Communication Home

OU-COM sponsors Haiti earthquake relief

Alumni, faculty, residents provide critical medical care

 (Athens, Ohio) – Despite decades of serving as a surgeon and international volunteer relief physician, David Drozek, D.O. (’83), assistant professor of surgery at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM), had never encountered the level of need he saw in Haiti.

“One lady, who had been buried for three days, had some of the
deepest wounds I have ever seen. She had lost control of one foot
on the side of the deepest wound,” he wrote in reports to OU-COM, later adding that, “the work [in Haiti] is becoming more specialized.”

Along with Drozek, 15 other physicians, nurses and other volunteers affiliated with the OU-COM traveled to Haiti in late February to help provide that specialized care. The college sponsored the efforts, which included dozens of surgeries and provided other types of medical care for victims of the January 12 earthquake.

On February 20, the volunteers gathered in Haiti and then split into two teams. They included physicians, surgeons and anesthesiologists, some of whom work within the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE), OU-COM’s statewide consortium of teaching hospitals. Four of the 16 volunteers are OU-COM alumni.


One team, led by Mark A. Foglietti, D.O. (’82), F.A.C.O.S., plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Beachwood, consisted of three Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital residents.

They were dispatched to the Quisqueya Crisis Relief Center and assigned to a hospital in Port au Prince. There they performed dozens of surgical procedures, such as skin grafting, flap reconstruction for amputations, wound debridement and general reconstructive surgery.

The posts and photographs on Foglietti’s Twitter site revealed glimpses into the unpredictable rigor of the Haiti relief efforts. He typically rose before 4 a.m., and worked until evening, facing major aftershocks, sleepless nights and serial amputations. You can read his posts and view his photographs on his Twitter feed:

“This was a hospital treating major surgical trauma and serious medical conditions,” said Foglietti, who also serves the college as a clinical professor of plastic surgery. “The four of us performed four to five surgeries a day, with the help of anesthesia residents.”

The three Cleveland Clinic South Pointe residents included:

·        Marc Polecritti, D.O., CORE chief resident in plastic & reconstructive surgery;

·        Grant Hunter, D.O., CORE anesthesia resident,

·        Megan Rogers, D.O., CORE anesthesia resident.

The second OU-COM team was led by Drozek, who also works as a surgeon at Doctors Hospital in Nelsonville. His group of nine volunteers included family practice physicians, nurses, paramedics and non-medical logistics and construction volunteers.

The team supplied a full range of medical care, treating severe wounds, stress ulcers, dermatitis, sickle cell disease, gynecological needs, malnutrition and malaria, among others. They worked in cooperation with DELTA Ministries International at Clinic Lilavois, a village charity mission hospital, and later at Quisqueya Crisis Relief Center, a medical clinic at the Centre D’Imagrerie Medicale, in downtown Port-au-Prince.

Drozek was named “2009 Surgery Mentor of the Year” by the national Student Osteopathic Surgical Association in part because of his dedication to humanitarian medical work around the world and in Athens. Each year Drozek takes a large group of students to conduct clinical rotations in the Central American countries of El Salvador and Honduras.

Drozek’s team included:

  • Peter Dane, D.O., associate dean of predoctoral education, associate professor of family medicine and physician at University Medical Associates of Athens’ Express Care facility

  • Joanne Bray, M.S.N., director of clinical assessment, nurse practitioner and emergency room nurse

  • Krista Duval, D.O. (’08), and Dorinda Midwood, D.O., CORE family practice residents at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital

  • Brian Kessler, D.O., clinical associate professor of family medicine and director of medical education, Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital

  • Katherine Kropf, D.O. (’02), family practice physician with University Medical Associates of Athens and OU-COM assistant professor of family medicine.

  • Beverly Meade, life flight nurse

  • Kathleen Marshall-Dane, non-medical/logistics

  • Jesse Midwood, a construction volunteer

  • Gregory Schano, life flight nurse, and

  • Jeffrey Warner, a life flight paramedic

OU-COM and CORE continue to raise funds for a more sustained role in the Haiti medical relief effort. As Drozek wrote in his final post, “the job is not done. We will continue to help as we are able, to send people and supplies, to make useful contacts, to help Haiti heal.”

You can read Drozek’s daily updates, including photos, at the OU-COM web site:

  Office of Communication
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
210 Irvine Hall, Athens, Ohio 45701
Tel: 740-593-2346 FAX: 740-593-0343
Copyright Ohio University (Home)
Last updated: 01/28/2016