Local couple helps Haiti

Country still in need after earthquake

Nine months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, support is still needed and a couple from Rotterdam recently spent a week giving medical assistance to Haitians.

Ashley Hart, a physician's assistant at the office of Dr. Lev Barats, in Albany, left on Monday, Sept. 12, for a week long trip to Haiti with her husband, Andrew, a youth pastor at Sunrise Bible Church in Rotterdam. She joined the Nehemiah Network, a Christian organization, on its medical mission to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The mission was comprised of 15 medical and non-medical personnel working in a tent hospital with the remains of the Capitol building sitting across from them.

I've always wanted to do medical missions, said Ashley Hart. "Since I was little I wanted to do it, but with Haiti in particular, since I heard about the earthquake, I was trying to get down there."

Andrew Hart said he watched Ashley work hard to get her degrees and it was nice to get to see her do what her passion towards medicine is all about.

"The highlight for me was just to be there to see her do that and her help people," he said.

"I was so proud of her and I was thankful I got the experience to just watch her do that."

Ashley Hart's office is part of Community Care Physicians, PC and practices within the group came together to donate medical supplies for her trip. From within her office, money was donated from employees and patients. Also, pharmaceutical companies donated medicine and the airline waived any extra fees associated with the six large bins of medical supplies brought to Haiti.

Alexis Musto, spokeswoman for Community Care Physicians, said the couple takes pride in doing the charity work and it is important to take resources to underserved areas in need of assistance after natural disasters. Musto said there are many providers that take these sort of initiatives to heart and many employees have personal missions they pursue outside of work.

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