one foundation that provides shelter, food, and medicine to its population. St. Vincent’s Medical Center (SVMC), a local catholic hospital, sends a team of medical professionals and volunteers frequently to help the people of Haiti.
Jack Logue, director of the Spirituality Center of SVMC is a member of the team that goes to Haiti to provide healthcare services, love, and support. Logue has been connected to both the hospital and the mission for 44 years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He has played a major role in not only the spirituality center, but also to the mission trips to Haiti as an overseer.
Logue was the CEO of St. Boniface–a hospital in Boston which shares a name with the hospital currently being built in Haiti–when he first discovered his passion for mission work. “My wife and I were working with different church groups on teaching them to get organized and do planning, and with that we came unto a woman who was working in Haiti,” stated Logue. “My wife was a nurse and she really wanted to go down. They convinced me to go there and once you’re there, you get hooked.”
Lately Logue and his travel companions have been going to Haiti every six weeks. Going on the trips can be fun when you’re involved in the “packing party.” This event allows everyone going on the trip to come together and pack the necessities and medical supplies to take during the week stay such as scrubs and bandages.
During the visit, the team stays in Fond-des-Blancs, the hospital visiting headquarters. The team includes eight full time doctors that live in Haiti, local doctors, anesthesiologists, and a host of nurses. The volunteers’ job is to help patients go into the surgery room and take their blood pressure. During a full week, the team does 30 to 40 operations on average. The mission is not to convert anyone in Haiti to the Catholic faith. They are simply there to help provide medical needs.
With a volunteer maximum of 12 people per trip, Logue and his team are extremely grateful for volunteers who send prayers and donations while they’re away. “Generally what happens [is] we take people from the hospital that is medically connected,” said Logue. “Usually we might take one or two people that don’t have a medical background who can be a gofer.”
To Logue, being aware of the current issues that are happening in countries such as Haiti is a way people at home can get more involved with helping the less fortunate. To travel with Logue’s team to Haiti, volunteers need a current passport, money for meals, transportation, and vaccinations. Vaccinations are received by contacting SVMC.
“I personally believe that anybody that gets any kind of college degree or certainly an advanced degree, should have some Third World experience because it’s life changing,” said Logue. “Understand what it’s like living in Haiti, Guatemala, or some of those countries.” Logue is passionate about people discovering their authentic self and understanding their purpose in life. Teaching the people of Haiti and people locally about being self-efficient is the message he loves to share. “Follow you heart and really know who you are,” said Logue. “Be helpful to others and don’t get caught up in distractions.”
Logue has future plans that involve traveling the world and remaining active as a devoted volunteer helping one charity at a time.