Thinking Globally - Blessing of Hospital St. Francis de Sales

March-April 2015


Five years after Haiti’s catastrophic, magnitude 7.0 earthquake, one of the largest ever measured in the region, the rebuilt Hospital St. Francis de Sales soon will open its doors to the people of Port-au-Prince, the capital city.

A dedication ceremony and Mass on Jan. 15, 2015, marked the rebirth of this century-old hospital complex as a modern Haitian hospital. The event brought together the partners for the rebuilding project — the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, the Catholic Health Association and its member organizations, Catholic Relief Services and Sur Futuro — who were instrumental in restoring hospital services to those most in need in Port-au-Prince.

It was a wonderful celebration of cultures and people. The following photos will help you share in the occasion, as well as give a glimpse of what the construction process has achieved in raising a 200-bed teaching hospital from devastation.

MSAADA Architects of Minneapolis designed a complex of two-story buildings to house inpatient wards and private patient rooms, operating rooms, intensive care and maternity units, an emergency room and outpatient facilities. The complex includes a chapel, administrative offices, laundry and a residence for religious sisters who will work at the hospital. This 200-bed, 125,000-square-foot facility will serve as a teaching hospital, a center of excellence for infectious disease care and the primary referral hospital for the faith-based health care network in Haiti.
Sr. Carol Keehan Visiting Hospital Grounds
Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association, visited the hospital grounds a few months after the earthquake, taking time to reflect upon the gravity of the losses. Here, she prays for the mothers, babies and staff where once stood a five-story building that included the pediatric ward.
The 2010 quake lasted less than a minute, but it reduced much of Port-au-Prince to rubble. More than 230,000 people were killed, 300,000 were injured and upwards of 2 million people were displaced. Many took shelter in tent cities.
Hospital St. Francis de Sales, in the heart of downtown Port-au-Prince, has been the primary health care provider for the more than 400,000 people living in and around the capital. The hospital was the main source of health care for persons who were poor and indigent. The quake destroyed 80 percent of the 117-bed hospital's buildings, including the maternity, pediatric and general inpatient wards and sparing only portions of the surgical and outpatient units. An estimated 70 staff members, patients and family members lost their lives.

Site work for Hospital St. Francis de Sales (HSFS) began on Aug. 2, 2012, and construction is expected to be complete in May 2015.

The Campaign for Rebirth and Renewal fund drive in 2011 raised $10.1 million from CHA and its member organizations towards rebuilding the Hospital St. Francis de Sales, owned and governed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince.

CHA members' donations included one in-kind contribution valued at $250,000. Additionally, CHA members designated funds for both hospital construction and health systems strengthening.

Sur Futuro, a foundation based in the Dominican Republic, donated $1.5 million for the pediatric ward.

CRS, which oversaw construction of the new hospital, donated more than $13 million toward equipping the hospital, to the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince for operations planning and for CRS staff support.

The new Hospital St. Francis de Sales complex contains some of the first public buildings to be completed in the Haitian capital, where post-earthquake reconstruction has been slow.
The hospital has private rooms, quad rooms (shown here) and male and female wards.

Sr. Keehan joined Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archbishop Paul Coakley, chairman of the Catholic Relief Services board; and CRS President Carolyn Woo at the Hospital St. Francis de Sales dedication. Haiti's President Michel Martelly, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White and leaders of the Catholic Church in Haiti attended the dedication and Mass, a testament to the importance of the hospital in the country's capital city.

Archbishop Guire Poulard of the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince greets Haitian President Michel Martelly.
Sr. Keehan is greeted by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes and president of the Haitian Bishop's Conference.
Archbishop Kurtz participated in the blessing of Hospital St. Francis de Sales.


On behalf of the people of Port-au-Prince, CHA would like to thank the following organizations which contributed $10.1 million to the rebuilding of Hospital St. Francis de Sales in Port-au-Prince and the development of a network of faith-based hospitals across Haiti.

Alexian Brothers Health System


Avera Health

BayCare Health System

Bon Secours Health System

Catholic Health East, now part of Trinity Health

Catholic Health Initiatives

Catholic Health Partners, now Mercy Health

Catholic Health System, Buffalo, New York

Catholic Healthcare West, now Dignity Health


Daughters of Charity Health System

Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity HealthCare Ministry

Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Provena Health, now part of Presence Health

Providence Health & Services

Resurrection Health Care, now part of Presence Health

Sisters of Charity Health System

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, now SCL Health

Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth

Sisters of Mercy Health System, now Mercy

St. Joseph Health

Trinity Health


Copyright © 2015 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Thinking Globally-Blessing of Hospital St Francis de Sales

Copyright © 2015 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.