OrthoAtlanta Medical Director, Michael J. Behr, M.D., Completes Eighth Medical Mission Trip to Haiti
ATLANTA, GA, February 12, 2018 --
OrthoAtlanta Medical Director, Michael J. Behr, M.D., recently completed a medical mission trip to Haiti, in what has become his eighth annual visit to the impoverished island nation. From February 3 to 8, 2018, Dr. Behr participated in a volunteer program that was begun more than 28 years ago by area Atlanta orthopedic surgeons to provide needed orthopedic services to Haitian citizens through the Hospital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) in Deschapelles, a rural mountain community in central Haiti.
A practicing orthopedic surgeon with OrthoAtlanta for over 25 years, Dr. Behr began his annual mission trips to the country of Haiti in 2010, the year of the deadly earthquake that killed thousands of people and left so much of island in ruins. The needs at that time were obvious and immediate, but need continues today. This reality strengthens Dr. Behr’s commitment to the country and brings him back to Haiti every year since. Board-certified and fellowship-trained in orthopedic surgery, Dr. Behr’s special emphasis included sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery, and hip and knee replacement. During his week-long service in Haiti, Dr. Behr provided his expertise across a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, ranging from trauma to rare bone disease.
Dr. Behr, who today serves as the OrthoAtlanta Medical Director, shared insights into his draw to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. As described by Dr. Behr, “Haiti is less than three hours and 1,285 miles from the U.S., yet the impoverishment is real and need for quality medical care ongoing. Prior to our arrival, patients will travel to the hospital, some walking many miles and waiting in line for several days, for their turn to see a physician.”
As part of the Atlanta-based program, teams of two to three orthopedic surgeons and medical professionals from multiple physician practices come together to travel to Haiti for a week of service. The first several days are spent examining patients, providing immediate treatment, and identifying those who will require surgery. The surgeries are performed during the final few days of the week. After the team returns to the U.S., follow up examinations are conducted by the full time general surgeons and part-time orthopedic surgeons at HAS. The next orthopedic team from the U.S. may arrive three to four months later; they may provide follow up examinations as needed.
Reflecting on his eighth volunteer trip to Haiti, Dr. Behr stated, “Taking time to give back to the people of Haiti is an important priority for me. The medical care that physicians such as myself can provide to the Haitian patients can help turn their lives around by providing mobility and function by treating correctable orthopedic problems. The opportunity to serve is energizing. It is a personally rewarding part of my life and a medical career dedicated to helping others.”
Learn more about OrthoAtlanta Medical Director, Dr. Michael Behr's, Eighth Annual Medical Mission Trip to Haiiti in February, 2018.
Learn more about OrthoAtlanta Medical Director, Dr. Michael J. Behr.